I was with my boys at the school the other day, right around dusk, say 7pm.  We were finishing up our football practice when we heard a very loud commotion about a mile away.  The screeching of blue jays filled the air.  Normally, when you hear blue jays in your backyard, it will be when one or two arrive to announce their presence.   This action usually causes the birds on your feeders to scatter, leaving the blue jays any spot they choose to eat from.   This is why many customers call the blue jays “bullies.”

However, the noises we were hearing were coming from about a dozen blue jays.  The noise never stopped.   Leaving our activities, my sons and I went to investigate.  I had a very good idea as to what was transpiring, but I wanted the boys to see for themselves.  We didn’t have to go far because up in the sky above the treetops, a hawk was trying to avoid the approximately 12 blue jays that were dive bombing this predator.    You see, blue jays have this unique ability to communicate with each other in an instant when danger is near, creating a mobbing action.   When a hawk is near a nesting area, the blue jays will swarm this intruder, driving it away.  In this instance, the blue jays are a “friend.”

So what is the answer?  Are blue jays a “friend or foe?”

Enjoy your weekend, but mostly, enjoy your backyard birds!

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