Do Blue Jays Scare Away Cardinals

Do Blue Jays Scare Away Cardinals? Blue Jays vs Cardinals

Despite their hostile behavior towards other birds, blue jays are soft-hearted towards their own species. Still, they have been observed attacking hawks, owls, cats, dogs, or even humans who get excessively close. But do blue jays scare away cardinals?

Blue jays do scare away cardinals, but it’s a little bit more complicated than that. Numerous blue jays have been spotted stealing cardinals’ food, attacking them, and occasionally eating their babies.

These birds are social flying creatures and will fly in large gatherings to create more opportunity and power through their numbers. Blue jays can likewise be very territorial over both their nesting and food areas. They aren’t afraid or hesitant to attack cardinals or other birds.

Let’s take a further look at these birds and their behavior.

Do Blue Jays Scare Away Cardinals?

Blue jay portrait close up in summer green leafs at day

Yes, blue jays scare away cardinals. In fact, they may take it to themselves to bully any bird that’s smaller than them. Although the behavior is odd to birds due to their peaceful nature, they do it out of territorial tribalism. Scrub jays, too, are known for their hostile behavior towards smaller birds.

Why Are Blue Jays Aggressive?

Blue jays don’t get along with cardinals because of their significant levels of intelligence. They can manipulate and control circumstances for their potential benefit, especially when working in a group. So, they presume other birds are at a lower level—intelligence wise.

The blue jays may scare cardinals away from food sources, either by using a horde attack with gathering a group of birds or by sheer aggression.

This may appear to be a mean streak as a part of their character. However, this is a vital survival technique utilized by numerous wise, wild creatures.

While it may not apply to normal birds, this “mob mentality” proves to be useful when fighting off potential predators or intruders.

The blue jays are born to be omnivorous. They can eat frogs, young mice, insects, nuts, seeds, acorns, and fruits.

What to Do to Protect the Cardinals in Your Feeder From Blue Jays?

Most of the time, blue jays tend to hog the feeder. The only creatures that will get them to scurry off are chipmunks or squirrels.

Every so often, they’ll offer a path to bigger birds, like a crow or grackle. They eat lots of sunflower seeds, and they’ll also take whole and shelled peanuts, bread, and pieces of fruit.

Author Note: They’re undoubtedly beautiful birds, and numerous backyard birders love having them around; however, they can get somewhat irritating to cardinals as they don’t let them go near the feeder.

A trick I do that will solve this issue is putting the food in a smaller cylinder feeder. Blue jays may not be able to stand and eat on small cylinder feeders, so this gives a spot for cardinals to eat all they want without the risk of getting bullied.

Why Are Cardinals Scared of Other Birds?

Cardinals are notoriously cautious of anything that appears new to them. These birds can recognize and sense danger if it’s close. When cardinals see their own reflection, they see it as an intruder, and they begin to attack and peck at the reflection to chase it away. So, they’re ‘scaredy cats’ by nature; it’s not exclusive to other birds.

Despite them being territorial, they don’t attack humans or other birds intentionally.

How to Attract Cardinals In Your Backyard

Blue jays flying or hopping about to take off on spring day in forest habitat

Northern Cardinals are presumably the most desired of all yard-visiting feathered creatures. With their dynamic plumage and excellent melodies, it’s no big surprise individuals want to draw in the Cardinals to their backyards. You might even see cardinals kiss if you are lucky!

Some myths say that a cardinal bird represents a friend or family member who has passed. When you see one, it implies they’re visiting you. They ordinarily show up when you most need them or miss them. Plus, they show up during seasons of festivity as well as gloom to tell you they’ll consistently be with you.

Cardinals aren’t difficult to please. With a couple of easy modifications to your lawn and bird feeder set up, your yard could be the best option for shelter for these darling birds.

Use the Correct Feeders

You need to choose the proper kinds of feeders to suit your Cardinal friends. Your feeders should be adequately strong to help carry the birds.

The best feeders to use are platform feeders and hopper feeders. This will give them sufficient space to eat from the birdseed.

Cardinals also need easy access to water for both washing and drinking. Providing them access to bird waterers or birdbaths is the ideal method to satisfy their needs.

Just make sure to remember to change the water and clean vessels as often as possible to avoid green dirt or algae buildup.

Provide Them With the Right Food

The initial step to pulling in any winged animal is to supply them with the food they like. Northern Cardinals have a solid, thick beak, which is ideal for huge seeds.

White milo, safflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds are among Northern Cardinal’s top seed choices.

In addition to that, they also enjoy eating berries, cracked corn, and crushed peanuts.

You have to check routinely that your feeders are filled, especially during the early morning and late-night when the Cardinals are likely to eat. When Cardinals understand that your terrace offers food all through the year, a place where they rely on food sources, they’ll probably take up a permanent residence.

