Feb 26 2012

Have You Seen Any Blue Jays Lately?

Published by at 7:30 am under Migration,Songbirds

When volunteers compared notes after the Pittsburgh Christmas Bird Count on January 1, someone remarked that they hadn’t seen many blue jays this winter.  Everyone at the Pittsburgh CBC Dinner nodded.

This morning I remembered that remark and looked through my bird observations to see how often I’ve recorded blue jays this winter.

Amazingly I’ve seen them only four times since November 1:  on November 6 and 13 and December 4 and 11.  Three of those observations were at the same spot at Moraine State Park and were perhaps the same individual bird.  Meanwhile, I have not seen a blue jay in Pittsburgh for at least four months.

If the blue jays aren’t here, where are they?

Have you seen any blue jays lately?

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UPDATES & BLUE JAY ABUNDANCE MAPS

  • Click here for an eBird map of blue jay abundance 2009-2013 in Pennsylvania.  Change the map’s location by clicking on the word “Pennsyvania” and choosing your own state.
  • March 2012:  I mapped your sightings on The Blue Jay Report here.
  • June 2013:  New comments have come in from folks who are seeing far fewer blue jays than they expect.  I asked 1,200 observers in Pennsylvania (via PABIRDS) if they were seeing fewer blue jays.  Everyone said they were seeing plenty of blue jays but one person commented that 17-year cicadas seemed to depress blue jay abundance in advance of the cicada emergence.  If you have fewer blue jays, are you also in a cicada area?

 

(photo by Marcy Cunkelman, prior to 2000)

112 responses so far

112 Responses to “Have You Seen Any Blue Jays Lately?”

  1. Dianeon 26 Feb 2012 at 7:40 am

    I have lots in my yard but I live in Delaware. There are about a dozen that feed here thru the winter.

  2. Geneon 26 Feb 2012 at 7:53 am

    Perhaps many migrate like robins do. Has anybody studied this? Has this been a year where their food supply is diminished? Interesting.

  3. Marianneon 26 Feb 2012 at 8:06 am

    There are Blue Jays here in DuBois all year-round. I don’t know if they are the same birds or if there is movement of individuals through migration.

    I have about 5 that come to my feeding area regularly.

  4. Andrea Boykowyczon 26 Feb 2012 at 8:28 am

    Huh! Now that you mention it, we’re short on them too. Last winter we had at least four regulars at our bird feeder, and this winter we haven’t had any. I had been chalking it up to a new birdseed blend, but now I think of it, I haven’t even SEEN a blue jay in a while, nor heard one.

  5. Carol Smithon 26 Feb 2012 at 8:50 am

    At our feeders in South Park there seems to be no shortage of blue jays, but a friend who lives near North Park noticed their absence in his yard.

  6. Marcy Con 26 Feb 2012 at 9:39 am

    They are here too, but in groups of 5-8 and seems like the usual number for winter. BTW, the photo was BEFORE 2000 since this was taken on the trellis at our old place..hard to believe it’s been 11/2001 when we moved here…it will be 10 years this spring we started improving the sterile yard to a wonderful habitat…

  7. Kate St. Johnon 26 Feb 2012 at 9:46 am

    Thanks for the update, Marcy. I corrected the photo date.

  8. Karissaon 26 Feb 2012 at 10:07 am

    I have several females that hit up my open-trough feeder (the jays seem to own that one… no other birds really get a chance there!). The males stop by sometimes, but I mostly see the females early in the morning. I’m in the east suburbs, if that helps.

  9. Steve-oon 26 Feb 2012 at 10:10 am

    The only Jays that I’ve seen out here were Stellar Jays up in the mountains. I did the GBBC last week and one of the experts with us said that bird flu did a number on them out here. That birds were everywhere a few years ago.
    And I’ll ask my dad if he’s seen any in Tarentum, he has a very popular feeder.

  10. Rob Protzon 26 Feb 2012 at 10:10 am

    We have a few up here in the Allegheny Valley near the river. I heard one “queedling” the other day across the street from the river.

    The strangest Blue Jay observation I’ve had all winter was during a snowstorm in January when one Blue Jay was in a tree across the alley from where I was going to shovel snow for a friend. That Blue Jay was calling just like a Red-tailed Hawk. And I wasn’t the only one who noticed, because the guy who lived there noticed it too. And there was no question who was making the hawk call because we could see the jay doing it. I read something about someone else hearing a Blue Jay call like a hawk too, but I can’t remember where I read that now.

