Skip to Content

How To Keep Blue Jays Away From Bird Feeders – And Still Keep Them Around!

Are you looking for a few easy methods to keep aggressive Blue Jays far away from your bird feeders and the other birds you love to see in your yard?

Of all of the backyard birds, Blue Jays certainly have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to being bullies. Not just when it comes to scaring off other varieties of birds, but when it comes to chasing pets, children and even adults off with a fly-by attack.

Unfortunately, it really isn’t because the birds are “mean” or have a bad temper. It really comes down to the blue jay being among the best of their kind at protecting what’s most important to them – food, water and family!

keep blue jays away from bird feeders
If you happen to have a blue jay nest near a walkway, entrance or outdoor sitting area – look out! They are among the most ferocious of birds when it comes to protecting their nest.

Blue jays are actually one of the smartest backyard birds of all. And they use those smarts to fiercely protect their nest. Especially when it happens to contain eggs, newly hatched nestlings, or young birds just beginning to take flight.

In addition to providing protection for their family, they also protect the food sources that feed them. If you happen to have a bird feeder in your yard and jays nearby – you probably know this all too well!

But as bad as there reputation can be, blue jays are not necessarily bad to have visit your yard. In fact, they can actually be quite beneficial for a myriad of reasons, one of which includes actually protecting some of the smaller birds they are often accused of bullying!

The Benefits of Blue Jays

Blue jays are veracious eaters of insects. They will consume caterpillars, snails, slugs, grasshoppers, beetles and even spiders. On occasion, they will even take out small mice and rodents. In doing so, they are one of the best birds for controlling insect populations – which can be a big help to gardeners.

keeping blue jays away from bird feeders
Blue jays are among the most intelligent of all backyard birds. They communicate extremely well with one another, especially when it comes to warning of nearby predators. Their loud warning chatter also serves to help smaller animals escape the same nearby danger.

But jays also are incredible at using their defensive skills to protect the smaller birds around them. They are very good at chasing off competing squirrels and chipmunks from feeders. Even better, they have little problem diving in to scare off cats that love taking small birds as a prize.

But perhaps best of all, blue jays are one of the best hawk and eagle protectors of all. Not just for their own species, but for all of the other small animals and birds in danger.

With their keen eyesight, intelligence and vocal ability, jays squawk among each other to warn of impending danger. They are almost always the first to warn of a nearby hawk or eagle. And that early warning helps keep all kinds of small animals out of harm’s way.

With those redeeming qualities in mind, it is actually better to keep jays around. That is, if you can keep them away from the bird feeders designed for all the other birds you love. The good news – there is a way to do both – and it’s easier than you might think!

owg podcast banner

How To Keep Blue Jays Away From Bird Feeders

The biggest complaint among bird lovers with blue jays is that they overrun their bird feeders. They are certainly notorious for swooping in and scattering all of the other birds trying to snag a meal.

There is actually a simple and easy two-part solution you can employ to help correct the behavior. After all, with all of the benefits blue jays bring, keeping them around in harmony with all of the other birds really is the best solution of all. With that in mind, here is a look at the two part fix that can have all of your birds a little happier!

Install A Blue Jay-Only Feeder

The first part of the solution is to provide a feeder with feed specifically designed for blue jays. And when you do, place it far away from your other bird feeders. In fact, if you can locate the blue-jay only feeder on another side of your house and out of view of your other feeders, it will have the best results of all.

Blue jays love peanuts! Peanuts are a favorite among blue jays, as are many other small nuts. By placing these treats in a feeder far away from your typical bird feed – the jays will usually leave the smaller feeds behind.

So what is a blue-jay specific feeder? There are actually two types they love most. First and foremost, blue jays like sturdy tray feeders. Although they can go on the ground, placing them out from a tree or near shrubs and cover helps them feel more protected as they eat.

As an extra benefit, when placing these outdoors, also place them far away from sidewalks, swing sets, and patio areas. Why? Because blue jays like to build nests near a food source. And if they build a nest near any of these areas – the likelihood of them swooping and doing fly-bys increases since they will protect both fiercely.

Wreath Feeders Work!

There are also quite a few excellent wreath/ ring feeders now on the market that blue jays love! They can be filled with whole peanuts, and the blue jays happily visit these for a meal. Affiliate Product Link: Gtongoko Blue Jay Wreath Bird Feeder

But more than anything else, attracting the jays to these feeders in full is all about what you fill the feeders with. Bluejays love peanuts, acorns, nuts, black-oil sunflower seeds and corn. And by filling these feeders with only this feed and placing them far away, the blue jays will change their feeding habits.

blue jay ring feeder
Ring feeders filled with whole peanuts are excellent for attracting jays!

Changing The Feed In Your Existing Bird Feeders

The second approach to keeping jays away from your main feeders is equally important for success. And that step? Simply adding a few feeds to your regular feeder bird food mix that Blue Jays don’t like! This way, the jays are much more likely to leave your main feeders alone, and concentrate on the food source they like best.

Two seeds that blue jays are not fond of are safflower seeds and nyjer thistle seeds. By adding these seeds into your regular feeding mix to your main feeders, blue jays will begin to skip the meals at these locations and head to the feeders holding their favorite food.

It certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It can take time to train the blue jays to find the food they love most. But when they do, it can mean having the best of both bird worlds in your backyard!

Here is to keeping blue jays away from the bird feeders and birds you love to feed in your backyard – but still keeping these helpful beautiful birds around! Happy Bird Watching – Jim and Mary.

As always, feel free to email us at with comments, questions, or to simply say hello! You can sign up for our free email list in the subscribe now box in the middle of this article. Follow us on Facebook here : OWG Facebook. This article may contain affiliate links.