|Magpie-jay enjoying the sun - photo by Gabriel Hardman|
Pictured here is a beautiful black-throated magpie-jay, a native of Mexico that normally ranges from southern Sonora to northern Colima. The first report that I could find about this particular bird indicated that he's been living near the studio at least since 2010. Given his striking colors and big personality, it's a safe bet that he was an aviary resident before that or he would have been noticed sooner. Or he may have traveled up from southern San Diego county, where a flock of magpie-jays have become established after apparently escaping from wildlife smugglers in Tijuana.
Either way, it's not too surprising that a magpie-jay would do well at a studio. They're omnivorous, like the crows they are closely related to, and smart. Studios are a lot like big campuses, filled with people constantly dropping food, so there's plenty to eat. Lots of big trees help too. Corvids of all types love to play and are very curious, so it's common to see them carrying sticks and bright objects. This guy is no exception, as he was brought to my attention when my husband Gabriel was working on the lot recently and spotted him lugging twigs around.
|Carrying a stick - photo by Gabriel Hardman|
Black-throated magpie-jays are fairly common in their native territory, but recent reports have seemed to point to a drop in their population. It's unknown if there is only one magpie-jay at Warner Bros. or perhaps a couple, which could lead to a breeding community. Chances are that this guy is all alone, but clearly he's doing okay. As a member of such a long-lived and intelligent species, hopefully he'll grace the studio with his colorful plumage and shrill voice for many years to come.