For the Birds Radio Program: Owls and Crows, and DinoJay Action Figures

Original Air Date: Dec. 10, 1990 (estimated date)

A Great Horned Owl turned up at the John Duss Conservatory. And Jim Baker has suggestions for Christmas gifts for your Blue Jays.

Duration: 3′57″


Last week I got a call from Sister Bernadone Rock of Duluth’s John Duss Conservatory of Music. She was delighted to report that a Great Horned Owl spent the day roosting in a spruce tree on the conservatory grounds. It was a huge and eye-catching bird, but she probably wouldn’t have noticed it except for the crows mobbing it.

She was concerned that the crows would injure the owl, which they sometimes do. Then just yesterday, I heard from Bill and Sue Deetz of Duluth about another Great Horned Owl that spent the day sitting on the tip-top of a well-groomed cedar bush next door, right next to the house of Harriet and Neal Nessem. This owl was harassed mercilessly by all the neighborhood crows.

Crows and owls are mortal enemies. By day, crows watch for and mob owls. When one crow discovers a roosting owl, it makes a call recognized by crows almost a mile away. They respond, making the same mobbing call as they fly in, in turn attracting crows from an increasing radius. Within a short time, scores of crows are gathered near the owl, all cussing to beat the band. As the din grows, the bravest or the most reckless crows light on branches closer and closer to the owl. Some come awfully close—I saw one draw blood once—but usually fear wins out over anger.

Great Horned Owls are too big and clumsy to chase down a crow by day, but they take their revenge at nighttime. They bide their time, patiently watching where the crows head a dusk. Crows are helpless in the dark; as soon as they go to sleep, an alert owl will go in and start feasting on their brains. Not a pretty sight, but for an owl it’s fine eating.

Yep—owls and crows—they go together like Jesse Helms and Paul Wellstone. And speaking of crows, December is the month that we commemorate their cousins, the Blue Jays.

This is Jim Baker. You got it, Jim Baker, spelled with one ‘k,’ and no way am I affiliated with the Bush Administration. I’m the one and only proprietor of Baker’s Blue Jay Barn. You know those Blue Jays coming to your feeder, brightening up your yard with their happy colors and jolly ways, those jays that picked YOU out of all the people in the world they could trust to provide them with tasty food and protection from cats and hawks? Well, those jays are just like little kids. They get filled up with high hopes every December as they count the days with eager anticipation, setting out their little stockings in hopes that they’ll be filled by Santa Jay. Well, how are those trusting little jays gonna feel on Christmas morning when they find those little stockings empty? By December 26, some jays are feeling so betrayed that they light out for parts unknown, never to return. And then how will you feel, your feeders barren of nature’s perfect creatures? Nothing left but little dickey birds too stupid to realize how selfish a human can be.

Nope. On Christmas Eve you want to fill those jay stockings to the brim with the kinds of thoughtful gifts a real Santa Jay would bring—the kind of gifts available only at Baker’s Blue Jay Barn. Think how that little jay’s eyes will light up when he tears the wrapping off his official DinoJay Action Figure! We have 67 different varieties to choose from—DinoJays modeled on prehistoric creatures from the Jayrassic Period, from the primitive Stegojayrus all the way to the Triceracrest and Jayrannosaurus Rex. I know there weren’t humans around back in those days, but just to add a special dimension to your little tykes’ make-believe fun, we’ve also added Evil Ellwood, the Blue Jay-hating caveman.

Yep. DinoJay Action Figures are perfect for every little jay on your Christmas list. And for those fledglings who have outgrown the dino stage, we also have a complete line of Blue Jay Cousins, like Whiskey Jack of the Canadian Mounties, and Robbie Raven, who comes complete with his own Edgar Allan Poe doll.

Yep. Quality toys like these keep customers flocking in at Baker’s Blue Jay Barn, up the shore a ways!

That’s Baker’s Blue Jay Barn, catering to your Blue Jay needs since 1987.