  11. Donnaon 26 Feb 2012 at 10:10 am

    I recorded 3 jays twice during the Great Backyard Bird Count this year in Murrysville. So far, have seen 2 this morning at my feeders.

  12. Steve-oon 26 Feb 2012 at 10:11 am

    And if I recall correctly, Blue Jays do migrate. But some winter in Pittsburgh from further north. Maybe they didn’t have to move this year?

  13. Jonion 26 Feb 2012 at 10:16 am

    Did see just one in Greensburg, PA, last week. Have always had the sweet little juncos, in winter; but, short on them, this year, as well.

  14. Linda Szczepanskion 26 Feb 2012 at 10:58 am

    I live in the Lawrenceville section of the city, I have had Jays all winter taking the roasted in-shell peanuts. We also have a hawk that visits for a meal once or twice a month ( pigeons) and strangely one of the Jays imitates it almost perfectly…I thought maybe he is tryi g to chase the competition away!?!?

  15. Nannie U.on 26 Feb 2012 at 11:15 am

    We have blue jays year round here in south Louisiana, but not as many lately. We also have a few more hawks around so I wonder if the hawks are keeping the jays away. We saw a hawk grab a jay one day, right out of a tree where there was a group of jays. More hawks = less jays? Anyone know about this? The numbers of our other “regular” birds have not changed.

  16. John Englishon 26 Feb 2012 at 11:25 am

    I have a regular pair over here near Forbes and Braddock. And recently the male (I assume) has been chasing off another rival. If I don’t see them daily, I certainly hear them :-)

  17. Jen Englandon 26 Feb 2012 at 11:48 am

    You know I hadn’t processed it, but as soon as I saw the headline in my reader I knew I hadn’t either. I live in Greenfield near the park and we usually have them regularly. Wonder why the end of the city is having a drought. (I’m relieved to see that others are seeing them!)

  18. Kristenon 26 Feb 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Come to think of it, I haven’t seen any at my feeders since December. I’m in Greensburg. Then again, the only birds that have been showing up regularly since then are the sparrows, the cardinal couple that lives in the tree next door and a couple of goldfinches, so perhaps the birds don’t find my yard all that hospitable.

  19. Barbara Harmanon 26 Feb 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I live in the Penn Hills area and have always had between 6 and 8 blue jays feeding off and on during the day at my feeders—-except for this winter when I have absolutely none!! Twice during the winter I have seen one lone jay stop at my one of my feeders..but it only stayed for a moment or two. They used to always watch for their favorite treats, “peanuts in the shell”, but even that doesn’t bring them around this winter!

  20. Candyon 26 Feb 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I haven’t seen many this winter, but I did count one during the Great Backyard Bird Count last weekend, about 2 blocks from my house in Swissvale.

  21. michelleon 26 Feb 2012 at 8:55 pm

    They all must be at my house in New Castle! They have been here pretty much daily all winter, and I’ve been seeing as many as 5 at a time in various trees near the feeders.

  22. Grampyon 27 Feb 2012 at 4:15 am

    Here in Western Kentucky they are plentiful. One difference this year is that I only put our feeders in the winter when I feel the birds might need help finding food. This winter has been so mild the blue jays seem to be finding enough in the field and are not visiting the feeders.

  23. Kathy Detweileron 27 Feb 2012 at 9:54 am

    I’m staying near Uniontown PA and I have at least two visiting my feeder daily.

  24. Karenon 27 Feb 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I agree with you. I normally have at least 4 – 6 up every morning. I only see one hear and there. I saw one this weekend at my feeder. I just assumed that they haven’t been coming because of the mild winter. I live in North Versailles. Normally when I put the peanuts out they start calling each other.

  25. JenPon 27 Feb 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Lots here in Northern NY where they go crazy when I put out the in shell peanuts into the tray feeders!! I would say at least 10 have been seen at the same time, but I have a feeling there’s many more. And as I type this at work I can hear them at the feeder outside!

  26. Joshon 27 Feb 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve had a pair visiting my yard in suburban Lancaster county every day since I got my heated birdbath for Christmas. Since I have the added variable of the birdbath, it’s hard to tell if this marks a broad trend of Blue Jays moving away from the city or not, but it may fit your observed trend.

