Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blue Jays

I was asked politely by e-mail, how many more posts I was going to do about my bird feeding activities. I assumed they were referring to the short term and my response was one. This is it. I had to talk a little bit about the Blue Jays before moving on. After all, I did name my property Blue Jay Barrens and I chose that name because Blue Jays and Barrens were two things I could walk out and see every day.

Blue Jays take a lot of seeds and they always seem to be assessing the merits of one seed over another. They spend a lot of time cocking their heads to get the best angle on the seed or flipping the seeds over to check the other side.

A Blue Jay comes in with landing gear down and tail flared. This might appear as though he is standing in the snow, but he’s actually a foot in the air and about to land just behind that middle jay. Blue Jays spend a lot of their feeding time in landing and taking off.

When people see all of these Blue Jays, they usually comment on the Jay’s aggressive behavior. In all the years I’ve been feeding here, I’ve never seen a Blue Jay act aggressively toward any other species.

Large groups of feeding Blue Jays are really beautiful. One year, when an ice storm put a crust on a deep layer of snow, I had a group of about 35 Blue Jays all on the ground at once. It was spectacular.


  1. I love our Blue Jays. They can brighten a dull gray Ohio winter's day as well as a Norther Cardinal. I love to watch them gather sunflower seeds and peanuts. I'd like to see more shots of your Blue Jays!! Your first shot is just beautiful, and I liked your feeding station series. I just read through it. Had to laugh at the red "stain."

  2. I have seen blue jays act aggressively toward another species--Homo sapiens.

    A saw a child pick up a blue jay nestling that had fallen out of the nest. The blue jays divebombed him until he put the chick down.

  3. Hi, Mark. I would consider the Blue Jay’s actions to be civilized. I could also become very aggressive if a stranger grabbed one of my kids.