Pinyon Jays are driving us nuts! : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Does anyone have ideas or suggestions on how to discourage Pinyon Jays? Although they are a pretty bird we have a flock of about 200 that harrass the smaller birds and our feeders and their squacking is enough to make anyone crazy...especially early in the morning. I know it's stupid to not expect the Jays to come in to the feeders but we have so many other birds that we love to watch and many of them are almost tame. We live on thirty acres and have neighbors within 5 to 10 acres of us. Most have feeders of their own so I'm sure it's not just ours. Anyway, enough whining. Any ideas or suggestions for finding information about these critters will be appreciated. Thanks!

-- Sherry Talbot (, July 07, 2000


Hi Sherry, don't know much about Pinyon Jays. Are they the same size as a Blue Jay? You might try putting some larger feed, like corn, on the ground away from your other feeders? Maybe they would flock to it and leave your other feeders alone. Don't know just a thought. Did anyone happen to see the report on the news the other day, about the Tokyo Crows? Seems like the people of Tokyo can hardly even go out of their houses without being attacked by them. They steal wire clothes hangers to build their nest on, then the clothes hangers get loose and fall from the trees! Felt sorry for those people. Women were wearing hats and carrying umbrellas to protect themselves. Looked like a scene from the movie "The Birds"! Guess the crows have gotten too used to people that they're starting to get agressive.

-- Annie (, July 08, 2000.

Our neighbors up the road have a mess of bird feeding stations. What they do is throw bread out on the ground for their hasslers, which in this case are crows. The bread seems to distract them for a while, anyway... the smaller birds can get a mouthful or two! You might try it for the jays...they seem to have similar personalities to crows, and would perhaps be diverted. Realistically, I would bet that they are not going away as long as the feeders are around, but it's worth a try. Good luck!

-- sheepish (, July 09, 2000.

I study communication in pinyon jays. you should appreciate them- they are remarkable birds. They form the largest flocks of any corvid-up to 500 birds. They are also a pinyon pine seed specialist- the only bird named after a tree. They also mate for life, have a complex social hierarchy, and a diversity of voclaizations. Mated bird's are very devoted to each other-there are no records of divorce, and when 1 bird dies the bird's mate often dies in the near future. Males tend to stay with their natal flock, but females often join other flocks. Pinyon jay also have an exceptionally amazing memory. Every year they collect thousands of pine seeds, which they hide in small holes across the landscape, called caches. They have an enlarged esophagus that allows them to carry far more seeds than any other corvid of similar size. They rely on these stored seeds throughout the winter, and their memory allows them to recover seeds from thousands of caches. This ability to store food allows them to nest earlier in most birds. In Flagstaff, AZ-females often get snowed on while sitting on the nest. Their young feed almost entirely on stored seeds. While the female incubates, the male retrieves food from both his caches, and caches his mate has made. If you want more information, look up the book "The Pinyon Jay" by Marzluff and Balda.

-- Chris (, August 12, 2001.

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