  27. Colleenon 27 Feb 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I have had Blue Jays in my yard year round for the last 5 years. However, this year I haven’t hardly seen or heard any. I put out bird seed (including black seeds) & unsalted peanuts. They came every morning for the peanuts, but not for the last few months. I live in the city of Pittsburgh, but near woods. I have turkey coming & deer stopping by my yard. I wonder what happened to the jays…

  28. Jodi Hudzinskion 28 Feb 2012 at 7:54 am

    I have 4 Blue Jays in my yard all winter. I live in the Penn Hills area, closer to Churchill. The one Blue Jay that I believe was born last spring only has one eye. I have 16 Cardinals also in my yard. One female has white head. I have several bird feeders with a mix of corn and sunflower seeds and a large pond. I am also very excited to see that a pair of Red Tail Hawks building a nest outside my kitchen window a top a pine tree.

  29. kayon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:15 am

    Not many jays in northern Washington County either. A few scattered here and there, but not the usual number. I too have heard the jays imitating a red tail. The sound is almost identical. When I hear this I stop and scan the trees and usually find a jay looking back at me. Does anyone know the reason for this? I have also noticed that the blue jays and crows seem to hang out together in my neighborhood. Is this an unusual friendship or just coincidence?

  30. Katydidon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:27 am

    The jays stopped feeding here too. I had one visit from one bird in January. But, two days ago one bird gave his fake Red-shouldered hawk call from some nearby woods. I was fooled and excited to think the hawk was back. Then the jay began his usual song and I berated him loudly! Murrysville

  31. Kali Bird Isison 28 Feb 2012 at 9:35 am

    I’m in mid-coast Maine and I’ve been worried sick about the jays. I’ve seen none this winter whereas 3 years ago we had tons. Crows are also disappearing…

  32. Joyon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:37 am

    I have also noted that bluejays have been mising this winter. I am happy to report that just this weekend a few have returned. Does anyone know if there is some reason for this? I live in Passaic County NJ

  33. Valerie Steinon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:37 am

    I just took a few pics yesterday , with Blue jays eating Peanuts I gave them. They are pretty brazen, and will come right up to me to get them.

  34. Joyon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:40 am

    I have heard that jays will give the hawk call in order to clear other birds from feeders. I have seen it work for them!

  35. Tammion 28 Feb 2012 at 9:40 am

    We had a couple that nested in the yard over the summer. I’m pretty sure the 3 that are hanging out in the front yard are the surviving babies. They are here all the time and seem to be pretty tolerant of us humans:)

  36. Jodyon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:42 am

    I live near Rural Valley , PA, around an hour and a half from downtown Pittsburgh. I just put bird seed out yesterday and one of the first birds in was a blue jay.

  37. Jeanon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:46 am

    Noticed the same thing near Washington, D.C. It seems like they are usually around during the winter, but not this year.

  38. Marty Spurrieron 28 Feb 2012 at 9:54 am

    I have seen 3 in recent weeks that come once or twice a day to my feeders. If I put out peanuts, they always come. I can hear them calling in the distance…alerting any others that there are peanuts for breakfast at the Spurrier feeders. In years past had many more.

  39. Marty Spurrieron 28 Feb 2012 at 9:55 am

    Forgot to mention that I live in Virginia Beach, Va.

  40. potterjoon 28 Feb 2012 at 9:59 am

    Here is north central Arkansas we have them year around. I am not a good lister, none showed up for the GBBC, saw a couple a day or so ago and heard them yesterday.

  41. Susanon 28 Feb 2012 at 10:07 am

    We live in the most northwestern area of NC and we have not seen any Blue Jays this winter either. Where do they go!

  42. Greyhouse Photographyon 28 Feb 2012 at 10:14 am

    We saw a total of 3 blue jays at one time during the GBBC, and saw at least one every day during the count. There’s one outside the window right now. It does seem that there are fewer of them . . . We’re located in SE KY. We hope you’ll visit our web site and friend us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GreyhousePhotography.

  43. Valerieon 28 Feb 2012 at 10:27 am

    I live in NE Florida, and although I do still see and hear Blue Jays, I have noticed a decline in numbers recently. During the GBBC, I could hear them, but did not actually see them, so I was unable to submit any data. I’m happy to report that I have already seen one at my feeder this morning.

