Don't Put This Nut In Your Bird Feeder If You Want To Keep Blue Jays Away

There's nothing more frustrating than finally getting your bird feeder set up just right in a cozy place to sit and watch your birds, only to have a blue jay repeatedly chase them away. blue jays, while beautiful, have earned a well-deserved reputation as the bullies of the garden. Dealing with a jay problem can be frustrating as they aren't picky eaters — they go after just about any type of feed. They are especially fond of peanuts and will do just about anything to get their beaks on them, so keep them out of your bird feeder if you want to keep the blue jays away.

Blue jays are highly territorial, so once they've found a food source, they will likely stay and protect it from other birds. What's more, they mate for life, so if you have one blue jay messing with your birds, chances are you have two. Additionally, jays are some of the most intelligent birds around, so rigging a blue jay-proof feeder often proves to be an exercise in futility. Below, we cover everything you need to know to keep blue jays out of your feeder and yard.

Common deterrents

If blue jays are acting aggressively around your bird feeder, you have a few options. Blue jays hate loud noises, so you can always try to scare them away. In rare cases, hanging large wind chimes near your feeder can be enough to chase them off. However, it's usually something more intense, like timed (and loud) music, that does the trick.

Additionally, you can stock your feeder with nyjer thistle seed and nothing else. It is one of the few foods jays can't stand. A thistle seed feeder isn't for every bird, so it might turn some birds off your yard, but it will be a magnet for finches, morning doves, and song sparrows. Of course, you might want to avoid blasting loud music or turning off other birds from your yard, all in the name of scaring off a few jays. If that's the case, consider buying a plastic owl to place near your feeder. Owls are natural predators of jays and can scare them right off. A bonus? Ceramic owls will also keep larger predators like rats and raccoons out of your feeders.

Trick your jays with peanuts

If you want a nicer soluition to keeping jays away, you can try using their affinity for peanuts against them. Remember that blue jays are categorically not picky eaters — they will eat just about any bird seed, as well as nuts, fruits, and even bugs and frogs. Bearing this in mind, one way to rid your bird feeder of aggressive jays is to distract them with their favorite tasty treat: peanuts. 

You may be asking yourself, "Wait, aren't we trying to get rid of the blue jays?" The answer is yes, and here is the genius part: Blue bays love peanuts so much that they will do almost anything to get to them. The trick is to stock a separate feeder with peanuts in the shell. And because the shell needs to be cracked open for the jay to enjoy the tasty treats inside, they'll grab one and fly off to get to work. Keep your peanut feeder at some distance with a handful of peanuts just for the jays. The jays will be so excited — and distracted — by their absolute favorite food that they'll completely forget to bother the other birds in your yard and stay at a distance with their nuts.