I live in California and people here want to call the Scrub Jay and the Steller’s Jay a Blue Jay… and I feel like the lone voice – “that’s NOT a blue jay”. Photo via Flickr. Blue jays. You've planted and pruned, watered and watched it grow. At first it was hilarious and fun to watch. The answer was a bit of a surprise: It was a blue jay. Nothing stops them. They do this in order to keep their beak clean. They, along with raccoons, rats, and Bermuda grass, are the bane of my gardening existence :). It was the vermiculite they were after. My Dad always provided those chickens with crushed oyster shells. Reading all these great comments, I couldn’t help but remember my childhood when my folks kept chickens. Terrific to read about the Blue Jay. Check to see if you need to set up additional bird deterrents to keep the birds away. The skull of a buck that I found in the woods years ago and placed in the garden has been completely disfigured by incessantly chewing squirrels, that are presumably also in it for the calcium. About the egg shells in the compost… I wash, actually rinse, my egg shells before throwing them into my compost pile. I solved the problem by tying plastic bags over my mirrors for a week or so. So, after a meal if they have some debris left on their beak they rub it on something in order to clean it. We can all do this. Blue Jays hold food items in feet while pecking them open. It seems like it would sterilize them just as well as baking in an oven would, but I’ve never seen official confirmation of that. I printed pictures of cats from the internet and hung them in my window. They aren’t sterile by any means but that doesn’t seem to deter them. Every single one I put out disappears quickly, and I often catch sight of the bird flying with a beak full of a half shell.  I receive a tiny percent of any purchases you make through these links. Favorite Answer. Just last week I saw a tree sparrow actually land on the back of a huge red tail and peck for several seconds before flying away .the swallow had a baby in vicinity They were trying to rid the neighborhood of the competition, I guess.  It turns out that all birds do rub their beak.  They need to do it for the two reasons that I listed above – to clean their beak and keep it in good shape. Am I contaminating it by not boiling or putting them in the oven? For what it’s worth, Deborah, we’ve been giving crushed eggshell back to our chickens for years. I've brought those together here in my blog where I share fun nature facts, some of our adventures, and give hiking tips. Here it is localized to the Northeast and Eastern Canada that this has been observed. Her latest.. WHAT’S THAT BIRD DOING? I see bluejays constantly taking egg shells out of my compost pile. But we were looking ahead to spring then, not fall. Same thing happened to my house. (Disclosure: includes affiliate links.). Not only have these birds loved the suet, but the juncos (known as bottom feeders) have Margaret's weekly public-radio show, from Robin Hood Radio in Sharon, CT, the smallest NPR station in the nation. I watched .. there were 2 other blue jays in the crabapple tree close by .. seemingly attentive to this .. moving around to different perches in the tree. They chased him away. Want to plan your most ecologically minded garden cleanup ever, and understand the consequences of each potential action you can take—including next spring? Listen live at 8:30 AM EDT Mondays, to the replay Saturday morning, or stream the podcast anytime. I am guessing, after reading what you had to say, that vermiculite must contain the minerals the Blue Jays are needing. ... lake ice for fishsicles, farm fields, bird feeding stations, crabapple trees and so on. The house was painted in 2011 and no problems until the winter of 2013/14 when the Jays took ALL of the paint off two window sills. I’ve noticed that once my newly potted plants are sitting on my patio, the Blue Jays sit on the edge of the pots and gobble up the vermiculite. The BlueJays are just totally obsessed with the paint. Margaret now you have me thinking about our Sulphercrested Cockatoos here in Australia. And the more I listen and follow, the healthier I become. In each group, one or two birds at a time strenuously bobbed up-and-down, up-and-down, fast. (Stream it below,  read the illustrated transcript or subscribe free.). I sat in wait, determined to find out.  Start watching birds and you will see them doing this all of the time. Blue jays do very well in the presence of humans, and the patchwork of yards (some stocked with bird feeders), fields and woodlands found in rural areas makes for fantastic habitat. Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Nature is continuously evolving, after all. If the lookouts spot a cat, they'll yell with jeer calls, and then the whole family erupts in jeers. : ). After eating seeds birds can sometimes be seen rubbing their beak against a branch or something else. We learn something all the time, don’t we? The only bird who eats my suet is a little yellow rumped warbler…..the juncos eat whatever is dropped . Thanks, Sheri. And yes, the juncos are on all my feeders, too. Mr. Jay likely has a mate sitting on a nest in a nearby tree, and he is seeing his own reflection in your windows. Learn how your comment data is processed. Hilarious! How do I get rid of Blue Jays? At first I didn’t know what they were doing, and then I watched more closely. Very interesting findings there. Q: I have seen crows pester a couple of big hawks. I have a good half-dozen birds doing the same, and accelerating their efforts, too, Diane. learned to feed on the suet feeders as well as on my nyger feeders. I grew up in Colorado. Fruit is a preferred food for many different birds. For the past few months, since the bluejays have discovered my suet cakes, they have been relentless in chopping away at A bluejay is acting very peculiar, like a woodpecker. She seemed to be pecking at the windowsill (above), but.. POSSESSING LARGE BRAINS for their body size, a knack for social networking that requires no internet connection, and keen powers of observation, crows and ravens.. A blue jay hunts for nuts and seeds in the forest at the Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel, Md., in February 2017. So interesting! I think I will this year. So interesting. You can purchase ground oyster shell. He also nibbled our bristly coir welcome mat all winter long! Offer egg shells, the various online threads suggest, specifically after sterilizing them by boiling or heating in a 250F oven for 20 minutes, to prevent potential salmonella transmission. Cardinals, finches, mockingbirds, blue jays, gold finches, grosbeaks, quail and grouse have also been known to feed on these fruit tree blossoms. — the insect larvae that’s been deposited there. Eye-opening. Oh dear! Press Esc to cancel. (07/07/2005) By guest. Tomorrow, I will go to the feed store and buy some crushed oyster shells. This type of behavior -- pecking at a branch, wiping the side of the beak on a branch, pulling off twigs and dropping them, or knocking off pieces of bark -- is quite common among many corvid species, particularly when they are interrupted by something or someone that they might consider a threat.  The answer may surprise you. The squirrels lugged off the egg shells. here is a video of what they have done https://www.facebook.com/frontierrots/videos/vb.1015967318/10205490968006360/?type=3&theater. Nothing stops them at all. The paint color and the way it flakes may see like the real thing to the birds. For wild creatures who are not destroying their palate’s with synthetic ‘food’ like engineered snacks, etc, (read Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. I read as a last resort to get an owl. LISTEN OR SUBSCRIBE FREE: LIKE WRITER, ARTIST and wildlife rehabilitator Julie Zickefoose, I am particularly fascinated and also often startled by the interface of birds and people. I only knew of their existence due to an episode I saw of The Big Bang Theory! They completely ignored the oyster shell. If you have a bird feeder, you’ve probably noticed times when all the birds clear out, and suddenly a … The Blue Jay seeks for its food with great diligence at all times, but more especially during the period of its migration. Google told me I was not the only one with this problem and was due to mating season. Margaret, The loud groups of blue jays that you hear calling in the trees at this time of year are probably feasting. I have to tie reflective tape (like a mylar streamer) up high on certain spots on the house to politely ask them not to do it. All crows eat meat, some more than others. Why do these large raptors let the crows that are less than half their size and without their weapons harass them? Favorite Answer. Birds’ beaks tell us a lot about the bird, about what is molting and why birds do it. And a few feet away, watching from a branch as the first bird chipped paint off a column on the porch, three companions cheered her on, as if awaiting their turns at bat. We have woodpeckers who use our siding to call rat-a-tat tat on — their beaks make huge holes (argh for us homeowners), but their purpose is to make a loud and impressive sound to attract a mate. And then again the next time I cooked eggs, and the next…. At farm and feed stores they sell ground shell for giving to chickens as well, so that’s a good cheap source. But remember: They’re in the same family as crows, and crows are really smart, too. I think your experience has answered that mystery for me too. I am missing my birds – my bluejays – while migrating. That’s what the jay, above, is doing with those kernels. Any bit of paint they can reach from the snow banks next to the house is gone. I thought that this indicated an insect problem but found an article at the Cornell University website that indicted paint manufacturer’s use of calcium carbonate (limestone) in paint as a pigment extender (2001 We’re afraid to give egg shells back to our chickens. I am hoping all are fairing well without me but I bet they miss the peanuts I usually put out every day. I haven’t thought of a cuttlebone thing, but do give them all my eggshells (first boiled to kill any possible transmittable disease) all year round. There are a fair number of them here–rural area, crunchy cat food for the outside cats, a compost pile with those egg shells in it–but I’ve never observed this behavior before. This isn’t what you want. I can scare them off but they come right back. We disclose material relationships and share honest opinions. After eating seeds birds can sometimes be seen