Symbiotic relationship between chickens and bluejays

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Engteacher, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

    394
    5
    124
    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    I've just seen some new behavior in my small flock. They watch for the bluejay to come to the bird feeder. When he does, they come flying from every corner of the yard to stand underneath the feeder. They bluejay kicks down whatever he won't eat in search of black sunflower seeds, his personal favorite. The chickens gobble down everything he drops, and in gratitude, they keep the squirrels away so the bluejay can eat in peace.

    It seems the chickens are as happy to see the bluejay as they are to see me with the scratch bag.

    Anyone else have a story about wild birds and chickens living in a mutually beneficial way?
     
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,723
    12
    183
    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    My chickens gather under my bird feeder when the cardinals fly to it. They eat what the birds in the feeder drop. I think they like the company of each other [​IMG]
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, one of my bantam roos, Charlie - a Buff Brahma - HATES Blue Jays. Hates 'em. There's a family of 3 who have nested in the tree in the corner of my back yard as long as I've lived here (a whole 3 years now - the Mom & Dad jay were probably there long before I moved in).

    I put 2 cups of cat food in a dish, outside, every evening for two of my cats who do not come inside the house. Up on some cat furniture I keep outside by the patio door to my guest room, on a large wooden cable spool. Then I give some quality loves to the kitties for a while.

    Every afternoon, a blue jay lands on the lamp post at the edge of the patio and waits. Looks around. Checks for cats and/or dogs. Then flies to the cat feeding station to steal a single kitty kibble. It flies back to the lamp post, looks around, then flies off with it. Sometimes it lands in the pasture and eats the kibble, then comes back for another, and sometimes it flies off into the trees with its prize.

    This is in the front of the house, not the back yard. Many of the chickens range freely in my front yard for most of the day. Charlie has decided it's his personal job to harass those jays. He stomps over to the base of the lamp post, neck feathers flared.

    When the jay picks up its one bit of kibble, Charlie rushes the cat feeding station. The jay flies to a fence post and waits. Charlie makes it to the post, the jay flies into the pasture and lands on the ground. Charlie changes direction and charges him, ALL flared up and screaming. The jay flaps up into the air as Charlie gets closer, then lands about 20 feet away. Charlie changes direction.

    This goes on for several minutes until the jay is tired of the game and flies away with the kibble or eats it and then flies back to the lamp post. Charlie rushes back to the lamp post. Round two ensues.

    Charlie is the handsome golden-orange fella in this photo.
    [​IMG]

    Here he is, on patrol in the front yard.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    119
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Ever since a hawk killed my favorite hen last week my adult birds have been on edge. The attack occurred when the crows were strangely absent.
    The other day the crows returned and I've seen my flock relax their guard quite a bit. The chickens seem to instinctively know that the crows will not only alert them to the hawks and eagles, the crows will do their best to drive the predators away too.
     
  5. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Charlie's a very handsome fellow! [​IMG]
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    83,487
    11,820
    816
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Good to Have Charlie on patrol - he'll teach those jays
     
  7. TomG

    TomG Chillin' With My Peeps

    208
    1
    101
    Jun 26, 2010
    Lake Oswego
    Two of my chickens refuse to let jays in the yard. If the jays land, one or both of the hens will run or fly at them.
     
  8. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    Quote:X2 I have crows and doves and pidgeon I stopped free ranging my girls saw 3 different hawks today a very large 1 flying low over the row of backyards looking for a tasty morsel.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by