Orphaned jays that were raised by us liked to steal pieces of our son's peanut butter and jelly sandwich when we would eat outside. Andrew came to expect a jay to land suddenly on his plate and then bam-bam-bam at the sandwich. We go to great lengths to keep all orphan birds from becoming imprinted, but jays (crows, too) are harder than other species.
There is a pair of jays that hangs around our house. We raised them as orphans in 1992. They are nesting now, and this will be the seventh year that they've had babies. We know the DAY the eggs hatch because the parents beg pitifully at the back door for mealworms. Two years ago they fledged six babies - doesn't seem possible. The babies are always wild, never come begging for food. When the parent jays are especially desperate, they jump on the flimsy latch on the outside back door. The door opens, they fly in and grab mealworms which are in a pan on top of the refrigerator.
-- from Crystal Keller (bird rehabber), South Lyon, MI
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