  44. Kara Son 28 Feb 2012 at 10:56 am

    I have 5 here in MN.. Been here all winter.. But I have noticed a major decline in all the birds at my feeders this winter.. I didn’t have much to report for the gbbc, but I did it.. Is all this mild weather really screwing them up?

  45. Godfreyon 28 Feb 2012 at 11:53 am

    I, also live in DE. I have seen up to 6 blue jays in our thicket, at the same time. We have a great thicket, we have 6 different bird feeders around. No squirrels, ever. Hoping to see more Blue Jays, esp. babies.

  46. Sueon 28 Feb 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Here in Western New York, they’ve been coming around all winter and seem especially fond of the bark butter I put out for the woodpeckers. I have some wintry photos of a rather wind-blown Jay posted here: http://www.chirpsandcheeps.com/BirdBlog/A-Blue-Jay-on-a-Blustery-Day.html.

  47. Pattyon 28 Feb 2012 at 12:44 pm

    In my backyard in Pennsylvania on the outskirts of Philadelphia.

  48. Ginaon 28 Feb 2012 at 12:46 pm

    We have had tons of them…when we put out peanuts! We are in southern Indiana, and when there are peanuts in the feeder, there is a constant group of about 6-7 beautiful blue jays. Not sure where they hide when there are no peanuts.

  49. Johnon 28 Feb 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Inner coastal NC on the Pamlico River. No I have not seen any here lately and have seldom seen them here. They don’t seem to do well in an area filled with Thrashers, Catbirds and Mocking Birds.

  50. Meredithon 28 Feb 2012 at 3:13 pm

    There are plenty here near Burlington, Vermont. Just saw a few pairs in Colchester and South Burlington last week.

  51. Steve-oon 28 Feb 2012 at 6:15 pm

    My dad has seen one Blue Jay in Tarentum, and that wasn’t until just this past weekend.

  52. Susanon 28 Feb 2012 at 6:16 pm

    One of my favorites, he comes to my feeder daily!
    southern Mississippi location.

  53. M.A.on 28 Feb 2012 at 7:38 pm

    This year I’ve had them off and on in coastal SE NC.

  54. Linda Bradfordon 28 Feb 2012 at 8:36 pm

    We have lots of blue jays up here in Ottawa, mind you we keep them well fed during the winter. I must be honest though, I don’t think we have as many as we normally have hanging out on the feeders at this time of year.

  55. Paton 28 Feb 2012 at 9:31 pm

    My blue jays disappeared shortly before I began counting for project feeder watch – mid November. I have one that occassionally comes but in years past I typically would have 6 or so at a time. The ones I feed at my office (in Tarentum, PA) also disappeared except for 1 that comes once in a while. I assumed they were managing on natural foods given the mild winter we have had. I am located 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA.

  56. Valerieon 28 Feb 2012 at 10:50 pm

    The blue jays are all in Florida. So, apparently, are the robins. Maybe after last winter, they were a little hesitant to go back north!

  57. Cindyon 29 Feb 2012 at 1:59 am

    There were 2 in the yard in No Colorado yesterday with their usual gang of thugs. 4 magpies, 2-4 bluejays, a flicker and sometimes a kestrel show up an make a ruckus! I can’t decide if they are allies or are fussing at each other. Things were quiet when we had west Nile come through a few years ago. Things are back to a noisy routine again. I can hear them all travel the neighborhood together.

  58. Kate St. Johnon 29 Feb 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Woo hoo! I just saw my first blue jay in the City this winter! He was heading north!

  59. Marilyn Ritskyon 01 Mar 2012 at 1:03 am

    I live about an hour and a half northeast of Pittsburgh, Pa. and have recentlu been noticing blue jays in the trees in my yard. I put sunflower seed in my feeders so blue jays are frequent visitors. With the recent weather, 50 today, 12 4 days ago, I believe all the animals are unsure as to where to go. Think we may have some early baby animals and birds this year. We need to start to take better care of what we do to this wonderful earth of ours.

  60. Jerry Pon 01 Mar 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I live in Rhode Island, I have feeders and suet out all winter and have not seen a blue jay since November, its now March 1st 2012.
    We usually see blue jays everyday, this is how I found this forum !
    Strange !

