How To Keep Bluejays Away From Bird Feeder

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Susan Levitt

If you’re an avid bird watcher, bluejays can be both a delight and a nuisance. These intelligent birds are known for their striking blue plumage and distinctive calls, but they can also dominate feeders and scare away other species of birds. If you’re looking to keep bluejays at bay while still enjoying the beauty of your feathered friends, there are several strategies that experts recommend.

Firstly, it’s important to understand why bluejays might be attracted to your feeder in the first place. Bluejays are omnivores and will eat a wide variety of foods, including seeds, nuts, insects, fruits, and even small animals like mice or frogs. They’re also highly social creatures who may congregate around feeders with large amounts of food available. With this knowledge in mind, let’s explore some effective ways to discourage these raucous visitors from overtaking your feeder area.

Understanding Bluejay Behavior

Did you know that bluejays are highly intelligent birds with intricate communication methods? They have a complex language consisting of various calls and mimicry, which they use to express their emotions and convey information. Bluejay communication is so advanced that they can even imitate the sounds made by other animals such as hawks or cats to alert others in their flock about potential danger.

One interesting fact about bluejays is their territorial behavior. They fiercely defend their territory from any perceived threats, including other birds and humans. This aggressive behavior has earned them a reputation for being bullies at bird feeders, where they often scare away smaller birds like chickadees and finches.

Understanding this behavior is crucial when it comes to keeping bluejays away from your bird feeder. By choosing the right type of feeder and placing it strategically, you can discourage these birds from dominating the feeding area while still providing food for other species.

When selecting a feeder, opt for one with small perches or no perches at all since bluejays prefer larger landing areas. You can also try using baffles or cages around the feeder to make it more difficult for them to access the seeds. With some careful planning and knowledge of bluejay behavior, you can create an inviting space for a variety of feathered friends without worrying about bullying visitors.

Choosing The Right Feeder Type

Understanding the behavior of bluejays is crucial in keeping them away from your bird feeder. Bluejays are known for their aggressive and territorial nature, often scaring other birds away from a feeding area. They also have a strong preference for high-fat foods like sunflower seeds, which can make it challenging to keep them at bay.

Choosing the right type of feeder is another essential aspect to consider when trying to deter bluejays. Tube feeders with smaller perches or Squirrel-proof feeders may be effective since they limit access to larger birds like jays while still allowing smaller birds access. However, using these types of feeders has its pros and cons. On one hand, tube feeders reduce waste by limiting spillage and protect food against rain exposure; on the other hand, they require more frequent refilling than hopper-style feeders.

Feeder placement is also an important factor in deterring bluejays from taking over your bird feeder. Placing your feeder near trees or bushes provides cover for small birds but also attracts predators that might scare off all species of birds around the area. In contrast, placing a feeder out in the open leaves little room for hiding spots but makes it much harder for squirrels and large birds like bluejays to surprise attack any visitors.

Instead of using sunflower seeds in your birdfeeder, try switching to safflower seeds. While safflower seeds aren’t as popular among all bird species due to their slightly bitter taste profile, many songbirds including cardinals and finches enjoy them just as much as sunflowers without attracting dominant species such as pigeons or grackles that tend towards large size snacks like peanuts and corn kernels instead!

Using Safflower Seeds Instead Of Sunflower Seeds

I’ve found that using safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds is a great way to deter bluejays from visiting your bird feeder. Safflower seeds have a tougher shell than sunflower seeds, making them less accessible to bluejays. They also have an unappealing taste which helps keep the bluejays away. On the other hand, sunflower seeds are tasty and easier to crack, so they attract bluejays. As a result, I highly recommend using safflower seeds as a bird deterrent. They are more expensive than sunflower seeds, but they are worth the extra cost to keep the bluejays away.

Safflower Seeds

Imagine watching a group of feathered friends converge at your bird feeder, chirping and fluttering their wings in delight. But wait, what’s that? A mischievous blue jay swoops in and scares away all the other birds just to hog the feed! If you’re tired of dealing with aggressive blue jays at your bird feeder, consider using safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds.

As a wild bird expert, I highly recommend trying out safflower seeds as an alternative birdseed option. Not only do they provide a tasty treat for many types of birds, but safflower seed benefits extend beyond mere enjoyment for our avian friends. Unlike sunflower seeds which attract squirrels and other unwanted pests, safflower seeds are less appealing to these creatures. This means that by switching to safflower seeds, you can discourage pesky critters from raiding your feeder.

