How To Keep Bluejays Away From Bird Feeder

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How to keep bluejays away from bird feeder – Blue jays are beautiful birds, but they can be a nuisance when they visit your bird feeders. If you’re tired of these feathered bullies stealing all the food, read on for our comprehensive guide on how to keep blue jays away from bird feeders.

From physical barriers to taste deterrents, we’ll cover all the effective methods to protect your bird feeders and keep your feathered friends happy.

Physical Barriers

Deter blue jays from accessing your bird feeders by implementing physical barriers that hinder their access or make it difficult for them to perch and feed.

Consider the following measures:

Weight-Activated Perches

  • Install bird feeders with weight-activated perches that close when a bird of a certain weight lands, preventing larger birds like blue jays from accessing the seed.

Slippery Poles

  • Wrap bird feeder poles with slippery materials like duct tape or petroleum jelly to make it difficult for blue jays to grip and perch.

Homemade Deterrents

  • Create homemade deterrents using household items such as aluminum foil, CDs, or pinwheels, which can be hung around the feeder to create visual and auditory distractions.

Commercial Devices

  • Purchase commercially available devices designed to prevent blue jays from accessing bird feeders, such as baffle systems or anti-perching spikes.

Visual Deterrents

Blue jays are intelligent birds that can quickly learn to avoid traditional deterrents. Visual deterrents exploit their fear of predators and unfamiliar objects to keep them away from bird feeders.

Reflective Surfaces

Blue jays are startled by their own reflections. Placing reflective surfaces, such as CDs, mirrors, or aluminum foil, around the bird feeder creates the illusion of a predator and scares them away.

Balloons, Streamers, and Pinwheels

These colorful and moving objects create a visual distraction that makes blue jays uncomfortable. Suspend balloons filled with helium or attach streamers and pinwheels to the bird feeder or nearby branches.

Owl Decoys and Fake Predators

Owl decoys or fake predators, such as plastic snakes or hawks, mimic natural predators of blue jays. Placing these decoys near the bird feeder can deter blue jays from approaching.

Taste Deterrents

How to keep bluejays away from bird feeder

Taste deterrents can effectively keep blue jays away from bird feeders. Blue jays have sensitive taste buds and avoid foods with strong, spicy flavors.

Hot Pepper or Cayenne Pepper

Hot pepper or cayenne pepper is a natural taste deterrent for blue jays. You can sprinkle ground hot pepper or cayenne pepper directly onto birdseed or suet. You can also create a homemade taste deterrent by mixing 1 teaspoon of hot pepper or cayenne pepper with 1 cup of water.

Apply the mixture to birdseed or suet using a spray bottle.

Commercial Taste Deterrents

There are also several commercial taste deterrents specifically designed to repel blue jays. These products typically contain capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers. Capsaicin irritates the taste buds of blue jays, causing them to avoid the treated food.

Other Methods: How To Keep Bluejays Away From Bird Feeder

Beyond physical barriers, visual deterrents, and taste deterrents, there are several additional methods you can explore to keep blue jays away from your bird feeders.

These alternative approaches involve using sound deterrents or motion-activated sprinklers, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Sound Deterrents

Sound deterrents emit high-pitched or ultrasonic sounds that are unpleasant to blue jays and other birds. These devices can be effective in deterring birds from approaching the feeder area.

  • Pros:Non-lethal and relatively easy to use. Can cover a wide area.
  • Cons:Can be annoying to humans and other pets. May not be effective against all birds.
  • Implementation:Place the sound deterrent near the bird feeder and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for activation and range.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-activated sprinklers release a burst of water when they detect movement. This can startle and deter birds from approaching the feeder.

  • Pros:Humane and effective deterrent. Can also water plants.
  • Cons:Requires a water source and may not be suitable for all locations. Can be ineffective in windy conditions.
  • Implementation:Position the sprinkler near the bird feeder and adjust the range and sensitivity settings to target birds without spraying humans or pets.

Bird Feeder Placement

How to keep bluejays away from bird feeder

Strategic bird feeder placement is crucial in deterring blue jays. By choosing appropriate locations, you can make bird feeders less accessible and less attractive to these opportunistic birds.

Height and Visibility, How to keep bluejays away from bird feeder

  • Hang bird feeders at least 6 feet above the ground to make them less accessible to blue jays.
  • Place feeders in open areas with clear visibility, as blue jays prefer covered or secluded spots.

Proximity to Cover

  • Avoid placing bird feeders near trees, shrubs, or other structures that provide cover for blue jays.
  • If possible, position feeders in areas where there is minimal overhead cover, making it difficult for blue jays to swoop down and access the food.

Making Feeders Less Accessible

  • Use bird feeders with small perches or no perches at all, as blue jays have difficulty balancing on narrow surfaces.
  • Choose feeders with squirrel-proof designs, which often incorporate weight-activated closures or baffles to prevent large birds like blue jays from accessing the food.
  • Consider using hanging feeders that swing or sway in the wind, making it more challenging for blue jays to land and feed.

Bird Seed Selection

Selecting the right bird seed can play a crucial role in deterring blue jays from your bird feeder. Blue jays have a preference for larger, oil-rich seeds like sunflower seeds and peanuts. By offering alternative seed mixes that cater to smaller birds, you can make your bird feeder less appealing to these larger, aggressive birds.

Some bird seed types that are less attractive to blue jays include:

  • Safflower seeds: These seeds have a bitter taste that blue jays dislike.
  • Nyjer seeds: These tiny seeds are a favorite of smaller birds like goldfinches and chickadees, but blue jays find them difficult to eat.
  • Millet: This seed is a good choice for ground-feeding birds and is not typically favored by blue jays.

Consider offering a blend of these seeds or creating a custom mix that includes these less desirable options. By making your bird feeder less appealing to blue jays, you can encourage smaller birds to visit and enjoy your backyard sanctuary.

Natural Predators

Blue jays have a natural fear of predators, such as hawks and owls. By attracting these predators to your backyard, you can deter blue jays from visiting your bird feeders. However, it’s important to approach this method cautiously and consider the potential risks and ethical concerns.

One way to attract hawks and owls is to provide them with nesting boxes. These boxes should be placed high up in trees, away from potential disturbances. You can also attract predators by providing them with a water source, such as a birdbath or pond.

Ethical Considerations

While introducing natural predators can be an effective way to keep blue jays away from bird feeders, it’s important to consider the ethical implications. Predators can pose a threat to other wildlife, such as small birds and mammals. It’s crucial to weigh the potential benefits of predator introduction against the risks to other species.