  61. Peteron 05 Mar 2012 at 9:28 am

    I just heard a pair calling in the Schenley Farms neighborhood. Hearing the calls made me realize how silent it had been all winter.

  62. Erikaon 10 Mar 2012 at 10:26 am

    I’m in Rhode Island too, and while i have lots of other birds, I haven’t seen any blue jays in ages. I don’t miss their aggressiveness, but it is strange not to see them.

  63. Janelleon 28 Mar 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Hi, I live in the Blue Mountain area of eastern PA, just above the Lehigh Valley. Over the years I have had a constant flock of at least 14 pairs living in the conifer around my home. I noticed their disappearance around this past summer, 2011. I find it very strange that an entire group would just vanish. There has not been one around our yard since. The other birds have maintained though it will be interesting to see about the migratory ones. I have not had the variety this spring as in the past 6 years here.

  64. bhanceyon 09 Nov 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I hadn’t seen this post earlier, but just to add to the question — we noticed a distinct decrease in the number of Stellar’s Jays around the North Lake Tahoe (CA) area this past summer. Usually they are hopping about, and we hear them wherever we go up there in the summers, but this year we only saw 3 during our 2 days there, and we heard one other one. Strange to find it so quiet, and we missed their personalities, which always add a lot to whatever is going on in the neighborhood when we venture outside, or sit outside having meals.
    Did anyone ever come back with a reason for the drop — or is a study being done to find an actual cause for this?
    I will say that the scrub jays are still fairly common in our neighborhood in the Central Valley, but we have seen a big drop in the number of crows and magpies due to West Nile attacks during the past couple of years. Not many robins here anymore either, but that is most likely due to hawks, falcons, and definitely cats — lots of cats, both pets and ferral — that are allowed to run free and kill many of our beautiful birds.

  65. Bilal Poppon 22 Jan 2013 at 10:40 am

    I live in southern canada and i havent seen a blue jay for 15 years!! And Ive lived in the same town my whole life and the last time I saw a blue jay in my yard was when I was 5 and I knew right there that that was my favorite bird. I am now 20 years old and I havent seen a blue jay since…

    Whered they go?

  66. carol stanleyon 02 Feb 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I live in southern Pa and this is the first year I have not seen any blue jays. I’ve been feeding birds for 43 years here

  67. Margot Lashon 18 Feb 2013 at 8:42 am

    I live in Cornwall on Hudson, NY.. I’ve been feeding the birds all winter and haven’t had one Blue Jay. I had jays at our place in the central Adirondacks last summer, but not to have them here is very strange. We are surrounded by protected state land, so habitat isn’t a problem. From all the blogs that I have been reading, here and on other websites there seems to be something going on that has caused a very dramatic reduction in the population of this bird.

  68. Janeton 13 Mar 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Only one blue jay has come to our feeder in the last two years. And he was just passing by. I live in Somerset, PA. I’ve missed them and wondered why they seem to have disappeared.

  69. Debraon 23 Mar 2013 at 4:22 pm

    We were wondering where the blue jays have gone also. We have always had MANY & the minute there was new food, they were there. We have not seen any here in North Brunswick NJ at all. My other half swears it’s been since Sandy but I can’t say I can recall when they disappeared. I have emailed Cornell Ornithology Dept & the guy who writes the birding column for the Star-Ledger (NJ paper) and neither have responded. I also spoke to an Audobon rep who lives in northern NJ & she has noticed the decline also. I would really like to know what is going on.

  70. Kate St. Johnon 23 Mar 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on where you live, but I can guide you to ebird.org that will show you where the blue jays are this winter.

    Go to http://ebird.org/ebird/map/, enter Species “blue jay” and Custom date range of “Jan to March” of the Current Year and you’ll get a color coded map of the sightings of blue jays in the past few months. If you put in your location you can also see who where blue jays are near you.

  71. Kate St. Johnon 26 Mar 2013 at 10:37 pm

    This morning, March 26, I suddenly saw more blue jays in my Pittsburgh neighborhood than I’d seen for a long time. They must have come in overnight.

  72. Debraon 31 Mar 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Thank you Kate St. John, there are some in the area per the map but not many. Still a mystery. I do miss them even though they’re bullies!