But there’s more! Safflower seeds also have another advantage over traditional sunflower seeds: their high oil content is excellent for nourishing birds’ feathers and promoting healthy growth. With this nutritious food source available at your backyard feeder, you’ll be able to observe beautiful plumage on display throughout the year.

In conclusion to my recommendation about using safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds – while it may take some time for certain species to warm up to the new taste – making the switch will ultimately benefit both you and your feathered friends. So why not give it a try? You might just find yourself enjoying even more diverse visitors at your feeder than before!

Sunflower Seeds

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of using safflower seeds at your bird feeder, let’s take a closer look at why sunflower seeds might not be the best choice. While growing sunflowers in your backyard can provide a beautiful sight and delicious snack for humans, it’s important to note that these seeds are also very popular among birds. This includes blue jays, who have been known to devour entire feeders full of sunflower seeds with no regard for other feathered friends.

Furthermore, while sunflower seeds may seem like an easy and inexpensive option for feeding birds, they can actually attract unwanted pests such as squirrels and raccoons. These animals will stop at nothing to get their paws on some tasty sunflower seeds, which could lead to damage or destruction of your feeder.

It’s also worth mentioning that relying solely on one type of seed – such as sunflower – can limit the variety of bird species you see visiting your feeder. By switching things up with different types of seed, including safflower, you’ll likely attract new and diverse visitors to your backyard.

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Overall, while there are certainly advantages to using sunflower seeds as bird feed, it’s important to consider potential downsides as well. For those looking to discourage aggressive blue jays and pesky critters from raiding their feeders while still providing a nutritious food source for birds’ feathers and promoting healthy growth- making the switch to safflower is definitely worth considering!

Bird Deterrent

If you’re looking for a way to prevent unwanted birds and pests from raiding your bird feeder, safflower seeds may be the answer. These small white seeds are not as popular among certain species of birds – such as blue jays – which means they are less likely to dominate feeders and scare off other feathered visitors.

In addition to being a natural deterrent against aggressive birds, there are also visual deterrents and natural repellents that can help keep pesky critters away from your feeder. Visual deterrents include items like reflective tape or shiny objects that will catch their attention and deter them from approaching. Natural repellents can come in the form of essential oils or spices with strong scents, such as peppermint or cayenne pepper.

Using safflower seeds instead of sunflower is just one step towards creating an environment that encourages diversity when it comes to the types of birds visiting your backyard. By incorporating different seed varieties into your feeder, you’ll attract new and exciting species while still providing nutritious food sources for all feathered friends who stop by.

Overall, if you want to promote healthy growth- making the switch to safflower and adding some visual deterrents or natural repellents could be just what you need to create a welcoming space for birds without attracting unwanted guests. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to becoming a pro at feeding wild birds!

Providing Food In Multiple Locations

Feeding feathered friends can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it’s important to remember that not all birds get along. If you’re having trouble keeping blue jays away from your bird feeder, consider providing food in multiple locations. This will allow different species of birds to have their own feeding areas without territorial conflicts.

When selecting the location for each feeding station, keep in mind that some birds prefer more privacy than others. For example, ground-feeding birds like sparrows and doves tend to stay close to shrubs or bushes where they can take cover if needed. In contrast, perching birds such as finches and chickadees enjoy open spaces with plenty of nearby branches for quick escapes.

Seed variety selection is also crucial when setting up multiple feeding stations. Different types of seeds attract different species of birds, so it’s best to offer a variety of options to accommodate everyone’s preferences. Black oil sunflower seeds are a popular choice among many backyard birds, while millet is preferred by ground feeders like mourning doves.

Providing food in multiple locations not only helps reduce territorial disputes between birds, but it also allows you to observe a wider range of avian activity in your yard. So why stick to just one feeder? Give your feathered neighbors the gift of choice by providing them with various feeding stations throughout your property.

To further discourage pesky blue jays from monopolizing the food supply at any given location, consider installing a baffle or barrier around certain feeders. This additional step can prevent larger birds from reaching into small openings and stealing seed meant for smaller species.

