[Tweeters] The Steller's Jay: An Unexpected Ally

Jeremy Schwartz jschwartz1124 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 24 11:51:38 PDT 2017

Hi Tweeters!

Anyone reading this has undoubtedly waged both ground and air war with
squirrels seeking to pillage their birdfeeders. My wife and I have been in
the thick of this recently, having just bought our first house with an
honest-to-goodness (if small) backyard.

We have four feeders set up so far, with three based around a pole system
bought from Wild Birds Unlimited. We've had wins and losses, as we've
shifted the feeder positions, installed an anti-squirrel baffle and gone
the chemical warfare route with cayenne pepper mixed into the feed.

Something unexpected happened just a few weeks ago, though: A Steller's jay
joined our anti-squirrel efforts.

Well, joined might be a strong word.

The raucous Steller’s jay that has begun its own campaign of chasing away
encroaching squirrels is certainly no friend of ours. It's also harassed
and shouted at my wife a few times as she was taking our puppy out for a

Just the same, this jay has on multiple occasions chased off squirrels
climbing along our fence line with repeated dives and swoops. Its been
something to see! We suspect it’s because of a smaller, definitely
younger-looking jay that’s been hanging around.

If we have to share ownership of our backyard, I'm thrilled to cede some
ground to our own little blue-and-black, squirrel-seeking air-to-ground

Has anyone else seen this sort of behavior?

Keep watching the skies.

Jeremy Schwartz
Lake Forest Park
jschwartz1124 at gmail dot com
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