are blue jays bully birds

One of the most common backyard-bird species is the Blue Jay. These bright and flashy birds are commonly seen throughout the central and eastern United States, and some southern regions of Canada. With their loud and alarming calls, they make their presence known to any human and wildlife around them. Blue Jays are seen at all of New Hampshire’s State Parks, and up at Umbagog Lake State Park, there is a particular flock that calls this place home.

If you have ever been to Umbagog Lake State Park, you may know it’s noisiest and nosiest visitors. The lake is home to 8 Blue Jays that are a part of a residential flock (July 2023). During the winter some of the flock may migrate towards the coast. Blue Jays sometimes migrate in larger flocks, but it isn’t uncommon for the same Blue Jays to stay year-round especially as adults. It is more common to see juveniles migrate. When it warms up the Blue Jays that have left may return or leave for a new home.

The Blue Jays are up with the morning sun making a ton of unique calls just like other corvids (crows, jays and magpies). They often make a “jay! jay!” call, but can do a variety of calls. They can even do a Red-Shouldered Hawk imitation to trick other animals in thinking a hawk is in the area. This is all done to ward off other birds in their territory. A blue jay feeding young in a nest

Blue Jays are known for being very territorial. Blue Jays will often drive off intruders in order to defend their nest and resources. They will put up the feathers on top of their head or the crest to appear more intimidating. Around their own nests Blue Jays will be much more subtile and quiet. This makes it more challenging for a predator like a crow, eagle, or hawk to find the nest. Blue Jays will also lower their crest on the top of their heads when around their family and nest. The nesting pair of Blue Jays are extremely devoted to their nestling. Blue Jays nest in the notches of trees or in branches. This makes the nest easier to defend and is more protected from the elements.

So, are Blue Jays bullies? It really depends on your point of view. To another bird species the Blue Jay is your competition that may bully you out of your next meal. To a nestling your family group is your most loyal defender. Every human has their own perception too. Personally, I think they’re the helicopter parents of the bird world.

Next time you are in the Great North Woods, or any New Hampshire State Park, keep a look out for these beautiful birds. There are even opportunities to find traces of them like this feather found by a young visitor at Umbagog Lake State Park. Just remember to leave it behind for the next visitor to enjoy.

Tips to Get Rid of Blue Jays

are blue jays bully birds

The answer to the question, “Are the Blue Jays bullies?” is really subjective. The Blue Jay represents a rival bird species that could intimidate you and prevent you from obtaining your next meal. Your family group is your most devoted ally when it comes to a nestling. Every human has their own perception too. In my opinion, they are the helicopter parents of the world of birds.

The Blue Jay is among the most prevalent backyard bird species. In the central and eastern United States as well as certain southern regions of Canada, one can frequently spot these vivid and flamboyant birds. They alert any nearby humans and wildlife to their presence with their piercing, frightening calls. All of the state parks in New Hampshire are home to blue jays, but up at Umbagog Lake State Park, a specific flock makes this place its home.

Blue Jays are known for being very territorial. Frequently, blue jays will chase away trespassers to protect their nest and food sources. To appear more menacing, they will raise their crest or crown of feathers. Blue Jays are much more subdued and silent when they are near their own nests. This complicates the task of a hawk, eagle, or crow finding the nest for a predator. When in the vicinity of their family and nest, blue jays will also comb over their crowns. The Blue Jay pair that is nesting is very attached to their young. Blue Jays build their nests in tree nooks and branches. Because of this, the nest is better shielded from the weather and easier to defend.

Like other corvids, the blue jays are up early and producing a variety of distinct calls (crows, jays, and magpies) They can make a variety of calls, but they frequently make the “jay! jay!” call. They can even imitate the Red-Shouldered Hawk to fool other animals into believing one is nearby. All of this is done to keep other birds out of their territory. A blue jay feeding young in a nest.

Next time you are in the Great North Woods, or any New Hampshire State Park, keep a look out for these beautiful birds. There are even opportunities to find traces of them like this feather found by a young visitor at Umbagog Lake State Park. Just remember to leave it behind for the next visitor to enjoy.

FAQ

Are blue jays aggressive to other birds?

It typically gleans food from trees, shrubs, and the ground, and sometimes hawks insects from the air. Blue jays can be very aggressive to other birds; they sometimes raid nests and have even been found to have decapitated other birds. It builds an open cup nest in the branches of a tree; both sexes participate.

Do blue jays mock other birds?

Although not as talented a mimic as Northern Mockingbird or Gray Catbird, a Blue Jay can produce a convincing imitation of Red-shouldered Hawk and Red-tailed Hawk, confusing many a birdwatcher. Blue Jays are known to imitate a variety of other bird species, including the Bald Eagle and Eastern Screech-Owl.

Are blue jays or cardinals aggressive?

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.

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.