Installing A Baffle Or Barrier

When it comes to keeping bluejays away from your bird feeder, installing a baffle or barrier is an effective solution. A DIY baffle can be made using various materials such as PVC pipes, stovepipes, and metal sheets. These designs work by creating a physical obstacle that prevents the birds from accessing the feeder. Be sure to position the baffle at least 4-5 feet above the ground and several inches below the feeder.

If you prefer not to construct your own baffle, there are also alternative barrier options available on the market. Some popular choices include dome-shaped squirrel baffles and cage-style feeders with small openings designed for smaller birds to access but keep larger species like jays out. While these may come at a higher cost than DIY solutions, they offer convenience and durability.

It’s important to note that while barriers can be effective in deterring bluejays from feeding at your station, they won’t necessarily prevent them from visiting altogether. Consider pairing this strategy with other methods such as noise or visual deterrents for maximum effectiveness.

By incorporating a well-placed baffle or barrier around your bird feeder, you’ll create a defense against pesky bluejays looking for an easy meal. Whether opting for DIY designs or alternative options, make sure to choose one that matches your needs and budget best before implementing it into your backyard habitat.

Using Noise Or Visual Deterrents

Now that you have installed a baffle or barrier around your bird feeder, it’s time to explore other ways of keeping bluejays away. One option is using noise or visual deterrents. These can be effective in deterring birds from approaching the feeder and disrupting their feeding behavior.

Ultrasonic devices emit high-frequency sounds that are uncomfortable for birds and will drive them away. They are easy to install and operate silently, making them ideal for residential areas where loud noises may not be tolerated. However, keep in mind that these devices may also affect other desirable bird species, so use them with caution.

Another effective method is hanging reflective strips around the feeder area. The shimmering light reflected off these strips scares birds by creating an illusion of movement, which makes them think there might be predators nearby. This technique has been proven successful in reducing bluejay activity near feeders without affecting other bird species.

It’s essential to remember that while these methods work well in repelling unwanted visitors from your bird feeder, they do not solve the root cause of why certain birds like bluejays find it attractive. Creating a bluejay-friendly area away from the feeder can help reduce their aggression towards other birds and encourage natural feeding behaviors within their own habitat.

By providing suitable food sources such as nuts, berries, insects, and water features away from the main feeding station, you can create a more balanced environment for all bird species to thrive together peacefully. Additionally, adding nesting boxes specifically designed for bluejays provides shelter during breeding seasons and encourages their presence in designated areas instead of crowding at feeders.

In conclusion, using ultrasonic devices or reflective strips are practical solutions when dealing with aggressive birds like bluejays at your feeder station. However, it’s important to understand that managing wildlife requires long-term planning and commitment to creating sustainable habitats for all beneficial animals present in our backyards.

Creating A Bluejay-Friendly Area Away From The Feeder

If you want to keep bluejays away from your bird feeder, consider creating a separate area for them to enjoy. Planting trees that bear fruit is an excellent way to attract these birds and give them their own feeding spot. Oaks, hickories, and serviceberries are all popular choices because they provide food in different seasons.

Another option is water feature installation. Bluejays love to bathe and drink water, so installing a birdbath or small pond can be very effective. Make sure the water is clean and fresh by changing it regularly since dirty water can attract unwanted pests such as mosquitoes.

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In addition to providing food and water, make sure there are plenty of places for bluejays to perch and rest. This can be accomplished by planting shrubs or adding some birdhouses around your yard. In general, the more natural habitat available, the less likely bluejays will feel the need to visit your feeder.

By taking these steps, you’ll not only create a welcoming environment for bluejays but also help promote biodiversity in your backyard ecosystem.

Remember: being patient and consistent in your approach is key when trying to redirect bird behavior. Keep monitoring their habits and adjust accordingly until you find what works best for both you and your feathered friends.

Being Patient And Consistent In Your Approach

Have you ever tried to catch a wild bird? It’s not easy, and it requires patience and consistency. In the same way, keeping bluejays away from your bird feeder is an ongoing process that takes time and effort.

Developing strategies is key in deterring these pesky birds. One effective method is to place a physical barrier around the feeder, such as chicken wire or mesh netting. Another strategy is to use feeders with weight-activated perches that close off access to food when heavier birds like bluejays land on them.

When implementing new methods, it’s important to be patient and consistent. Bluejays are smart and adaptable creatures, so they may initially find ways to overcome barriers or avoid certain types of feeders. However, by consistently using deterrents and adjusting methods as needed, over time you can successfully train bluejays to stay away from your feeder.

