Protect Your Bird Feeders: Keep Blue Jays at Bay

Blue jays can be kept away from bird feeders by using specific methods. These include using protective cages, using baffles, and changing the type of food offered.

It can be frustrating to put out food for birds in your yard, only to have it disappear quickly thanks to hungry blue jays. While blue jays are undoubtedly beautiful birds, they can present a problem when they dominate feeders meant for other bird species.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep blue jays away from bird feeders. Using protective cages, baffles, and changing the food offered can all help to deter blue jays while still allowing other birds to enjoy the available food. With a few simple precautions in place, you can keep your bird feeder filled with your favorite bird species.

Protect Your Bird Feeders: Keep Blue Jays at Bay


Understanding Blue Jays Feeding Habits And Behaviour

Blue jays are some of the most fascinating and beautiful birds you can spot in your backyard. They have a striking blue body, with black and white markings on their wings, tail, and head. While they are fascinating, their feeding habits can be troublesome, especially if you have set up bird feeders in your backyard.

Here are some things to keep in mind to help you understand and mitigate the problems blue jays pose.

Learn More About Blue Jays And Their Feeding Habits

Blue jays are intelligent birds that are omnivores; they eat both plants and animals. They have a varied diet that consists of insects, nuts, seeds, and berries. Blue jays are also known to eat bird eggs and nestlings of other birds.

If you have bird feeders in your backyard, blue jays will most likely be attracted to them. Typically, they prefer feeders with large seeds like sunflower seeds, peanuts, or corn. However, you can’t just blame the birds for enjoying free food.

Understand The Problems Associated With Blue Jays And Bird Feeders

While blue jays are beautiful to watch, they can cause problems for your winged visitors. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • They can intimidate other birds: Blue jays are aggressive and territorial birds, and they can scare off other birds from your feeders.
  • They can consume large quantities of food: Because they are large birds, they can consume lots of food in one go, which can lead to other birds not getting any food at all.
  • They can damage your feeders: Blue jays have strong bills that can damage feeders. They might also spill lots of food on the ground, which can attract pests.

While blue jays are fascinating birds to watch, they can cause issues for other birds and damage your feeders. Understanding their feeding habits and behaviour can help you take appropriate measures to prevent them from causing problems.

Common Bird Feeder Designs And Their Vulnerabilities To Blue Jays

Blue jays are one of the beautiful and intelligent bird species that are a treat to watch in backyards and gardens. Unfortunately, they can be a nuisance, especially if they invade your bird feeders. Their larger size and aggressive nature drive other birds away, leaving you with a yard full of blue jays.

However, understanding common bird feeder designs and their vulnerabilities to blue jays can help keep them away and make your bird-watching experience more enjoyable.

Overview Of Different Bird Feeder Styles And Their Susceptibility To Blue Jays

There are various styles of bird feeders available in the market, and each design has its strengths and weaknesses. However, some types of bird feeders are more susceptible to blue jays than others. Here is an overview of various bird feeder styles and their vulnerabilities:

  • Tube feeders: These feeders are cylinder-shaped and usually have multiple perches. Blue jays can quickly learn to perch on these feeders and empty them quickly, scaring off other birds in the process.
  • Hopper feeders: Hopper feeders are similar to house-shaped feeders. They have a large tray at the bottom and a hopper above that dispenses the birdseed. Although blue jays can still perch on the edges of these feeders, they cannot empty them as fast as the tube feeders, making them less attractive to blue jays.
  • Platform feeders: These feeders are flat trays that sit on legs or hang from a pole. Blue jays love these feeders because they can easily land on them and feast on the food.
  • Squirrel-proof bird feeders: These feeders have mechanisms that prevent squirrels from getting to the birdseed. Although these feeders can keep squirrels away, they are no match for blue jays. They can still access the birdseed, leaving you with empty feeders and no birds.

Factors That Make Bird Feeders Vulnerable To Blue Jays

Now that we know which bird feeder styles are more susceptible to blue jays, it’s essential to understand the factors that make them vulnerable. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Perch size: The larger the perch, the more likely a blue jay can land on it and access the birdseed.
  • Food accessibility: Bird feeders that dispense large amounts of birdseed at once, such as tube feeders, are more attractive to blue jays because they can empty them quickly.
  • Location: Bird feeders installed too close to trees or shrubs provide cover for blue jays to launch their attacks on other birds. The same goes for birdhouses and bird baths. Make sure to place your bird feeders in a visible and open area, away from any surrounding objects.
  • Accessibility: Blue jays are intelligent birds and can easily learn how to open certain types of bird feeders. Avoid models with easy-to-open lids or those without any locks.

Overall, it’s essential to know your bird feeder design and the blue jays’ behavior in your area to prevent them from taking over. By choosing the right feeder, you can keep blue jays at bay and enjoy watching your feathered friends.

Proven Methods To Deter Blue Jays From Your Feeders

Blue jays are beautiful birds with their vibrant blue feathers, but they can be quite a nuisance for bird feeders. They are notorious for stealing food meant for smaller birds and can scare them away from feeders. However, there are several proven methods to deter blue jays from your feeders.

