are blue jay birds aggressive

Dont let their beauty or fact that they have a baseball team named after them deter you from thinking blue jay birds arent a bunch of airborne jerks. They may be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but sometimes it seems other birds are the ones who need protection from mean blue jays. Dive bombing, stealing food, and even eating their victims babies are just a few of the intimidation tactics from the spooky smart blue jays.

Blue jays can be found east of the Rocky Mountains throughout North America and have commonly been spotted living near cities. They are related to crows and ravens and other genius corvid birds who have amazing intelligence and abilities. Blue jays may not hold court like crows, but they can mimic the cries of hawks, use tools, and work together in groups. If youve ever witnessed a blue jay going after another bird or even a human, you may have wondered “why are blue jays aggressive?” Heres a look at whats up with these blue jay jerks.

They are quite smart

Blue jays belong to the Corvidae family of birds, which are considered to be among the most intelligent birds in the world, according to National Geographic. The Corvidae, or corvid, family includes ravens, crows, jays and magpies. Of these, ravens and crows are particularly noted for their intelligence. Blue jays, though, are pretty smart as well.

According to Cornell Lab, blue jays in particular are renowned for being extremely gregarious birds that form close social bonds. Because of the variable black markings on other birds’ faces, heads, and throats, it is believed that blue jays can distinguish other members of their species.

They are able to exchange vocalizations and body language with other blue jays. In particular, their crest serves as a helpful signal to other birds. Its descent indicates a low level of aggression in the bird. The degree of aggression in birds increases with elevation along the crest. Blue jays always have raised crests when they squawk, indicating a high level of aggression. Blue jays use a variety of other vocalizations in addition to squawking to communicate with other birds.

They are also good mimics, particularly of hawk species like the red-tailed hawk and red-shouldered hawk. Scientists arent entirely sure why they do this, but they believe it may be an attempt to warn other nearby jays of hawks in the area or to try to fool other bird species into thinking hawks are in the vicinity, Nature Canada reports. Captive blue jays are even better mimics and have learned to imitate a cats meow and even human speech.

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They are known to collect paint chips

This may seem strange, but it is well known that blue jays occasionally chip away at light-colored paint and then accumulate paint chips, according to Nature Canada. Why? Because they need the calcium in the spring to lay eggs, they use the paint chips as a source of the mineral. One common ingredient in paint is limestone, which is a good source of calcium.

This unusual behavior seems to be most common in the northeastern United States. Researchers believe this is likely because acid rain is most prevalent in this area of the country, and the acid depletes the calcium normally found in soil, according to the Cornell Labs Project FeederWatch.

Try giving blue jays another source of calcium if they’re ruining the paint on your home. Project FeederWatch recommends leaving out a supply of crushed eggshells. Prior to using them, make sure to sterilize them by boiling or baking them for 20 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Not just squirrels rank acorns at the top of their list of favored foods. According to Cornell Lab, blue jays are likely a regular sight in your yard if there are oak trees nearby. This is because blue jays also enjoy eating acorns. In actuality, planting oak trees is a good way to attract blue jays.

According to Cornell Lab, blue jays’ preference for acorns contributed to the spread of oak forests across the continent at the end of the last ice age. Their reforestation efforts work similarly to squirrels. Similar to squirrels, blue jays store acorns for later use, but they don’t go back to retrieve all the nuts that have been buried. These left-behind acorns then sometimes grow into oak trees.

When blue jays stash away acorns for later, they tend to store only the healthiest of nuts, according to Woods & Waters Land Trust. They typically fly far from where they found the acorn to stash it away in a forest opening. When those nuts go unclaimed and grow into oak trees, it helps expand forests, fill in forest openings or connect forested areas to one another.


Are blue jays friendly to humans?

There are many bird species that can be found in North America, but two of the most common are the Blue Jay and the Mockingbird. Both of these birds are known for their aggressive behavior, but which one is more dangerous to people? Mockingbirds are more likely to attack people than blue jays.

How do you deal with an aggressive Blue Jay?

Provide the Blue Jays with their own feeder, far from the other birds’ feeder, supplied not with seed but with cheap cat kibble. Any other birds that like cat kibble as much as Blue Jays do are going to be equally aggressive.

Are blue jays good to have around?

By caching nuts in the ground, blue jays helped spread these nut-bearing trees northward at the end of the Ice Age. This act clearly benefited numerous species of wildlife. Today, blue jays continue to move oaks around, linking stand to stand. As backyard birds go, blue jays are highly intelligent and resourceful.

Are blue jays aggressive to cardinals?

Blue jays are known to kill and eat smaller birds, especially nestlings or fledglings. They probably wouldn’t take on a full grown cardinal unless they were desperately hungry, but cardinals still need to be wary of them.