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jims

Blue jays

22 posts in this topic

I have several blue jays that show up at my bird bath each morning and evening.  I bought a wreath peanut feeder but they don't seem to want anything to do with it?  I started off hanging it from a pole.  I even place it in the tall push branches where the blue jays land before watering.  The squirrels found it almost immediately so I put the feeder back on the post.  The feeder came in red so I even tried painting it light blue.  They don't seem to want anything to do with it?  I was wondering if anyone else has luck with the wreath feeders and if I'm doing something wrong?   Maybe I should try a tray feeder with peanuts and see if that works?   Is there a different feed and feeder that may work better?  Possibly suet or something else?

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Welcome to Whatbird, jims. I have a peanut feeder that I only use occasionally now because the blue jays like it too much. My feeder is black in colour and hangs from a shepherds hook about 5 feet off the ground. I have moved it around a few times and the jays never waste any time finding it's new location. When the peanut feeder is empty, most of the time, the blue jays feed on the sunflower seeds in one of the other feeders. If your feeding peanuts for the first time, it may take the birds a while to realize that there's food inside those shells. I don't see how you could be doing anything wrong but a platform feeder with sunflower seed would definitely help attract more birds. Black Oiled Sunflower Seed seems to be the favoured seed for most backyard feeder birds so you should be able to attract a wide variety of birds if you add another feeder.

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Stop moving it around, they are watching you.  Leave it alone, they will figure it out.

 

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It's been over a week and they can't seem to figure it out.   I wonder if someone else is feeding them something they are already familiar with.

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Give it time, it can take several weeks to months to establish a new feeder of any kind. Like Craig1 said, if you move it a lot, the birds will be more neophobic (fearful of new things). Once they are convinced it's not a threat, one jay will swoop by, get a peanut, and then you'll probably be fighting them off. 

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I have quite a few California Scrub-Jays that visit my yard. I don't have a peanut feeder, but they do go crazy for my homemade suet with peanut butter in it.

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Put some peanuts on the ground under the feeder a couple of times a day.

But beware what you ask for.  Once they start, they will empty the feeders quickly.

Jays tend to take the peanuts and hide them. They will keep returning until they're gone.  You don't get to see them actually eat the food. :)

 

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It's been about a month and still no jays on the feeder!  I stuck peanuts on the outside so they are more evident.  The squirrels immediately noticed and have been feasting on them.  Maybe the jays like what the neighbors are feeding them?  Peanuts on the ground disappear quick by squirrels.  I'm building a feeder with large platform for larger birds (jays, doves,etc).  I'll add a suet feeder to 1 side and peanut feeder on the other.  Maybe that will work!

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Hi... I see blue jays on a daily basis so I'll share my thoughts/opinion. First, you mention the wreath and hanging it from a pole. I've NEVER seen a blue jay hang from a feeder such as a suet feeder where the bird has to cling on, so I'm not surprised they aren't hanging onto your wreath. I'm not even sure if blue jays can cling on to such feeders or hanging wreaths (?) But I see a ton of them and they are always eating out of my platform feeders. Second, you mention painting the feeder a different color - maybe the paint fumes are discouraging the birds (?) Just a thought...

I've been feeding for years and when I introduced peanuts I slowly saw a couple of blue jays. I didn't like them at first lol - they are kind of a bully bird, but now I love seeing them. They come in groups of 5-15 every morning around 8 am. And they watch me in the afternoons when I restock my feeder on my deck rail. They are good birds when it comes to sounding off and letting other birds know when danger is nearby (ex- hawk).

Definitely try a tray feeder. I have several and the blue jays use them all the time. I feed three types of peanuts - the kind in the shell, the kind out of the shell, and I just bought a bag of roasted peanuts (they are outside the shell too) and the birds love these! I read the roasted ones are better for digestion. I bought them from the feed mill so they are for birds, not humans.

