On my visit to Woods Mill Nature Trail, managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust, I heard a lot of commotion in a small forest area where a Jay was. Creeping forward to see what was going on I observed what I consider to be some fascinating behaviour.
The Jay was standing on the top of a tree stump, picking at something whilst calling at the top of it’s lungs with that strange rattling call that Jays have. But what was it doing?
It turns out that the Jay was flying down to the ground and picking off individual, furled leaves of a Lords And Ladies plant nearby. Then it was taking the still-rolled leaf over to the tree stump and pecking at them with it’s beak.
To my knowledge Jays don’t eat Lords And Ladies so I can only assume that perhaps insects try to hide in the tube created by the new rolled-up leaves and this Jay was trying to remove them.
I’ve never seen anything like this before so if you can shed any light on the situation please leave me a comment by filling in the box at the end of this article.
Below are photos of the tree stump with some leftover leaves, the individual plant that the Jay was plucking leaves from and a close-up of the leftover leaves showing where the Jay had been pecking them.