Blue Jay Go Away

drifter007February 2, 2008

Spring will be rolling up on me here in Ohio soon. I've got all these trees around my home, with tangling branches serving as beautiful external curtains. This winter, after a hot shower I stepped out & noticed a couple snowbirds playing in the branches & window frame right outside the bathroom window. It was nice and I decided that I'd install feeders outside all the upstairs windows.

Trouble is, I have a serious hatred of blue jays. I already own an alarm clock, it shrieks demonically--but only when I tell it to do so. I don't need blue jays loitering outside my bedroom windows, disturbing the peace. So I'm fishing for any ideas on how I might keep them away--short of interspecies violence, of course, which I could not advocate.

Any foods they won't eat? Or some kind of substance I could apply that might discourage the presence of blue jays, yet not interfere with the presence of other species? I think my old Red Rider BB Gun is probably still packed away in the folks's garage...but I am a peaceful man, I really want to exhaust any other options available...or maybe just not feed the birds.

thanks world...

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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)


I suggest you take in your feeders so you don't attract birds you don't like.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2008 at 3:10PM
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pondwelr(z5 WI)

Is there an abundance of blue jays in your area? Really, I think you needn't worry. If you attract hoards of birds like I do, they gang up on the poor jay and drive it out of my yard. Slapstick fun to watch, actually. Pondy

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 12:05PM
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terrene(5b MA)

You put feeders on all the upstairs windows??? This seems like an awkward installation to me. How do you fill them? Do you have to open the windows in the freezing cold of winter to fill them?

Also, in most cases, seed will fall from the feeders which means it is falling all around the foundation of your house. This attracts rodents up close to your house. I would advise moving the feeders to a location that is not near the bedrooms, and perhaps even further away than that - in the yard somewhere some distance from the house.

Yes Blue Jays are quite noisy, but they operate as sentinels for the bird community. They are skittish and watchful and act as a warning system for other Blue Jays and other birds, warning about danger such as the presence of hawks.

I don't know about all types of food, but it's possible that you could just use a smaller seed such as Black-oil sunflower seed or nyger or millet that the Blue Jays aren't interested in eating. You would probably get more information on the Bird Watching forum.

Incidentally, it's against federal law to kill or disturb native birds or their nests, and even to possess their feathers!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 11:56AM
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leslie123(Z8 WA)

I wish I had your problem. I haven't seen a blue jay in about a year. I understand they were hit hard by west Nile, although I'm not sure that's why they've disappeared. Whatever the reason, the once-common blue jay isn't very common anymore. I miss them. Noisy, obnoxious, boisterous, bullies, and wonderful. And beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 11:13PM
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I love my Bluejays, they are very beautiful. Place your feeders away from your windows and add a smaller one that the jays can't perch on near your window. This is what I do and I've never had a problem.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2008 at 10:30AM
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There are plenty of blue-jay proof feeders, including tube feeders and many of the squirrel-proof feeders. If you type "Blue Jay proof feeder" into google a lot of options come up.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2008 at 7:11PM
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Jays are beautiful and agressive but yes, protected under federal law. Don't use a platform feeder if you don't want them and the squirrels. The caged feeders let in the little guys and keep out the larger birds (including starlings-which are not protected).

Generally it's live and let live unless my blues and dees are disturbed and then it's WWIII against the house sparrows which I hate more than you do jays.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 9:33AM
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Hello All,
I am new, but I will do what I usually do and jump in with both feet!
I am happy that you are a peaceful man, hope that this helps.
I don't know of a blue jay repellant, but I can offer some information for you in addition to that already provided by the others. I also came up with a couple of alternative bird you could dislike instead of the jay.
One alternative is the Europian Starling, introduced by man, and began to spread over the whole country. They compete aggressively with native birds for nesting.
Birds are in enough trouble from of loss of habitat from mankind.
(you can prevent them from taking up residence in your birdhouses by making the entrance
1 1/2 " or less so they can't get inside the joint.)
The Cowbird is another alternative to bluejay loathing. It sneaks into other bird's nests and lays it's eggs, making the other bird do all the work. The field guide called it parisitizing and the cowbird affects about 144 species altogether and some are threatened with extinction altogether. The cowbird is only doing what it has always done, only we changed the playing field and the combination is lethal.
Back to the BlueJay. The jays fly around in courtship flocks in the spring follow the leader style and give a variety of calls. (acording to Stokes Field Guide these flocks are made up of several males and leading the way one female. When they land the males start bobbing raising their whole body up and down, while giving the "toolool" call. Good News, they are quiet during breeding. They also dive bomb hawks giving jay calls.
I don't know if a "scarehawk" would work, it would scare off the other birds too and you don't want that.
One more thing you could try, is to lure the jay to another area of your yard. The jay eats acorns, nuts, fruit, and it comes to feeders for sunflower seed and cracked corn. You could put sunflower seed (black oil I think) and cracked corn on a feeder away from your window.
That might work.
Good luck to you, I hope I wasn't too long winded for you all.
Happy Birding! Bitsy
In the end, I would say the best thing to do is to get some earplugs and find some common ground. You could even learn to not despise the jay.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 4:11AM
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davek913(Z5 Northern IN)

I can understand growing weary of the noise from their screeching but like any living creature, if you provide food, it's open season. They're just doing what comes naturally, eating for sustenance.

I tire of their screeching as well but if you've ever noticed, they make other sounds as well. I've heard them make a variety of sounds where I couldn't figure out what it was outside until I realized it was just a blue jay doing its Rich Little routine.

The more time I've had to watch them the more I appreciate them. We feed our squirrels peanuts and often, before I know it, we'll have a few blue jays around looking for a snack. They'll sit in a tree and squawk away and I'll throw a peanut out under it and watch it twirl almost straight down to pick it up and fly up into a tree to eat it or fly away with it. Their motion can be fluid, almost balletic.

If you provide food for one creature you're likely to attract others and you often can't be too selective. We have mallards that visit every spring and hang around our yard with it's little fountain in a small pond. I'll throw a mixed bird seed or bread crumbs out for them and what they don't eat, the robins come for. What the robins don't get, the mourning doves pick at. What the mourning doves don't eat, the rabbit that lives under our shed comes for. What the bunny doesn't eat, some raccoons might. It's nature. While there are some aspects that may be annoying, it's to be appreciated.

I lived for years in a city where about the only wildlife you saw were pigeons after growing up in a rural area where wildlife was abundant. I'll never take it for granted again. I get annoyed with the mole that's tunneled through our yard but when you get right down to it, he/she's just doing it's thing, just like we are. The same for the squirrels that dig little holes all over and bury their nuts, the chipmunks that burrow and tunnel, the rabbits that eat the vegetables we plant, the possums that forage for food and set up shop in our woodpiles or the raccoons that raid our trash cans. If you provide it, they will come. It might be annoying to us sometimes, but they're just doing what their instincts tell them: Surviving.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 4:04AM
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I enjoyed davek913's message and would like to add, use the coffee and tea makers adage when planting, one for the tea, one for the pot. Instead use plant one for me, two for others. If you have an area away from your regular plants close where the animals/birds can gather so much the better.

If you have an over abundence share with your neighbors or feeding centers. I like the Shepards Centers myself. Find one that will allow the vistors to take home extras if possible. One day we may all be old and unable to grow our own.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2008 at 8:07PM
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