Let us know if things improve. Here is a pic I took a couple months ago. I couldn't believe the jays were eating together - usually they take turns and scare one another off. But on this day they ate together.large.FullSizeRender.jpg

 

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Below is a link to my all time favorite feeder. Not only does the seed stay mostly dry because it's covered, but the jays use it all the time to pick up peanuts. I don't have a huge squirrel problem (mostly because they eat on the ground with the doves) but I've never seen a squirrel on this feeder. Oh, and it's made in the USA!

 

http://www.target.com/p/droll-yankees-dorothy-s-cardinal-feeder/-/A-17191106&ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Pets%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Pets&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9022817?gclid=CjwKEAiAs_PCBRD5nIun9cyu01kSJAA-WD-rJfA3Sqk2A056YFuneltUsT1_H1-5-fPovYf6u4S2YRoCvDPw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

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Blue jays have no problem perching on the peanut wreaths. Mine usually land in the center of the wreath, as in the first picture below, but they will also feed from the sides or top. They usually take the peanuts and stash them, as previously mentioned and shown in the second photo, but once in a while they will break the shell open while trying to extract it from the feeder and snack right there. I think if jims is patient and gives it time, the blue jays will figure out the peanut wreath and start emptying it regularly.

 

19985879264_5a0b405a96_c.jpgUntitled by lonestranger102, on Flickr

 

20421743920_6a00aaa154_c.jpgBlue Jay with peanut by lonestranger102, on Flickr

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lonestranger - thanks for sharing the pics! The visual helped me. I was getting the wreath feeders mixed up in my head. You are absolutely correct that bluejays can perch on the peanut hanging wreaths.. For some reason in my big blonde head I was picturing a seed wreath like the link below shows... But back to the OP, I agree if he is patient then sooner or later the jays should figure out the peanut wreath..

http://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/Pine-Tree-Farms-Sun-Face-Wild-Bird-Seed-Wreath/0000000234037?utm_source=googleps&utm_medium=shopping%2Bsearch&utm_campaign=google%2Bproduct search&gslfah&gclid=Cj0KEQiAnb3DBRCX2ZnSnMyO9dIBEiQAOcXYH23NTKHQNn1KtOE1XlJxbGKQFQjbLaqzWMBAejw2J4waAgLn8P8HAQ

lonestranger - do you know if bluejays can hang sideways onto the square basic suet feeders? This I have yet to see so I'm curious if others have witnessed this. Thanks! :)

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7 hours ago, HeatherFeather said:

 

lonestranger - do you know if bluejays can hang sideways onto the square basic suet feeders? This I have yet to see so I'm curious if others have witnessed this. Thanks! :)

 

I don't think I have ever seen them on our small suet feeders but they have perched sideways on our bigger suet feeders. I can't quickly find a photo of them on the suet feeder but they do jump from the platform feeder to the longer suet feeder shown below, but usually only when there's no sunflower seeds in the platform feeder or when it's over crowded. It's not a regular thing but it does happen.

31340071703_3c2dd25641_c.jpgIMG_9336 by lonestranger102, on Flickr

 

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Lone stranger...what type of camera did you use on that shot? Excellent detail. I still haven't purchased one. 

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On 1/7/2017 at 10:27 AM, Tclarkwood said:

Lone stranger...what type of camera did you use on that shot? Excellent detail. I still haven't purchased one. 

 

All three shots were taken with a Canon 7D. The first two had the 400mm f/5.6 L lens attached, and the last one had the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L lens attached.

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Lone Stranger....amazing photos and gorgeous birds!

My post was started in late November and it's January.   Although the jays come several times a day to bird baths they have yet to take a peanut from the wreath or any of my other feeders!  Squirrels like the wreath a lot and are about the only critter using it.  I made a super large post feeder with large landing area around the parameter of the glass enclosed feeder (with roof).  I added suet feeders on each side to possibly attract some of the larger birds. The flickers and hairy woodpeckers love it!   I thought the jays and doves might like the large feeder but neither use it.  Possibly the wood structure prevents them from a 360 degree view so they are spooked?  We have a redtailed hawk in our neighbor that nabbed a dove on the ground the other day...and the doves are super spooky and cautious!  Maybe a platform feeder would be worth a try? I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or the jays are happy getting fed in someone elses backyard!  I've yet so see them spend time at our place other than bath and water!