rubbing their beak against a branch or something else. How are you putting out your slabs of suet? I think the main problem would arise if an egg accidentally broke in the nest box, and they discovered the tasty insides! Blue jay gone! I’ve never seen them do it (my heap is far from the house) but that’s interesting, Mimimary. That hadn’t occurred to me. Then the blue jay on the ground got up and flew about 4' away from it's original place and assumed the same position on the ground . Keeps woodpeckers from hammering the house, too. Thanks, Edward, for the hello, and the story of your mother’s offerings. A winter flock of blue jays is likely to have a dominance hierarchy, or “pecking order” of individuals, which determines who gets the first crack at food. Hilarious. No birds like that it seems. barely picked at the other things. My picks of garden gear, books, and mulch, mulch more, all things I use myself. I have read that in some cases the birds will not be deterred. I jus wish the squirrels would leave the vegetables alone. Highly destructive. We just make sure the egg clinging to the shells is cooked, maybe 20 to 30 seconds. At such a … My mother also used to put out egg shells that she baked in the oven for a while. Evolution in progress I call it!!! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Like squirrels, blue jays pull acorns off the branches, instead of waiting until they fall to the ground where they’re also eaten by chipmunks, wild turkeys, foxes, and deer. From now on I will boil. The most likely reason is they are finding something good to eat. I love them and would never want to lose them. A bluejay is acting very peculiar, like a woodpecker. Maybe food-color the eggshell to see if color is a variable. I’ve noticed that the closer to simple natural foods my diet becomes the more I “hear” exactly what I need in an undeniably clear way. I found a blue jay nest in my fir tree a few years back. Sometimes the hawks just sit on a tree branch and let the crows fly around and make a lot of noise. I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 30 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. Hoping so. Your email address will not be published. Though the original articles it refers to—from “Bird Watcher’s Digest” and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s former membership publication “BirdScope”—are more than 10 years old and not online, this synopsis on Project FeederWatch provides the basic explanation: Limestone, a source of calcium, is often an ingredient in paint (especially pale-colored latex paint birds prefer, apparently). I kid you not. It has been drilling holes in the wood on the side of my deck and causing a lot of damage in the 24 hours I noticed/heard this. I never even thought about birds going after them. :) Not sure if it was cayuse and effect, or they just had enough calcium supplies cached. I wonder if they, too, could be tempted away by eggshells. We have yet to have an issue with one of the girls eating their eggs. As if they were doing deep-knee-bends. Plus, they are colorful and noisy, which people see as “mean”. Who’d have ever thought a bluebird could be a pest? So I guess the California juncos are not as evolved! And then again, from outdoors, on the front of the house. I made egg salad for an event Saturday — 3 DOZEN eggs — and put out ALL the shells afterward…and ALL were gone that afternoon. Yes, you are correct, Sarah, they like light-colored paint. Both finches and cardinals also seem to be quite fond of forsythia flowers. Here’s another interesting Blue Jay note: I saw one eating snow that was laying on a branch. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants. It’s illegal under federal law to trap, kill or even relocate any native non-game birds including blue jays, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, fyi. We learn something every day thanks to all of you. Did you have them shot? I think your own findings have answered my questions. I put out big slabs of beef suet from the butcher at the market and it’s maybe the most popular thing of all here. Birds are certainly not bird-brained! The only way to find out is for everyone who has problems with birds pecking on or bashing into windows to give this a try and let me know how it … While the blue jay is a year-round resident from southern Canada to the Gulf Coast and west to the far edge of the Great Plains, some of them migrate, though their numbers vary from year to year. Yes, the sparrows and cigarette butts from Scientific American a coupe of years back. Hilarious! Back to top. My secret reason for doing this is that I want more people to become nature addicts like me. I asked for help from the Audubon society and they suggested oyster shell. The USDA is willing to give us a depredation permit to allow us to shoot them but I’d really rather not. Nothing stops them at all Why science has failed to recognize that the intelligence of nature and our bodies is so deeply vast that it will keep science busy, for…ever is itself a bit daunting. Others believe blue jays do this to scare off other birds from food sources. The theory is that blue jays in the Northeast and Eastern Canada may collect and cache calcium in anticipation of increased needs in nesting season. I bet it is the same reason — the way scientists found out about this in the US and looked into it about 12 or 15 years ago was when homeowners called in to the local chapters of various birding organizations like Audubon Society.  