How to Attract Blue Jays in Your Backyard

Many beliefs state that the blue jay is a symbol of intelligence, curiosity, and communication. This implies that if a blue jay appears in your life, you’ll have a feeling of safety and security.

If you want a blue jay to wander in your yard, the best place to find them is if you’re close to a forested area. That’s the place where they principally call home. However, alternate approaches to increase your chances of spotting a bluebird include adding either a hopper feeder or tray feeder to your landscape.

Blue jays incline toward these two alternatives more than the hanging feeders.

These winged animals are additionally inclined toward peanuts, dark oil sunflower seeds, wafer corn, milo, mealworms, suet, and safflower.

Author Note: If you want to step up the chances of finding these stunning birds, you could likewise plant an oak tree. An excellent alternative is the Oregon white oak. This will create oak seeds, which blue jays adore.

More Information About Blue Jays

The blue jays, also called jaybirds, are of the order Passeriformes in the Corvidae family. If you’re aware of the cartoon called “regular show,” they have used Mordecai as the main character representing the blue jay’s personality.

Corvidae is generally known as the crow family and is profoundly known to be an intelligent feathered creature.

The majority of these birds live in the central and eastern United States; eastern populaces might be migratory. The resident population is likewise found in Newfoundland, Canada.

The blue jay is prevalently blue, with a white to gray chest and belly. It has a grayish-blue color on its head’s crest and has a black, u-shaped collar around its lower neck and border behind the crest. Additionally, its wings and tail have black and white bars, and its talons are black.

More Information About Cardinals’ Characteristics

Blue Jay sitting on a Tree Branch

Have you ever played angry birds on your phone and tried identifying the birds in the game? Well, the angry red bird is called a northern cardinal. They’re very friendly, but if not treated well, they’re capable of aggressive bites.

Cardinals, also called redbirds, are members of the Cardinalidae family. They’re passerine birds found in North and South America and may likewise be found in New Mexico. You commonly see cardinals moving around in pairs during the breeding season. However, in winter and fall, they can frame fairly huge groups of twelve to a few dozen birds.

People have made more areas accessible to the cardinal and made it simpler for it to survive in colder atmospheres because of the change in inhabitants.

These birds commonly have a black mask covering their face, a crest on their head, and a short bill in the shape of a cone. The mask on the female is normally lighter than it is on the male. The red birds are known for their glorious bright red color, yet surprisingly, the female has a faded olive or brown color with faded red on her tail and wings.

Cardinals mostly eat fruits, seeds, insects, and grains, and they’re often spotted in birdfeeders.

Final Thoughts

Although blue jays are territorial birds, and some might view them as “bullies,” they help other birds by sometimes alerting them if there’s a predator nearby.

Author Note: These birds are elegant and dignified patrollers who are extremely smart, and they learn quickly. They do scare away cardinals and other birds just for survival and protecting their flock, though.

Follow the tips on how to attract these birds, and they’ll surely visit you. If done correctly, they’ll even stay permanently. Good luck and happy bird sighting!

Fly high friends!


What is the difference between a blue jay and a blue cardinal?

A Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) and a Blue Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) are two different species of birds. Blue Jays are medium-sized birds with a distinctive blue plumage, black and white markings on their wings and tail, and a crest on their head. They are found throughout eastern North America and are known for their loud, harsh calls. On the other hand, the Blue Cardinal is not a real bird, it’s a term used to describe the Northern Cardinal when it appears to have a blue color, it’s actually a rare genetic variant of the Northern Cardinal that has a blue-gray plumage, these birds are typically found in wooded areas and suburban gardens.

Do blue jays get along with cardinals?

Blue Jays and Cardinals have a complex relationship and it can vary depending on the circumstances. Blue Jays are known to be opportunistic feeders and they may compete with cardinals for food, such as birdseed at feeders. However, Blue Jays and Cardinals can also coexist peacefully and they may even be seen together in the same flock or at the same feeding station. Blue jays have been observed to mob predators that are a threat to cardinals and other birds.

Why dont blue jays and cardinals mate?

Blue Jays and Cardinals are two different species of birds and they have different physical and behavioral characteristics. They have different breeding behaviors, mating rituals, and preferred habitats. Blue Jays and Cardinals do not have compatible genetic makeups that would allow them to successfully breed and produce offspring. Additionally, hybridization between different species of birds is relatively rare in nature and it’s not something that’s commonly observed among Blue Jays and Cardinals. They are separate species and their mating and reproduction is specific to their own.

Comments 2
  1. It’s totally not true that blue jays scare away cardinals.. I have them both at the feeder every day , all winter long.. All birds fly up to the feeder and try and scare away the bird on it .. Likewise the the other birds fly up and scare away the blue jays.. It’s what birds do..

    1. Agree! We have large groups of Blue Jays and Cardinals living together in the woods behind our house along with many others (doves, blackbirds, woodpeckers, sparrows). Every bird tries to scare away another bird when it comes to getting a morsel but they still manage to live together in relative harmony.

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