Do Blue Jays And Cardinals Get Along?


No, blue jays are known to be hostile toward cardinals. It is common to see blue jays chasing cardinals away from food sources. 

It’s not just cardinals though, blue jays will chase away any smaller bird in an attempt to keep all the food for themselves. 

Blue Jays Are Highly Territorial 

Blue jays are known for being loud and aggressive as they are highly territorial. It is common for these birds to chase away species such as cardinals from feeders.

Scaring smaller birds away from food gives the blue jays an easier meal. This behavior has meant blue jays have developed a reputation as being bullies.

However, blue jays can be moved away from feeders by more dominant species such as woodpeckers, common grackles, scrub jays, and squirrels.   

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The aggressive nature of Blue Jays is simply their survival technique. 

Mob Mentality 

Blue jays are highly intelligent, they will work together to mob potential predators in order to protect their nests. They may also mob to scare birds away from food. 

Male blue jays tend to be more aggressive than females as they are protecting their territory, their mate, and their nest. However, just before the mating season, the female becomes aggressive too. 

Despite being aggressive toward other birds, blue jays are social within their own species. They often live in family groups and they work together to keep safe.

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These groups are also tolerant of other blue jays in the area as their ranges commonly overlap. 

Are Cardinals Aggressive? 

Yes, cardinals can be aggressive in defense of their territory, too.

Male cardinals are known to charge toward other males who intrude on their territory, particularly during the breeding season.

However, these small birds are unlikely to challenge larger birds such as jays. Blue jays are bigger and more dominant than cardinals so they are more likely to hold their ground at a bird feeder. 

Overall, cardinals tend to be more vocal rather than physical, as they use singing to maintain their territories.

A male cardinal will sometimes charge toward birds they see as a threat. This often happens in spring when males are establishing breeding territories.

This is why cardinals sometimes fly into glass windows – they think their reflection is an intruder. 

Outside of the mating season, cardinals are social birds that can be seen in flocks. During mating season, these flocks become pairs.

Do Blue Jays Eat Other Birds?

Blue jays have been known to occasionally eat hatchlings and eggs of other birds but this is uncommon. 

Blue jays have also been recorded predating the nests of northern cardinals. They sometimes prey on smaller birds that have been stunned or killed by striking windows too. 

Although these corvids are omnivorous, the main part of their diet is plants and fruit. They will usually get their protein from insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders. 

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The blue jay’s strong beak also means they are able to crack open nuts and hard seeds. Acorns are one of the jay’s favorite foods and they often cache a surplus of nuts for winter. 

Cardinals are also omnivorous but their diet consists of seeds, grains, fruits, and insects.

Why Are Cardinals Scared Of Blue Jays?

Cardinals are cautious birds that are known to keep away from conflict. They will fly away from almost everything, not just blue jays. 

Cardinals are known for being peaceful and shy so it doesn’t take much for one to be scared off.

The blue jay is larger than the cardinal and is known to use harsh tactics to scare birds away, from mobbing to mimicking hawk calls so it is no surprise the cardinal likes to keep its distance. 

Are Cardinals And Blue Jays Related?

No, cardinals and blue jays are not related.

The species do live in similar areas so it is not unusual to see them both in gardens and around the same feeders. 

  • Cardinals belong to the Cardinalidae family along with grosbeaks and buntings. They are small birds (8-9 inches) and weigh 1.5-1.8 ounces. 
  • Blue jays belong to the Corvidae family with rooks, ravens, crows, jackdaws, and magpies. Blue jays are larger than cardinals, they are 10-12 inches in size and weigh 2.5-3.5 ounces. 

While both birds are colorful and belong to the Passeriformes order, there are many differences between the two species. 

In Conclusion 

Cardinals and blue jays do not get along, but it’s not personal. Blue jays are highly territorial, so they will scare off any bird that comes into their territory or near their food source. Cardinals are cautious and will leave the area if they sense trouble.

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James Goodman

James is a native Texan with a love for birding and outdoor adventures. When he's not birdwatching, you can find him hiking, camping or playing the piano.

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