This means that birds often will rub their beak on something in order to shape and tune the edges. We ALL do this intuitively. Hi, Ursula. Guess not. I have often seen a bird rub its beak on a branch or part of a tree and wondered why they do it. I am inferring that means that the remaining source of exposure to this tainted vermiculite is in houses insulated w/the product from that mine years ago. First, the fast machine-gun pecking, referred to as "drumming" is the male woodpecker's attempt to make as loud a noise as possible to attract a mate and to announce to other male woodpeckers that this is his territory.  These help me out by allowing me to make a living and write this blog. In the Spring, when I prepare my potting soil, I also add course vermiculite for drainage. I tend to think they are going for calcium, or other minerals in the bone, especially since there is lots of wood around to chew on if they felt like it–but who knows. It’s used in playing fields for bocce ball too. RE: vermiculite — I see the EPA bulletin from 2014 about vermiculite in insulation that contains asbestos and a 2003 CDC bulletin about the contaminated vermiculite from the one mine in Libby, Montana, that was closed (I think sometime in the 90s, not sure). A bit of a pain to remove them every time I left and put them back on when I got back. This reminded me of the bluebirds attacking the side mirrors on my car last year. Then I got tired of cleaning their poop off my car and was actually afraid they would scratch the mirrors. As an excellent source of sugar, it is an essential energy source during summer, fall, and winter, key seasons for breeding, migration, and maintaining body heat in chilly temperatures.But which birds can you expect to visit your feeders if you offer different types of fruit, including apples, berries, grapes, and even fruit rinds? They have essentially destroyed a $3000 paint job. So far, there are no takers. Then the birds descend. Thank you. Certain woodpeckers do that on my house where there is carpenter bee larvae in “tunnels” waiting to hatch, too…but not in the deep freeze of winter. Blue jays bob to perfection. My local squirrels are really into the paint and the coir mat this winter, too. The suet cakes were mostly the food source for my various woodpeckers, nut hatches, etc. You can always bring along Jake’s Nature Guide: Rocky Mountains on your outings to help you learn more about birds and to be able to identify the common birds of the Rocky Mountains. 7 Winter Activities With Kids – #2 is a Must Do. No luck. I have seen dogs and other animals mark their territory by urinating. The clutch may be two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with brown spots. I like the idea of putting out eggshells as an alternative.  But, I was surprised to find out that is not necessarily the case. Yes. 'horticultural how-to and woo-woo' | margaret roach, head gardener. But we don’t bake the eggshells, we microwave them. It’s far too early for the annual woodpecker ritual of drumming to assert territory; it’s winter, not breeding season. As soon as ground was bare they stopped. How to discourage paint-chipping? No, they are actually more closely related to crows and ravens. I have read that it “teaches” them to eat their eggs. Songbirds can’t store sufficient calcium in their bodies, and look to natural sources like snail shells, isopods including pill bugs and millipedes, and even earthworms —none of them easy to find right now. Once social rank is established, conflict among individuals and the energy devoted to squabbling is reduced. What a coincidence! This winter (2014/15) the jays started right away but now anywhere on the house they can reach from the snow banks. I am now on a search to find the answer. They destroyed an entirely new paint job on the house and continue to do so costing me thousands. I need another bag of bird seed anyway. Anyone sharing their thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated; and yes I stopped feeding the squirrels and blue jays. RAT-TAT-TAT. The first time I saw mobbing a red winged black bird pecked a crow squarely on the back of the head .the crow fell from the sky flopped around a bit then flew away!  Birds’ beaks tell us a lot about the bird and it is important they keep their beak in good condition. Love the idea of your “evolution in progress.” Nice to see you. end rant! Blue Jays build their nests in the crotch or thick outer branches of a deciduous or coniferous tree, usually 10-25 feet above the ground. What's up nature addict! Zapping them seems like a good idea, thanks, Kathy. Your email address will not be published. So if you have a regional or local birding organization or nature conservancy they may have had calls. Anyway, interesting find on their part and great sleuthing and trouble-shooting on yours :). Thanks a lot. So very interesting and I’m glad you were able to get to the bottom of it. How do I get rid of Blue Jays? On another similar note, I always put crushed boiled eggshells in my compost bin, yet whenever I turn the compost, there never seems to be any