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Sep 18 2012

In which the co-blogger attempts action at a distance

Dinosaur v. Mammal. Photo taken from my back porch.

Our fearless leader is down, so it’s time to put on our Sixpak Chopra outfits for a little visualization. Imagine the Audubon’s cottontail in the image as the demons that have possessed PZ’s gastrointestinal system, and the jay as our Waves O’ Healing Energy® preparing to kick the rabbit’s butt. It’s guaranteed infinitely more effective than the most popular homeopathic remedies commonly available.

Spoiler: half a second after this image was taken, the jay hopped on to the rabbit’s butt, chasing him away from the sunflower seeds.

38 comments

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  1. 1
    RFW

    Steller’s jays are notorious thieves of food. Where they’re common, you can’t put cat or dog food outside. That poor rabbit isn’t experiencing anything new, you might say.

    Another interesting detail: Steller’s jays prefer, it seems, to live at some altitude. Here on southeastern Vancouver Island, we rarely see them in the built up area, but once every few decades they descend from the hills en masse and the city resounds with their calls. I don’t know if anyone has figured out the mechanism behind this, but it’s rare. It’s possibly an artifact of the forest having been cleared out of lot of the urban area.

  2. 2
    Chris Clarke

    [In a bit of a brain fart, I'd called the jay a Steller's. It clearly is not. I realized my mistake a moment after posting. It's a scrub jay. I took advantage of the five-minute rule and edited that reference, but that's what RFW's referring to. We have both jays here, but it was my mis-ID and not RFW's.]

  3. 3
    alektorophile

    Non-American, non-ornithologist here. Out of curiosity, is that a Western Scrub Jay?

  4. 4
    cyberCMDR

    I don’t suppose they show Hitchcock’s “The Birds” about that time, do they?

  5. 5
    cyberCMDR

    Shoot. Earlier comment directed at RFW, but too slow on the draw.

  6. 6
    Chris Clarke

    Non-American, non-ornithologist here. Out of curiosity, is that a Western Scrub Jay?

    Aphelocoma californica indeed.

  7. 7
    feralboy12

    Fortunately I refreshed the page one more time before jumping in to correct your mistake, preventing me from coming off as some self-important fool.
    Schroedinger’s Jay? Ah…until you open the box, it exists in both states: screeching outside your window and crapping on your car.

  8. 8
    Trebuchet

    Another interesting detail: Steller’s jays prefer, it seems, to live at some altitude. Here on southeastern Vancouver Island, we rarely see them in the built up area….

    Interesting. They’re very common here in the sea-level Puget Sound regions. Going up into the mountains gets us grey jays and Clark’s nutcrackers instead.

  9. 9
    alektorophile

    @Chris Clarke

    Thank you. I thought it looked familiar. I had to look it up some years ago, while identifying some faunal remains from prehispanic Mexican burials (I am an archaeologist) and came across remains of at least one specimen (probably ended up as burial offering because of its colorful plumage). The image rang a bell.

  10. 10
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The lepus will have their night.

  11. 11
    NitricAcid

    I’m on mid-Vancouver Island, but I haven’t seen any Stellar’s Jays except for in the mountains. My kids had a blast hand-feeding them raisins.

  12. 12
    Scr... Archivist

    Spooky!

  13. 13
    feralboy12

    Another interesting detail: Steller’s jays prefer, it seems, to live at some altitude. Here on southeastern Vancouver Island, we rarely see them in the built up area….

    Here in Oregon, they do seem to be most common in the western Cascades at anywhere from 1500 to 5000 feet above sea level, but I also see them in Eugene on the wooded side of the Willamette River, at a mere 400 feet of altitude. I’m guessing it’s more about avoiding the built-up areas than anything else; their behavior at campsites suggests they’re not terribly shy around humans and don’t mind a bit of scavenging, they just vastly prefer a bit of forest around them.
    They’re also a “west of the Rockies” bird; to the east of the Rockies the Blue Jay is the resident crested jay. In silhouette the two are practically indistinguishable.

