We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.
1818 N Taylor St
Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: (501) 666-4210
Fax: (501) 661-0552
Email: Send Message
Mon - Sat: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Blue Jays, a relative of other North American Jays, are a common feeder bird east of the Rocky Mountains. Many folks consider Blue Jays a nuisance in their yards because they are big, loud, and they seem to scare off all the other birds when they come flying into the feeders. They have an undeserved reputation as a “bully” at an otherwise peaceful party!
But here’s the real skinny on Blue Jays. First off, Blue Jays are a “warning bird.” This means that when there is a predator in the area, be it a hawk, a cat, a snake, etc., Blue Jays will begin squawking and ‘dancing’ to announce the presence of the predator. This warning display is heeded by other birds besides Blue Jays. If you have seen and heard see a “scold” (one of the words used to describe a group of Blue Jays producing these warning displays together, you’re missing out – it’s could be described as a cacophonic opera as they try to intimidate the predator into leaving.
This brings us to the next point. Blue Jays are not only warn with their displays, but they are physically aggressive towards predators, especially predatory birds such as hawks, as they try to chase them away. The Blue Jays probably don’t pose any reasonable threat to the hawk – in fact, their relatively slow flight makes them easy in-air targets for hawks which may explain why Blue Jays often work in groups - but the Blue Jays sure can be irritating, and that often seems to be enough to send the hawk searching for more peaceful hunting grounds.
On the other hand, while the Blue Jays may make their presence known when they come to eat, they don’t pose any real danger to other feeder birds. Yes, their slow, somewhat awkward lumbering flight and large size may temporarily disrupt feeder activities, and yes, Blue Jays have healthy appetites to be sure, but the good they do in protecting your feeder from predators is worth putting up with them. Just think of them as that loud, obnoxious guy at the party who also tells the best jokes – you put up with his unsavory behavior because you know you will be laughing in the end!