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Fair Trade

Scrub jays (along with their corvid relatives ravens and crows) are among the most intelligent of non-human animals, up there with primates, dolphins, elephants, etc., depending on whose list you consult. Today as I was reading a book on the back deck I threw out a peanut. Within less than a minute a jay got up enough nerve to move in and grab it. What it did next surprised me (second photo)

It actually approached me as if acknowledging the “gift” peanut.

So after a few minutes I threw out another, which led to another surprise (again, next photo)

Fair Trade 2

This time it brought me an acorn in exchange. I think: “this bird is is training me to throw out peanuts.”

It’s a smart move, because it did encourage me to keep this up, and besides, it was a good exchange for the bird, because to get into the acorn the bird has to drop it on the street and wait for a car to run over it.

Fair Trade 3

One look back before flying off with the peanut.

Fair Trade 4

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