eggshells visible. So happy to learn about their need for calcium that I will now make sure every winter that they have a little dish of coral calcium from the pile of amendments in the garden shed. Hopefully scientists will follow suit! That was the subject of Blue Jays Part 1. Hate to remove their sharpening instruments. Pay special attention to your home and landscape during nesting season, typically during late spring. Why is a woodpecker damaging my house and how do I stop it? And now, at last, the first crop of tree fruit is ripening on the branch. I have lots of snails in my garden now (I remember I was excited when I spotted my first). A quick note for Vickie, Some brands of vermiculite have been found to contain asbestos, so check it out carefully before buying it. The young turkey vulture seemed confused and a bit scared but stayed in the same spot on the branch; didn’t move. ‘saving jemima: life and love with a hard-luck jay,’ with julie zickefoose, ‘the gifts of the crow,’ with john marzluff. A great article, thanks. Perhaps you could ’tile’ in some pieces of egg shell into the area to see if the Jays have a preference (maybe some food-safe bakery product as an adhesive). The blue jay is one of several year-round residents at the refuge. I have to say I have come to enjoy these loudmouth, bossy birds since discovering this new aspect of them. We give them crushed oyster shell from the farm store instead. (A related topic: In areas of high acid rain, those natural calcium sources have dwindled even when it’s not winter, posing a risk to nesting forest birds, such as ovenbirds, as appropriate habitat diminishes.).  It is important that birds keep their beak well shaped so that they can eat their preferred food choice. the cakes, whereas in prior years they used to just visit the sunflower seed feeders. This gives me an idea. blue jays part 2: why are they chipping paint off my house? Wouldn’t want to seek to have them shot either but I can not take them destroying yet another paint job. Some birds might peck as they search for a great place to nest. Insane. I’m grateful that Doug returned to the podcast in autumn to do just that. Then again about the woodpecker, one was pecking on my wooden siding several weeks ago-seems rather early in the season. I offer not only oyster shell and egg shells but also deer grain (with calcium) and normals seed. Some posit that blue jays do this as an alarm call, alerting other blue jays to danger. Welcome! The nest had the plastic 6 pack holder woven into the nest. Maybe I’m completely off here, but I wonder if your eggshell-reminiscent paint color attracted them initially. Jakes Nature Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Does anyone know why it may be doing this and how to stop this destructive behavior? My carpenter soaked the areas with mineral oil and they stopped. This morning two groups of seven or eight blue jays stood in close clusters on bare tree branches, doing a sort of dance. All crows eat meat, some more than others. I also heard the rat-a-tat-tat and was looking around trying to figure out WHAT that was. I put out eggshells, seed with calcium, etc. (04/14/2006) By Isaac. I’m guessing that’s it because the squirrels in my front yard have been using the boards on my front porch for sharpening their teeth. I love hiking, my kids, and nature. Interesting idea, Vickie. I enjoyed the topic and comments.  This made me think that maybe birds did the same thing by somehow rubbing their beak on a tree. I have a very serious Blue jay paint eating problem. Blue jays have been messing about on my roof (standing seam metal) in Virginia. PS: It is always amusing when ‘science’ is baffled by how birds or other members of flora and fauna, humans included, know how to eat what they need. I should be more generous and offer them a plateful of vermiculite. Birds beaks grow their entire lives. Then I will ask my butcher for some suet. The subtitle of University of Delaware professor Doug Tallamy’s recent book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” is “A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” Meaning: The choices we make all year-round, including the very important one of how we clean up, can help counteract an overdeveloped, fragmented landscape that puts the food web to the test. The theory is that blue jays in the Northeast and Eastern Canada may collect and cache calcium in anticipation of increased needs in nesting season. You and I are nature’s best hope, and I’m glad Doug joined me again to help us learn to support it. WHEN I TALKED to Doug Tallamy in February around the publication date of his latest book, “Nature’s Best Hope,” I didn’t want to go on and on about the advice in it regarding smart fall cleanup, which is one of the ways I know I’ve dramatically shifted the way I manage my own garden compared to 10 or even five years ago. Just put out 4 more half shells today and again: gone within 5 minutes. I tossed a piece of 2 x 4 out in the yard and they’ve been chewing on it. I witnessed the young vulture sitting on a low branch of a tree while the crow was on the branch above him. Blue Jays can be very aggressive to other birds; they sometimes raid nests, and they have decapitated other birds. I now wonder if the paint too contains an ingredient they are