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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How Rude


Woa, Blue Jay being rude to Mr. Cardinal during the snow storm. That's why we have multiple feeders placed at several spots around our property. Mr. Cardinal went to another feeder that was minus Blue Jays. There is inter- and intra-species aggression at feeders, especially when there is severe weather and more birds depend on the feeders. It's serious business for them.

Blue Jays are a mixed bag. We think they're quite handsome, but yes, they can drive other birds away from feeders, although not all the time. On the plus side, Blue Jays are some of the first to warn of a Sharp-shinned Hawk approaching, which benefits other species of feeder birds.

About strange things Blue Jays do:

- I just heard a Blue Jay giving a Broad-winged Hawk call as it approached the feeders. I know it was no Broad-winged Hawk, as any Broadwing in it's right mind is still in South American right now. We have heard jays do this many times, not just imitating Broad-winged Hawk calls, but the calls of other hawks as well.

- Blue Jays are eating paint off of our house. Every time I try and get a photo of it, they fly away. Yes, that is very strange, but we have heard of this before, a long time ago in Massachusetts when we lived there. Have you every heard of this?

12 comments:

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I am thankful we can't hear the words that Jay is using.He looks a might upset,but it is so funny.
Blessings,Ruth

Montanagirl said...

I had never heard of that! How interesting. Great Blue Jay/Cardinals photos by the way.

MaineBirder said...

Never heard of Blue Jays eating paint chips, very strange.

I have seen Cardinals run off Blue Jays from our feeders.

northern birder said...

Yes, I have heard of Blue Jays eating the paint off a railing around a deck. It became quite a problem as more and more came to peck at the paint. I have always wondered what it did to the Blue Jays. The home owners could not stop them.

Animal Guy said...

Interesting about blue jays eating paint. I had never heard about this before. A quick google search brought up this link What Are Those Jays Eating? explaining this behavior.

Heron said...

Once, at Seney NWR (Michigan UP), I spent about 20 minutes looking and looking in vain for the calling Red-shouldered Hawk.
Yes, it was a Blue Jay ! Yes, I was really embarrassed.

Connie said...

Animal guy, I just finished reading your link and really enjoyed the info. I live in WA state and seldom have blue jays in my yard. So, when I do, I think they are so pretty!

Cam said...

Wonderful photos! And I believe I've seen Bluejays eat painted wood before.

Bill Bodden said...

Speaking of odd eating habits: Birding in Wisconsin two springs ago, my brother and I saw a Blue Jay with a bloody mouse. We weren't sure if it had actually killed the mouse, but the Blue Jay certainly had no qualms about eating it.
I wonder if you have similar observations of more omnivorous songbirds supplementing their diet with extra protein like this? We were well aware of Blue Jays' penchant for other birds' eggs and chicks, but a mouse seems like a big step further into unusual feeding habits.

Bill Bodden

Lillian and Don Stokes said...

Bill,
Common Grackles are know, on rare occassions, to kill and eat adult songbirds, also to peck and kill mice that have been disturbed by farmer's plows. They also eat frogs, fish, eggs, young birds, insects and salamanders, as well as seeds and grain.

normana53 said...

We have two very aggressive Anna's Hummers in our yard, one has the front staked out, the other owns our backyard. Neither one will let any other hummers near or multiple feeders. On the other hand, the cooperation of Bushtits always amazes us. On cold winter days we will often have between forty and sixty Bushtits sharing three suet feeders. So many that you can't even see the feeders.
Thanks for your posts, they make me smile!

Anonymous said...

blue jays eat the paint off of my house too!