Remember that success doesn’t happen overnight – it takes persistence and dedication. By being patient and consistent in your approach, you’ll eventually see results. With continued effort and experimentation with different techniques, you can create a backyard oasis for other feathered friends without interference from those clever blue jays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Fake Owl Or Hawk To Scare Away Bluejays?

As a wildlife biologist, I highly recommend using decoys as an effective deterrent against pesky birds like bluejays. A fake owl or hawk can be strategically placed near the bird feeder to create the illusion of a predator and scare them off. Additionally, audible deterrents such as wind chimes or motion-activated alarms can also discourage birds from approaching your feeder. Relocation methods may also be necessary in extreme cases where birds have become too comfortable in your yard. Lastly, it’s important to consider bird feeder placement strategy by positioning it away from trees or other objects that could provide cover for potential predators. By implementing these tactics, you can successfully keep unwanted visitors away from your bird feeders while still attracting beautiful songbirds to enjoy.

Will Covering My Bird Feeder With A Mesh Or Netting Help Keep Bluejays Away?

Bird feeder alternatives are a wise choice for those who wish to prevent bluejays from feasting on their bird food. Bluejays, known for their voracious appetites and bold nature, can easily dominate any feeding station they encounter. A mesh or netting covering over your bird feeder is an effective solution to keep these birds at bay while still providing sustenance to other winged visitors. The mesh allows access only to smaller species of birds, making it difficult for the larger and more aggressive bluejays to reach the food inside. As a wild bird expert, I recommend exploring different options when it comes to bird feeders in order to find one that works best for you and the wildlife around you.

Are There Any Specific Plants Or Trees That Bluejays Dislike That I Can Plant In My Yard?

As a wildlife biologist, I often hear about the Plants vs. Birds dilemma when it comes to landscaping solutions for bird enthusiasts. While there are no specific plants or trees that bluejays dislike, there are some general tips on how to create an environment that is less attractive to them. Bluejays tend to prefer open areas with few obstacles and plenty of sunlight, so planting dense shrubs or tall grasses can make your yard less inviting. Additionally, providing alternative food sources such as suet feeders can help divert their attention away from your bird feeder. Remember, creating a balanced ecosystem in your yard is key to attracting a variety of birds while keeping unwanted visitors at bay.

Is It Possible To Train Bluejays To Not Visit My Bird Feeder?

To modify bird behavior, particularly that of bluejays, it is important to understand their natural tendencies and respond accordingly. While there are no specific techniques for training bluejays to stay away from feeders, repellent methods can be effective. One such technique involves using visual deterrents like shiny objects or fake predators to scare the birds away. Another option is to use a sound-based repellant like wind chimes or recordings of predator calls. It’s worth noting that these methods may not work for all bluejays as some individuals may become accustomed to them over time. Ultimately, patience and persistence are key when attempting to deter unwanted bird behavior around your feeder.

Are There Any Natural Predators Of Bluejays That I Can Attract To My Yard?

Attracting predators to your yard can be an effective way to keep bluejays away from your bird feeder. Natural repellents, such as birds of prey and snakes, are great options for controlling the population of these pesky birds. By creating a habitat that is conducive to the needs of natural predators, you can encourage them to visit your yard. Adding perching areas or nest boxes may lure in hawks or owls while rocks or logs can attract snakes. Keep in mind that attracting predators also means accepting the risks associated with having wild animals around your home. It’s important to research which species are native to your area and how best to coexist with them before taking any action.


In conclusion, keeping bluejays away from your bird feeder requires a combination of strategies. While using fake predators like owls or hawks may work temporarily, they will eventually catch on and realize it is not a real threat. Covering the feeder with mesh or netting can be effective as long as there are no holes or gaps for the birds to squeeze through.

Planting certain trees like cedar or juniper may deter bluejays due to their strong scent, but training them not to visit your feeder is unlikely. Attracting natural predators such as hawks or cats could help keep bluejays at bay, but this method should be approached with caution and only under proper supervision.

As a wild bird expert, I suggest experimenting with different methods until you find what works best for your situation. Remember that while bluejays can be pesky at times, they are also an important part of our ecosystem and should be treated with respect and care. So go ahead and try out those mesh covers and plant some new trees in your yard – just remember to watch out for any sneaky jays trying to steal a snack!

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