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3 hours ago, jims said:

Lone Stranger....amazing photos and gorgeous birds!

My post was started in late November and it's January.   Although the jays come several times a day to bird baths they have yet to take a peanut from the wreath or any of my other feeders!  Squirrels like the wreath a lot and are about the only critter using it.  I made a super large post feeder with large landing area around the parameter of the glass enclosed feeder (with roof).  I added suet feeders on each side to possibly attract some of the larger birds. The flickers and hairy woodpeckers love it!   I thought the jays and doves might like the large feeder but neither use it.  Possibly the wood structure prevents them from a 360 degree view so they are spooked?  We have a redtailed hawk in our neighbor that nabbed a dove on the ground the other day...and the doves are super spooky and cautious!  Maybe a platform feeder would be worth a try? I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or the jays are happy getting fed in someone elses backyard!  I've yet so see them spend time at our place other than bath and water!

 

I'm not sure why your blue jays are avoiding the peanuts, jims. I can only speculate that they might be shy of the squirrels you mentioned. While the squirrels in my yard can't get to any of my feeders, I do see them bullying the birds for spilled seed on the ground. Is it possible your squirrels are dominating the peanut wreath making it undesirable for the blue jays?  Do other birds feed from the peanut wreath?  chickadees?  woodpeckers?  etc?  or do the squirrels own the peanut wreath?  As I said, I can only speculate but maybe a squirrel baffle of some sort might be needed. While I doubt the colour is an issue, black works well for mine. Good luck, jims.

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Thanks for the reply!  I'm somewhat bewildered by what's going on.  The squirrels don't seem that aggressive.  In fact, there are a lot of other birds (doves, juncos, etc that feed on the ground right next to the squirrels.  The bluejays are one of the first critters in the bushes and birdbaths in the morning and return spend time taking baths before roosting for the night.  The weird thing is they don't act like they want to do anything but water and don't seem intimidated at all by the squirrels.  They land on the same bushes close to the water..then water...and are gone.  I put a suet feeder in the bushes where they land and they've never taken a peck ot of them!  They don't even land on any of the other posts or bird feeders.   I should follow their calls in the neighborhood and see exactly where and what they are feeding on.  What ever it is they don't want anything to do with what I have!  I'm starting to think it is a feed issue....they are only concentrating feeding on what ever is found elsewhere.

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Hey Jims... My bluejays rarely eat my food either. I've put peanuts out with my cracked corn on the ground and they haven't eaten them. I'm not sure what my bluejays eat but they are eating something other than what I have.  I have sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, peanuts and thistle seed.  My big eaters are cardinals, chickadees, titmice and finches, sparrows.  Oh, and my woodpeckers and nuthatches eat often. 

I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one that rarely sees the bluejays eat their food.  When I put out whole kernel field corn on the ground they seemed to eat it.  But I had a problem with squirrels and chipmunks taking over my property.  The cracked corn doesn't attract as many chipmunks.  They multiply so fast that I had to use a live trap and relocate 48 of them in 2016. 

You could try whole kernel field corn on a platform that is squirrel and chipmunk resistant?  My bluejays really liked it when I put it out. 

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we have a twirl a whirl style feeder that we put dried corn cobs on.  it's a constant battle between the squirrels and jays that also love the corn kernels.  the feeder is also entertaining as both squirrels and jays battle the twirls...

Edited by birdman69
just to correct
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9 hours ago, birdman69 said:

we have a twirl a whirl style feeder that we put dried corn cobs on.  it's a constant battle between the squirrels and jays that also love the corn kernels.  the feeder is also entertaining as both squirrels and jays battle the twirls...

 

I made a spinning squirrel feeder years ago and used to love watching the squirrels spin for their meals. While the blue jays always love to eat corn, no matter how it's served, the squirrels were the most entertaining.

 

 

 

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