At the height of summer when it was hot enough to cook on a rock, I was driving through a residential neighborhood along an asphalt road, when I braked to avoid a fledgling blue jay that had fallen or jumped too soon from its nest in the overarching trees and now huddled broiling on the hot, sticky asphalt. I quickly parked and tried to shoo the fledgling jay to the cool grass lawn just a few feet away but it was too cooked to do anything more than flutter its wings in fright. It was ungrateful for my attentions and called raucously to be saved from me. I scooped it up to place it under cool bushes in a nearby yard. In reward, its parent dive-bombed my unsuspecting pate with a painful crack. I worried that the parent blue jay might have been injured by its collision with my hard nut, but it flew off into the trees overhead, squawking with outrage as I poured water on its hapless offspring to cool it off. I do not know if either bird survived their ordeal and my thoughts sometimes return to the depth of parent's love that frantic blue jay demonstrated.
Caption: Parent Blue Jay Dive-bombed My Head
collage by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019