Do Blue Jays Scare Away Cardinals?

Despite how hostile blue jays tend to be towards other birds, they are actually big softies when it comes to their own species. However, they have still been seen to attack hawks, owls, cats, dogs, and even people who get closer than they would like. 

These birds have personal space bubbles and no one is allowed to cross it. 

So, this begs the question, do blue jays scare away cardinals? And if so, why? 

Well, straight to the point, yes. They do scare cardinals, but it is a little more complex than just a simple ‘scare’. There have been a plethora of sightings of blue jays stealing cardinals’ food, attacking them, and even having cardinal babies for lunch. Not cool! 

Blue jays are social flying creatures, and they typically fly in large groups to create more opportunity and power through numbers. They are also very territorial over their nesting grounds and the areas from where they source their food. So territorial, in fact, they are not afraid or hesitant to attack anyone who comes too close. 

Blue Jays VS Cardinals

Straight to the point. Yes, blue jays do scare away cardinals. They may even take it so far as to bully any bird that is smaller than them. They are like the bullies of the playground in the bird world.

Although the behavior is a bit odd for birds, due to their usually peaceful nature, this is something that they do out of territorial tribalism. Scrub jays are also known for their hostile behavior to smaller birds as well. 

What’s Their Beef?

So, what exactly has made them so hostile? Blue jays do not get along with cardinals simply due to their significant levels of intelligence.

Blue jays can manipulate and control circumstances for their potential benefit, especially when they are working in a group. And so, they may presume other birds are at a lower level in terms of their intelligence. You could relate this behavior to the politics of a school yard. 

Blue jays may also scare cardinals away from food sources, perhaps by using a horde attack with a group of birds, or simply by sheer brute aggression. This can seem to be a bit mean, and it can label them as being a rather hostile character.

Yet, remember out in the wilderness it’s the survival of the fitness, and this aggression is simply a survival technique used by many wise and wild animals. 

This is not something that will apply to every bird, but this mob mentality of blue jays is synonymous with other birds too, and it proves to be useful when fighting off potential predators or intruders. You can even see this behavior in other animals too. 

Blue days are born omnivores, and they will eat anything from frogs, to young mice, insects, seeds, acorns, fruits, and nuts. 

Protecting Cardinals From Blue Jays

Blue jays are usually feeder hogs in the garden, and the only creatures that may make them run for the hills will be chipmunks or squirrels. They may offer a path to a bigger bird like a crow or grackle, but this won’t happen all the time.

Blue jays will also eat lots of sunflower seeds, and they will take whole and shelled peanuts, fruit, and bread too. 

They are very beautiful birds and many backyard birders adore having them around. Yet it is not all sunshine and rainbows, and they can get irritating to cardinals as they won’t allow them near the feeder and there may be some conflict. 

One thing you can do is to put food into a small cylinder feeder. Blue jays may not be able to stand and eat on small cylinder feeders, and so this opens up an opportunity for cardinals and other smaller birds to eat all they want without getting picked on by the   more brutish blue jays. 

Why Are Cardinals So Skittish?

Asking why cardinals are scared of other birds is a bit like asking why any small animal is scared of bigger animals. It is simply a matter of survival and instinct. The cardinals are well-known for being cautious of anything that may seem new to them. They can recognize and sense danger if it is close, and they aren’t going to stick around. 

When they see their own reflection, they do not recognize it as themselves and instead see it as an intruder, so they will attack and peck at the reflection to chase it away. You could label cardinals as scaredy-cats, and while many birds are cautious of things around them, many will not be quite as cautious as cardinals.  

Attracting Cardinals 101

Northern cardinals are probably one of the most desired birds of all yard visiting feathered animals. With their dynamic, beautiful plumage and outstanding songs, it is no surprise that bird lovers want to bring in the cardinals to their backyards.

Of course, there is also the appeal that if you are lucky you might even see a cardinal couple kiss, aww. 

Some myths and folklore say that a cardinal represents a friend or family member who has passed away to come to see you, and when you see a cardinal it is the spirit of your lost loved one who comes to visit. They say that they will ordinarily show up when you need them the most or when you miss them dearest.

Also, that they will show up during festive seasons as well as gloomy seasons to tell you that they will constantly be with you. 

Cardinals are fairly easy birds to please. In fact, with just a couple of simple modifications to your lawn and bird feeder set up, your yard could be a little piece of heaven for these beautiful birds, it can even be a perfect shelter area for them. 

So, what can you do to attract these little darlings? 

Feeder Choice

First of all, you need to have the right bird feeders for these guys. The best feeders you can use are a platform or hopper feeders. This gives them enough space to eat from the feeder. Cardiansla also need plenty of access to water for washing and for drinking. Giving them access to a waterer or birdbath is the ideal way to satisfy their needs. 

You need to remember, though, that you have to change out the water and clean the vessels as often as possible to avoid any green dirt or algae buildup from occurring, as this can compromise their health. 

Good Food

The correct food is also important for cardinals, as much as it is for any other animal. The first step for attracting any winged creature is to give them the food they like. Northern cardinals have a solid and thick beak which is absolutely perfect for picking up huge seeds!  So, white Milo, safflower seeds, and black oil sunflower seeds are favorite picks for these birds, be sure to add these in. 

As well as this, cardinals also enjoy berries, crushed peanuts, and cracked corn too. You should check your feeders regularly to make sure that they are filled enough. This is especially important in the early morning and late at night, as this is when they are most likely to be eating. 

Once the birds understand that your yard offers a year-round supply of food, they will learn that you are a reliable food source, and they will likely move in, and take up a permanent resistance in your yard or at least nearby. 

Attracting Blue Jays 

So, what about blue jays? If you prefer blue jays to cardinals, and you want to start seeing more of them, you will want to draw them into your yard. 

Many believe that blue jays are a symbol of intelligence, communication and curiosity. This would imply that seeing a blue jay in your life means that you will have a feeling of safety and security. 

The best place to find blue jays is if you are close to a forested area, this is where they will typically take up residence. However, alternative methods that will increase your chances to spot one of these birds is to add a hopper feeder or tray feeder into your yard’s landscape. 

They will be inclined to these feeders more than hanging feeders. They will typically eat peanuts, dark oil sunflower seeds, wafer corn, milo, suet, safflower, and mealworms. 

If you want to up your chances even more so, then you could plant an oak tree, or an Oregon white oak, which creates oak seeds with these birds adore! 

All You Need To Know About Blue Jays

Blue jays or jaybirds are of the order Passeriformes in the Corvidae family. Corvidae are known as the crow family mostly, and it is known to be an intelligent feathered bird. The majority of these birds live in the central and eastern United States, although eastern populations may be migratory birds, the resident population is also found in Newfoundland in Canada. 

The blue jay is predominantly blue with a white to gray chest and belly. They have a grayish blue color on their crest and a black U-shaped collar around its lower neck and behind the crest. Their wings and tails have black and white bars, and they have black talons. 

All You Need To Know About Cardinals

In angry birds, the angry red bird is a northern cardinal. They are very friendly, but if you do not treat them well they can be as angry as in the game with an aggressive bite. 

Cardinals/ red birds are members of the Cardinalidae family, they are passerine birds found in North and South America and can also be found in New Mexico. You will often see them flying in pairs in breeding season, yet in fall and winter they can be in large groups from twelve to three dozen. 

They have a black mask covering their face, a crest on their heads and a short bill. They are known for their astounding red color, however females are usually brown or olive toned.