Why all the squawking and shrieking?


Blue Jay Photo from Pixabay

Today, while Mom and I were sitting on the porch the blue jays in the trees in our backyard started squawking – or more like shrieking – like a sound I’d never heard before.
Skeee-walk… skeee-walk…

shreeeeak… shreeeeak…

jayer… jayer…

And it went on & on & on…
And the longer it lasted, it seemed like more birds were joining in!

I was starting to get irritated. I thought to myself, “Why won’t they be quiet?” I was getting so annoyed I was thinking I should go shoo them away somehow. But they were up in the tree too high. Surely there had to be a way to get them to be quiet…


Just then “whoosh” – a hawk flew right in front of us on the porch from that side of our yard to the other end. The hawk was probably not more than five feet in front of us!

Ah, all the squawking and shrieking was for a reason. A really good reason – the blue jays were wanting the other blue jays, and anything else that was paying attention, to know that there was danger nearby. Something harmful, in this case, a deadly hawk, was in the area.

It’s part of who they are. The blue jay is a noisy, bold, and aggressive bird. Due to its slow flying speeds, blue jays are easy prey for hawks and owls when flying in open areas. The blue jay can be helpful to other bird species, as it may chase predatory birds away, such as hawks and owls, and will scream if it sees a predator within its territory. It will sound an alarm call, which is the loud, almost gull-like scream that we heard when hawks or other dangers are near. Smaller birds often recognize this call and take cover somewhere safe accordingly. The blue jays were screaming to let the whole neighborhood know that there was danger in the area.

Their high-pitched ‘jayer-jayer’ call, that had increased in speed as the birds became more agitated, is used to call together a group of blue jays to mob potential predators – such as hawks – and drive them away from the blue jays’ nests.

They were sounding the alarm. They were calling the troops to come together to help fight off the enemy! Just like in Nehemiah 4:20, the blue jays are saying, “When you hear the blast of the trumpet (the sound of the alarm), rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!” (New Living Translation.)

After the hawk flew out of our yard the birds were quiet. The danger was gone. The squawking and the shrieking stopped.

How often do we just want the noise in our lives to stop? How often do we ignore the warning signals that there is danger nearby? How often do we just want peace and quiet when there is a good reason for the squawking and shrieking? How often do we not listen to those in our world who are sounding a warning to us about our lives? How often do we ignore the alarm call to come together to help fight off the enemy?

Too often.

What are the warning signals in your life that you are trying to silence today instead of paying attention? Are you being irritated by the noise of others, when instead you need to realize they are sounding the alarm so you can see there is danger in your life that you need to be aware of? Are you trying to ignore the “noisy, bold, and aggressive” people around you who are sounding the alarm call to come together to help fight off the enemy?

Let’s not be like the people in the Old Testament that God warned in Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Ezekiel 33:3 When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. 4 Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. 5 They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. (New Living Translation.)

“I also sent prophets to warn you of danger, but when they sounded the alarm, you paid no attention.” Jeremiah 6:17 (Contemporary English Version)

Today, let’s all pay attention to the warning signals in our lives and come together to help fight the enemy that is trying to destroy us. And as we come together in prayer we know that our God will fight for us!

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