Steller's Jays


 While camping along the Navarro River forty years ago or so,  I made the mistake of leaving my sandwich on the table for a few seconds. It was the first I saw of Steller's Jays and the last I saw of my lunch.

For years I have seen them regularly along the East Fork of the Russian River on its way out of Potter Valley, especially around Cold Creek and Highway 20.

They have also been common along the Eel River north of the valley, but in 42 years living on Burris Lane, never one here.

More recently, it seemed that they were slowly moving up the river and this summer and fall were along West Road for the first time.

George Chaniot's Birds of Potter Valley includes the river down to Highway 20 and his list did not show any of them in November.

He had many in his yard this November and they are now seen daily three miles north on Main Street.

A friend who works just across Burris Lane from me had been seeing them there and neighbor on the north side of the lane nearer the popular pond viewing area has had some at his feeders for the first time.

I saw one across the lane yesterday and am still waiting for one in my yard.

I think the species may be expanding its range through the county.

Merry Christmas

Jim Armstrong


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