  73. Debraon 10 Apr 2013 at 10:09 pm

    About an hour and a half after I checked this site, I was in my garden & heard a familiar screaming. I looked up & there was a blue jay! I hurriedly filled the sunflower seed feeder & threw some on the street but by that time, the jay had flown up the street screaming. It was like it was saying “Hey I’m here!” Amazing!

  74. Kate St. Johnon 10 Apr 2013 at 10:12 pm

    That’s good news!

  75. Robertaon 06 Jun 2013 at 8:58 am

    I seen a blue jay at my boyfriends house in his back yard

  76. Philon 12 Jun 2013 at 5:56 pm

    I live in North West NJ. This year I saw only two Blue Jays… The normal amount would be close to 100, So I just was wondering and found this site to find out why? I was thinking that the Gov has started using DDT again, I hope not.
    Any one with the answer as to why we have so many LESS blue jays please let me know.
    I’ll be checking back here from time to time. Thanks.

  77. Kimon 17 Jun 2013 at 8:00 am

    I live in Northern VA and I don’t think I’ve seen any this year at all -or over the winter (2012-2013). That’s how I found this site. The Grackle’s seem to have replaced the Blue Jays in my back yard.

  78. Kate St. Johnon 17 Jun 2013 at 8:38 am

    Kim, we have many blue jays in Pittsburgh this summer. They cause a stir whenever they get near other birds’ nests because they’ll eat the eggs and nestlings.

  79. chadon 19 Jun 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I have not seen one in Southern WV for quite some time. This is very strange. They are vanishing.

  80. kismet1113on 17 Aug 2013 at 9:17 am

    I know that this is an older post, but over the winter of of 2012 we had dozens of jays here at our home in Chambersburg, PA. In early spring of 2013 we continued to have a lot of jays and started to find a lot of dead fledgelings around the house and neighborhood. Now we don’t have a single jay. I still put peanuts out and the same food and yet we don’t have a single jay. The neighborhood is quiet. I miss our jays! Any idea what happened or where they might be?

  81. Kate St. Johnon 17 Aug 2013 at 9:24 am

    “Dead fledglings” sounds mysterious, especially if you found bodies. Predators would have eaten them, leaving no bodies behind. If there were a lot of dead nestlings — not just one or two — then my guess is that a new disease or poison/pesticide happened in your neighborhood this year.
    Jays disperse after the nesting season. If your neighborhood was bad for jays this year they wouldn’t stick around.

  82. Janeton 13 Sep 2013 at 6:29 pm

    We’ve been feeding birds here in rural Fulton County NY for many years. There have always been dozens of blue jays year round up until about a month ago. Now we have none. We are not aware of any environmental changes. The food is the same. We haven’t seen any dead birds. The feeding area is very quiet without them. Would that many well fed birds just pack up and move?

  83. Kate St. Johnon 13 Sep 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Janet, yes your blue jays have probably “packed up” and migrated. Blue jays are on the move this month and though yours have left you might gain some blue jays from further north who will decide to stay for the winter.
    On the other hand… I’m not sure why blue jays would be continuously in your yard in prior years & then have a gap in their presence this year.
    It’ll be interesting to see what happens next spring.

  84. Janeton 14 Sep 2013 at 10:02 am

    Thanks for your input. I will let you know if the northern cousins arrive.

  85. JLon 11 Nov 2013 at 6:00 pm

    I found your website because I was wondering where the blue jays went.

    Manhattan, NY – literally in the middle of Manhattan, I feed mourning doves and blue jays on my fire escape. There is a tall tree very close by where they can perch. The most blue jays I’ve seen together at once was 3 or 4 this summer, and have grown quite fond of them.

    I haven’t seen nor heard them for a week and was wondering if they had migrated due to the temperature getting colder… or maybe it’s because I had run out of peanuts for a week.

    Just put out some black sunflower seeds, hope to see them soon or at least when they come back if they’ve gone to warmer places for the winter.

  86. Cherylon 23 Nov 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I live in western NC and have had lots of Blue Jays up until about a month ago and now I have none, whenever I put out my food they would come screaming in from all over and now I have not seen one. In past winters they have continued to stay here and feed out of my feeders. Anyone else in western NC experiencing this?

