Leaving some plums for the scrub jays to eat

Scrub Jay on plum tree

Our one Santa Rosa plum tree produced a bumper crop this year. Almost every evening last week, we went out and harvested plums filling 5-gallon buckets with them--six in all. As we harvested, I also pruned. This species of plum tree is such a fast grower that it sometimes needs a post-harvest haircut. This year it needed one desperately after having branches laden with plums.

Even though I had a long pole lopper for pruning the branches high up (Hubby called me "Cindy Lopper"), there were some plums that we just couldn't reach. So those plums get left on the tree for the birds.

The scrub jays particularly like to hop around in the branches pecking at the juicy sweet plums. They are having quite a feast this year. I'm happy to provide them with such a yummy treat.

Now the back garden has huge piles of plum branches laying about. They have to dry out so we can send them through the chipper and make them into mulch. Hopefully, those piles of branches will be fun for some other critter.
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3 comments:

  1. We have a scrub jay that lives in our neighborhood. Actually, he's off course...they DO live up in our local mountains, up in the pinyon forest. I'm feeding him peanuts and acorns, which I gather in our local mountains! He's quite spoiled! He's very territorial. What else would he enjoy to eat? We don't have plums...

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  2. Hi Cheryl Ann--

    What I love about scrub jays is they're omnivores that love to eat lots of things that I don't want around my garden like rodents, snails, spiders and other insects (their summer diet). They also forage for slugs, small reptiles and amphibians as well as go after the eggs and young of other birds (which can be good if you've got an overpopulation of starlings). In the winter, scrub jays switch to a diet of berries, acorns, seeds and nuts. If you just give your jay little "treats" like you've been doing it'll give back by eating the pests in your garden.

    Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

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  3. I love this beautiful photo! And I always leave some fruit for my little *woodland* friends.
    Love you,

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