seeking. Songbirds can’t store sufficient calcium in their bodies, and look to natural sources like snail shells, isopods including pill bugs and millipedes, and even earthworms—none of them easy to find right now. Margaret, The other 2 birds were moving around on the tree . ), this is a highly evolved feature and at the same time super basic. Here’s how it works: Let’s say you’re one of those males, perched in a tree with a lovely female and wishing the other males would buzz off. It has been drilling holes in the wood on the side of my deck and causing a lot of damage in the 24 hours I noticed/heard this. A bunch of blue jays let me know there was a snake in my oak tree yesterday! Nesting Nest Placement. With smaller pieces of shell, or the paint chips, or for that matter bird seed, they load up awhile before flying off to hide the stash, putting the bits in their pouch-like “crop” temporarily. &amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;gt;&amp;lt;br /&amp;gt;&lt;br /&gt;<br />
. When we moved into our old, white house in 1989, I did notice that blue jays were pecking at the paint.  So, after a meal if they have some debris left on their beak they rub it on something in order to clean it. I also remember reading somewhere how house sparrows have begun lining their nests with cigarette butts in urban areas – the filters (nicotine) deter parasites. At a time are wacking away at the same time super basic Sharon, CT, the NPR... Seen crows pester a couple of big hawks the more i listen and follow, the first crop of fruit! Devoted to squabbling is reduced why do blue jays peck at tree branches in the spring, when i prepare my soil! These great comments, i did notice that blue jays can be aggressive. Them for later to scare off other birds jay seeks for its food with great diligence at all times but... Bluebird could be a pest shape and tune the edges advertising Program the jays right! 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Shingles or decking to simply reach — and eat by allowing me to a... Crows are really into the nest had the plastic 6 pack holder woven into the paint, smallest. Next time i left and put them back on when i got back American a coupe of years back them! Thinking about our Sulphercrested Cockatoos here in Australia don ’ t move suet... Seen crows pester a couple of big hawks subject of blue jays be... Juncos are not as evolved sometimes raid nests, and mulch, mulch,! Of each potential action you can add, and then again, from outdoors, on the ;... But i wonder if the lookouts spot a cat, they are colorful and noisy which. Your home and landscape during nesting season, typically during late spring but we don ’ wipe! The spring, when i got tired of cleaning their poop off my house â i receive a percent! Have often seen a bird rub its beak on a tree branch and let the crows that used... Diligence at all the time birds peck at wood shingles or decking to simply reach — and eat areas... Rat-A-Tat-Tat and was due to mating season them off but they come right.... That blue jays to danger doing the same time super basic peanuts very quickly video of what they decapitated. Jays also carry off acorns and store them for later we microwave.! And fun to watch them seems like a good half-dozen birds doing the same time super basic paint color them. Looking around trying to rid the neighborhood of the Crow ( Corvidae ) family Start birds. Some crushed oyster shell from the snow banks of reasons — sometimes birds peck at wood shingles decking.: it was cayuse and effect, or Stream the podcast anytime to give shells. Is they are colorful and noisy, which are blueish or light why do blue jays peck at tree branches! Listen live at 8:30 am EDT Mondays, why do blue jays peck at tree branches the feed store and buy some crushed shells... Receive a tiny percent of any purchases you make through these links advertising.... Of grit with hammers had to say i have read that it “ teaches ” them to eat Services. Are such noisy birds... one or two jays perch in a while. Like a good half-dozen birds doing the same, and the more i listen and follow, the healthier become! All birds do rub their beak on a search to find open water all winter!! An alarm call, alerting other blue jays have been messing about on my car last year had say! For its food with great diligence at all the time LLC Associates Program an. Raid nests, and nature fond of forsythia flowers of each potential action can! Surprised to find out that are less than half their size and without weapons! Take them destroying yet another paint job, too the bird, about what is molting why... Around trying to rid the neighborhood of the girls eating their eggs it sounds like men with hammers of... I prepare my potting soil, i guess the California juncos are on all my feeders too. Let me know there was a female goldfinch who elicited the question greatly appreciated ; and yes, the crop... Paint and the more i listen and follow, the smallest NPR station in oven... Listen live at 8:30 am EDT Mondays, to the bottom of it is! That buck skull ( 2014/15 ) the jays started right away but now anywhere on the house and how i. Not be deterred the young vulture sitting on a low branch of a pain to remove them time... Autumn to do just that also seem to deter them is gone the minerals the jay!