  14. 14
    Amphiox

    Imagine the Audubon’s cottontail in the image as the demons that have possessed PZ’s gastrointestinal system, and the jay as our Waves O’ Healing Energy® preparing to kick the rabbit’s butt. It’s guaranteed infinitely more effective than the most popular homeopathic remedies commonly available.

    Wait a minute….

    Is 0/0 infinity, or zero?

  15. 15
    Jacob Schmidt

    0/0 is undefined. It has no mathematical meaning.

  16. 16
    Chris Clarke

    0/0 is undefined. It has no mathematical meaning.

    That wouldn’t stop Tupac Chopra!

  17. 17
    Aratina Cage

    Become one with the wabbit…
    *tries to visualize the scene*
    *can’t stop thinking of Angry Birds*
    *cracks open a six pack of Chopra Gold*

  18. 18
    Sili

    The lepus will have their night.

    It’s lepodes.

  19. 19
    Millicent

    Oh, scrub jays. So noisy, and such bold thieves. I see them a lot here (eastern side of the Sierra) and they do not take shit from any critter, large or small. That rabbit’s butt is definitely kicked.

  20. 20
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    @Sili: Chris Clarke is using Chopra science, so I’m using Hollywood Latin.

  21. 21
    rq

    Where can I add my toroid-shaped positive vibrations for bettered electron flow and best results?

  22. 22
    Ichthyic

    Become one with the wabbit…

    no!

    Become one with the Squirrel!

  23. 23
    Amphiox

    Where can I add my toroid-shaped positive vibrations for bettered electron flow and best results?

    Right beside the spherical rabbit.

    In a vacuum.

    (The jays are dodecahedral. Because, you know, archosaurs.)

  24. 24
    One Day Soon I Shall Invent A Funny Login

    We used to have a lot of scrub jays around our oak trees here on the SF Peninsula, but sadly they seem to have all disappeared. Driven out, apparently, by urban crows, who are just as noisy but not half as cute. At least, the crows have moved in in quantity, yakking and gargling in the treetops all day, and we don’t hear scrub jays swearing at the cat any more. Not necessarily post hoc ergo propter hoc but hey, I’m happy blaming crows for anything.

  25. 25
    Ichthyic

    TriffidPruner

    ah, Day of the Triffids.

    I love sci-fi where the hero is a marine biologist.

    :)

  26. 26
    Nes

    @Naked Bunny with a Whip,

    Damn. I was going to say that they already had, but I see that you were already referencing that. Oh well.

  27. 27
    LicoriceAllsort

    Cute animals and SIWOTI? That’s a good effort at keeping us busy while PZ is off with teh crud.

  28. 28
    A. R

    Very impressive Chris, it’s like Anti-Caturday mixed with the Monday Metazoan. I however see no cephalopods.

  29. 29
    Trebuchet

    My wife used to put out peanuts for the squirrels. The Stellar’s Jays figured this out pretty quickly and could take two nuts at once, half-swallowing one and holding the other in the beak. Pretty soon they began knocking on the sliding door with their beaks begging for more nuts. We’re at around 500 feet here in the suburbs but our vacation home is more like 200 feet and 1/2 mile from the sea and we see plenty of them their.

    Scrub Jays, on the other hand, are pretty rare visitors in these parts.

  30. 30
    Trebuchet

    “plenty of them their.”

    Why on earth do I keep typing homonyms?

  31. 31
    Chris Clarke

    Why on earth do I keep typing homonyms?

    Know idea.

  32. 32
    chigau (違う)

    I like gray jays.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_jay

  33. 33
    A. R

    I like Eurasian Jays.

  34. 34
    Sili

    Chris Clarke is using Chopra science, so I’m using Hollywood Latin.

    I know. And I’m using analretentive, faux learning, Greek incorrections.

  35. 35
    Rumtopf

    I like Eurasian Jays too, they make the most terrifying noises.

  36. 36
    comfychair

    I can’t believe I’m the only one who saw the picture and immediately thought of this.

  37. 37
    Worldtraveller

    0/0 isn’t always undefined. Google L’Hopital’s Rule. (assuming I spelled it correctly…)

  38. 38
    Trebuchet

    Why on earth do I keep typing homonyms?

    By which, of course, I meant homphones. Nuts.

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