A few introductory notes: Blue was a scrub jay that I was feeding for a time. I was caretaking an estate that had two buildings. One was a small studio apartment (Greenwich, the place I lived in in the film) and the main building, where I started feeding the parrots. Catherine was the other blue-crowned conure in the flock besides Connor. She died before the film was made. “Psychogobble” is a term of my own invention. An over-the-top squawking that made them sound like insane turkeys. They usually did it when they were particularly incensed about something.

2/16/95 Thursday

No parrots as of 7:35 am.

Blue showed up at my door at Greenwich when I was down there getting something. I had the door wide open and he was in the bush right by my door. Begging.

They came in around 1:55. Normal feeding. Mandela crawled up to my shoulder again and stayed longer than usual. He sits there calmly chewing and looking about. Both Jones and Smith were on my right hand. They get into big fights with Eric’s brood. When I went to get a refill I discovered that I’d locked myself out of the apartment. I think my frustration spooked them a little. I got back in, but they had flown to the lines and wouldn’t come back over.

Fascinating stuff. They came back (of course). At the very end of the feeding, the flock took off. Catherine was with them, but Connor wanted to stay behind. (He was in the Juniper and I don’t think she knew it.) I saw and heard him call her back. She was leaving with the flock, and she heard him, turned around and came back. I ran out of plain seeds and had to put some of the mix in the cup. Mandela sought out the corn pieces. One of the adults jumped up on the cup. The trio was absolutely intolerant of this and fought the adult off–even breaking into psychogobble. I went down to Greenwich to get more seeds. Came back to feed a few who were still interested in eating–Mandela among them. One of Eric’s kids, the one with the bare patch on his forehead, is getting heavy into exploratory biting. I picked him up by the beak and kissed him, but it didn’t faze him.


  1. Thanks for sharing more of these diary entries!

    Scrub jays are frequent visitors to our yard, and of all our avian visitors, they are the ones our conures seem to regard with the most interest and even affection. Perhaps it has something to do with their size, which is similar to their own, or maybe their color or their vocalizations. Whatever it is, the conures like watching them out the window or from their cage if we take them outside for some sun. Their body language and behavior also shows them to be completely comfortable with the jays around.

    1. Author

      I have the sense that it all happened just recently, even though the diary entries are from 25 years ago. But I don’t remember the details anymore, so reliving them through the diary is enjoyable for me. I don’t have a schedule for putting them up, but I intend to keep it going.

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