  87. Debon 18 Dec 2013 at 1:45 pm

    It has been driving my husband nuts that the blue jays here have disappeared. We live in the area near Michaux State Forest, south central PA, and have not seen a jay for well over a month.

  88. Jesse Russellon 22 Jan 2014 at 3:10 pm

    I live in the northern part of Va. in the northern Shenandoah Valley. Every year I feed birds out on the deck and every year Blue Jays come flocking in and knock all the other birds out of the way. Not this year. Not one Blue Jay has shown up during the frenzied feeding. Not one! It is so weird that I put it on Facebook to find out if others have noticed this at their homes. I have no answer to this unusual situation.

  89. Chris Roelkeon 26 Jan 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Blue jays have been noticeably absent here in south central PA. We have established feeders with all kinds of beautiful birds, but NO blue jays. We have been talking about this lately and realizing that we’ve seen none for some time. I would really like to know what is going on. A few years ago blue jays were a regular sight. Aggressive, noisy and beautiful. We see cardinals, pigeons, titmice, woodpeckers and more. But no blue jays. Where have all the jays gone?

  90. Paulon 29 Jan 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I am glad to see it is not just in my area. I am in south western PA and I haven’t seen or heard a blue jay all winter. There doesn’t seem be any less of all of the other winter birds like cardinals, juncos, etc.

  91. Kate St. Johnon 29 Jan 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Paul, there are blue jays at Schenley Park. Even on the last two very cold mornings I’ve seen at least 5, especially near Phipps. Maybe they’ve all moved to town.

  92. Bobon 09 Feb 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Growing up in Indiana, Blue Jays were always abundant year round, and would aggressively dominate any bird feeder when they chose too. Typically, they would rake all the mixed seed to the ground to get to the sunflower and saflower seeds. I currently live in Kentucky, and typically the same species tend to proliferate here. I have observed jays here regularly, but not as plentiful. That is, up until a few months ago. It seems that the jays, chickadees, and nuthatches have all gone missing, even though the other species have been vigorously excercising the bird feeders.

  93. Frankon 16 Feb 2014 at 4:39 pm

    There seemed to be a large population of foxes this past summer in Monmouth county, I think this might have something to do with it. Also a lot of hawks this past summer. I noticed a lot of jay feathers in and around my wooded lot.

  94. Jeff Sincellon 09 Mar 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I’m quite a ways south of most of you folks, and the jays are simply gone from this area, have been for the last three or four months. I’m in Romney, WV, about 30 miles south of Cumberland, MD. We have the usual winter cardinals, juncos, titmice, chickadees and nuthatches, but no jays. My one cousin is a birder (and not internet savvy); he said to check the Cornell University site for news, which I will do.

  95. Zotta Lion 07 Apr 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I have not seen a Bluejay in years. But I found a Bluejay feather today. I’m so glad you’re talking about this, my favorite bird. -Western Mass

  96. Nancy Hulser Platekon 16 May 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I recently realized that I had not seen a Blue Jay for quite sometime where I live in CT. I know that I have not seen any in the past year but it may be longer than that. I use to have several in my back yard. I asked my friends on Facebook if they had seen any lately. From the many replies that I received, only a few had seen were lucky to have seen them.

  97. Theresaon 26 May 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I live in west central Indiana, 2 miles from where I grew up. Blue Jays were always around. I just noticed a couple of years ago that I hadn’t seen any Jays in several years.

  98. Kate St. Johnon 26 May 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Theresa, I am always fascinated to hear of their absence in formerly prime territory. On the other hand (regarding abundance), today, while visiting Cape Cod, I saw a flock of 20 heading north on migration. It seems odd that they would be doing this so late in May but they must be heading somewhere that’s still cold.

  99. kelleyon 31 May 2014 at 8:49 am

    I live in newton iowa i haven’t seen any blue jays sence winter and there seems to be a shortage here i have other friends tell me they haven’t seen any eirther . We have also heard there is some pesticides that causing them to die. if they are killing the Blue Jays what is going to happen, to the other birds?

