Last week, I wrote of the tragic disappearance of one of our three small red-eared slider turtles in the beak of a local scrub jay. However, I did wonder if I was justified in blaming the jay. I mean, there was a chance another bird could have grabbed the hapless turtle or that the reptile might have self-levitated and escaped the box we set up .
A couple days after the presumed turtle-napping, we put the turtles back out on the patio again so they could get some sun. This time, we put some light netting over the box to foil any nearby predators. Less than an hour after we put the box the out, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a jay--the same one, I'm pretty sure, that I had seen the day of the turtle disappearance--standing on the edge of the box and trying to peck its way through the netting. (That's him--why do I think it's a him?--or her or it up above.)
That settled it for me--that bird is guilty as charged. Also, we need to figure out something more discouraging than some butterfly netting if the turtles are going to get to hang out there.