Let’s dive into some of these solutions.

Natural Deterrents

Natural deterrents are a humane and eco-friendly way to keep blue jays away. Here are some natural solutions:

  • Install bird feeders that are not appealing to blue jays. These can include tube feeders, mesh feeders, or suet feeders.
  • Keep feeders in areas where blue jays cannot reach them easily, such as under eaves or on poles with baffles.
  • Hang shiny objects close to the feeder, such as strips of aluminum foil or old cds. This can deter blue jays from approaching as they dislike the glare.
  • Plant trees and shrubs that blue jays find unappealing, such as dogwood or spruces.
  • Grow plants that blue jays dislike, such as lavender or marigolds.

Mechanical Solutions

Mechanical solutions are another effective way to deter blue jays. Here are some popular options:

  • Install wire cages over the feeder that only allow smaller birds entry while excluding blue jays.
  • Create a cage-like structure around the feeder with sticks and netting, making it difficult for blue jays to reach in.
  • Use bird feeders with weight-sensitive perches to close the feeding ports when a heavier bird, like a blue jay, lands on it.

Chemical Deterrents

While natural and mechanical solutions are great, some may prefer chemical deterrents. Here are some chemical solutions:

  • Use birdseed mixed with hot pepper, which blue jays dislike intensely. However, this solution can also discourage other birds.
  • Apply hot pepper sauce to birdseed or bird food as it makes it unappealing to blue jays.
  • Use citrus peelings or extracts around feeders. The smell of citrus can deter blue jays from the area.

Blue jays stealing food from bird feeders can be a frustrating experience, but there are several effective solutions to deter them. Natural, mechanical, and chemical deterrents can help you keep your feeders for smaller birds while discouraging the blue jays’ presence.

Best Practices For Bird Feeder Placement And Maintenance

Bird feeders are an excellent way to attract various bird species to your backyard, but unfortunately, they also tend to attract unwanted visitors such as squirrels, rodents, and blue jays. While many bird watchers appreciate blue jays’ striking blue feathers, they can be aggressive and disruptive at bird feeders.

Here are some best practices for bird feeder placement and maintenance to keep blue jays away.

Appropriate Placement For Optimal Bird Watching And Safety

  • Place bird feeders in an open space, at least ten feet away from any trees or bushes, to minimize squirrel access to bird feeders.
  • Keep the bird feeder close enough (within 30 feet) to bird-friendly coverage such as trees and bushes, to provide birds with coverage against predators.
  • If squirrels are a problem in your area, consider installing a squirrel-proof bird feeder, placing bird feeders on a pole, or using baffles to prevent them from climbing the pole.

How To Maintain And Keep Your Bird Feeder In Good Condition

  • Clean your bird feeders with soap and water regularly. Dirty bird feeders may attract sick birds, and germs can quickly spread to healthy birds and humans
  • Remove any wet or spoiled birdseed from the feeder to avoid mold growth.
  • Keep the bird feeder stocked with fresh seeds to keep the birds coming back to the feeder rather than scavenging for food in other areas.
  • Position the bird feeder away from any clutter and debris to avoid the attraction of unwanted guests such as mice and rats.

By following the above best practices for bird feeder placement and maintenance, you can minimize blue jay disruptions and maximize bird watching opportunities. Remember to clean and maintain your bird feeder regularly and position it appropriately for optimal bird safety and enjoyment.

Happy bird watching!

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Keep Blue Jays Away From Bird Feeders

How Do Blue Jays Affect Bird Feeders?

Blue jays are known to frighten away smaller birds, eat up all the bird feed, and cause damage to costly bird feeders. They can also attract larger predators to feeders, reducing the population of other birds that usually visit the feeders.

What Kind Of Feeders Do Blue Jays Avoid?

It is advisable to use feeders that are specifically designed to keep squirrels and jays away. Platform feeders and tube feeders with smaller feeding holes are a good option. You can also use safflower seeds, which jays find unappealing.

Is It Possible To Train Blue Jays To Stay Away From Feeders?

Yes, you can train blue jays to not visit feeders by using visual deterrents, such as shiny tapes, balloons, and replicas of predators, like owls and snakes. Additionally, loud sounds made by wind chimes and other similar objects can keep blue jays away from feeders.


As we come to the end of this article, it’s essential to remember that blue jays are beautiful creatures, and it’s essential to coexist with them peacefully. Despite their boisterous nature, they’re also intelligent and fascinating birds to watch. Hopefully, the tips we’ve discussed in this article will help you keep blue jays away from your bird feeders without harming them in any way.

We’ve seen that you can use a combination of visual and physical barriers, noise deterrents, and selective bird feeders to achieve this goal. Remember to stay consistent and patient, as it may take some time before these techniques bear fruit.

By taking these measures, you’ll be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of different birds in your backyard while maintaining a peaceful coexistence with the blue jays.

Md Atiqul Hakim

AtiQ's blog, "Wild Bird Lady," is a treasure trove of insights, tips, and captivating stories. Join him on a fascinating journey of exploration, discovery, and celebration of our avian neighbors through engaging articles and breathtaking photographs.

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