Blue jays — a cause for concern?

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  • #26706
    Meredith
    Participant

      Hi everyone, I’m new to this, and I’m learning so much from this forum. :) After a failed first attempt, we’ve put up a more secure box (baffle, spooker, monafilament) and currently have 5 nestlings in Day 10. (Fingers crossed!)

      We have a pretty chill backyard — mostly just goldfinches and chickadees — so the bluebird parents are usually VERY chill. I’ve even seen them sitting peacefully with a house sparrow on the wire, which scared me to death!

      So I’ve been surprised to see them going crazy whenever blue jays enter the backyard. It’s like an air raid scene out of Top Gun, lol. We do feed the blue jays in our front yard, but I rarely see them in the back. So this has just happened a few times.

      I’ve not been able to find much in any book or online about blue jays predating blue birds or their fledglings. Is this something to be concerned about? Should we take our blue jay feeder down?

      Would love your thoughts on this. Thanks so much again for all the wisdom on this forum!

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Meredith.
      #26708
      Carol – Mid-Mo.
      Participant

        Meredith, welcome to this forum! I have personally never had any problems with blue jays – in fact I don’t see them much at all. If the feeders are in different areas there should not be a problem IF each stay in their own territory! I know my blues will chase off anything that ventures close to their #3 box with 5 babies in it! Just never had many bluejays around – do see them in the winter around my seed feeder sometimes, along with the cardinals. Maybe others have more info for you.

        #26710

        I agree with Carol. The blues generally chase predators such as HOSP and Blue Jays from there territory. I have not had any of the Blue Jays attack my nestboxes. But I have a friend at church that said that she did and it killed 3 of the 5 birds as they fledged one year, and she hasn’t put the box up since that event. I would watch as it gets closer to fledging time.

        David
        Stafford, VA

        #26713
        Skyonitsback
        Participant

          Personally, I don’t feed any birds when my bluebirds are nesting. I don’t even fill the birdbath (afraid it will attract sparrows.) It’s a blessing to have bluebirds in the garden, and I don’t want to encourage anyone who is going to bring trouble and heartache. Birds don’t really need feeders in summer so …

          #26718
          Julie
          Participant

            Meredith, just keep your eyes peeled, especially as the nestlings grow. Long time ago I had a house wren at a previous home (no bluebirds there–we were in the forest). A blue jay actually went up to the box, reached in, and pulled out a nestling!! It was nuts. Of course it dropped the baby bird and that was another horrible thing to see. So just be observant and stay sharp. Hopefully your bluebirds will team up and keep it away if it’s hoping for a nest raid.

            #26721
            Meredith
            Participant

              I can’t thank you all enough for the pointers. The blue jay feeder is down, as well as the bird bath (never thought of that!). I’m getting it that the more vigilant you can be, the better! (Which is no problem for me, as I’m obsessed with the bluebirds and sit in my breezeway as often as I can to check on them, lol!)

              I’m wondering: is it most important to keep a close eye on things in the early morning at this point, or does it matter? I saw a blue jay lurking around this morning quite early so I’m thinking that might be the best time to step up my efforts. Never would have guessed they could be so aggressive!!

              Thanks again!!!

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