  100. linda burkeon 01 Jul 2014 at 12:22 pm

    When we lived in Larchmont (Westchester County, NY) the area was filled with raucous blue jays (who often tried to attack our 2 cats) and mourning doves, with their beautiful song. One morning I saw a gorgeous, bright red bird. I looked it up and discovered it was a scarlet tanager. Aren’t they found in the south? Perhaps this one was lost. We now live about 9 miles away in Hartsdale (same county) and what we see and hear are huge numbers of crows. Very noisy, but fascinating. But no blue jays, no mourning doves, no sparrows, and I wonder why. Possible reasons (?): We are in a high rise complex. Behind is a large stand of ugly locust trees and pin oaks. This area was part of the cicada occupation last summer.

  101. Kate St. Johnon 01 Jul 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Linda, Scarlet tanagers breed all the way up to Canada so they are normal in New York state. However they like wooded areas so they are not in dense cities nor in open farmland. It is always surprising to see one in a city … usually only happens during migration in spring & fall.
    The absence of blue jays may be habitat related too. I’ve found them in suburbs and in thin woodlands, not in dense city settings.

  102. linda burkeon 02 Jul 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you, Kate, for the info. That was the only sighting I’ve ever had of that beautiful bird. I guess we have always lived in urbanized areas and the only birds to be seen were pigeons and sparrows. And here in the busier suburbs, only crows. Perhaps they scare off everything else. Now that we go to Florida in the winter, I am learning about the residents on our golf course.

  103. dottieon 05 Jul 2014 at 5:07 pm

    I usually have numerous blue jays for peanuts and they’ll even hawk at me if the dish is empty.
    This year I haven’t seen nor heard by jays, what I’ve been noticing is the black birds are still here. They are usually long gone by now. What’s going on?

  104. Kate St. Johnon 06 Jul 2014 at 7:45 am

    Dottie, I don’t know where you live but it could be that the jays are still nesting. The grackles (my guess at the black birds you mention) have finished nesting and are traveling in big flocks right now.

  105. Kathy Tayloron 29 Jul 2014 at 12:35 am

    I too have wondered why I haven’t seen any Blue Jays. I live in the St. Louis, Missouri area. I used to see them all the time, but it recently occurred to me that I hadn’t seen ANY in the past year or so. It’s concerned me enough to Google this to see if anyone else had noticed a decline in their numbers.

  106. mike olaughon 06 Aug 2014 at 7:49 am

    The reason I found this blog was because i was trying to find out what happened to the Blue Jays. We hated them as kids because of their raucus calls and they seemed to drive away all the competition. But I haven’t seen one in years, maybe a decade, maybe more. We have a diverse tree population and now have many birds we never saw back in the 50′s. We have fully mature Broad Hawks and Red Tails and a couple of smaller raptors I have not identified. Where we used to have only Common Sparrows, Robins and Blue Jays we now have the Sparrows, a variety of them, Finches of several types and various Wrens, (sorry, my identification is weak but I can still see the differences enough to note a different bird) This year we have a Western Goldfinch or another bird that looks just like it with out the red cap. We also have Turkeys abundant enough for them to be looking for nesting in the neighbors yard. The hen we saw this year rested in their giant White Pine but there were so many watchers gathering in my back yard for a look that I think we scared her off. There seem to be fewer Robins but that may be because there are so many other birds now. I don’t mention the Crows only because they are ubiquitous no matter the conditions. We are near a cemetery and they have lived there for a century. I learned when I first moved here 20 years ago to leave them alone. They ganged up on my car and dropped on it enmasse for a whole season. (I was trying to get them to stop roosting across the alley.) They are harassed now on occasion by one of the smaller Raptors that has moved in to hunt baby rabbits, our newest pestilence in Minneapolis. But not one Blue Jay. Curious. Any thoughts?

  107. Kate St. Johnon 06 Aug 2014 at 8:10 am

    Interesting observations, Mike Olaugh. I checked eBird for sightings of blue jays and see that they are most numerous at the southwest lakes (Lake Calhoun & other lakes north & south of it) and the Mississippi valley. Here’s the link that shows where and when they’ve been seen: http://bit.ly/1obTBjn Their absence seems to be localized.

  108. Mike Olaughon 09 Aug 2014 at 11:48 am

    Thanks Kate. It looks like they are all around me. It is possible that my old man memory has populated the past with more Jays than actually were there. I did forget to mention the Cardinals that do dominate the morning here. I always thought the two were close relatives but, somehow, Cardinals are good and Jays are bad.

    Now there is a Visitation thought !!

  109. Karen Murphyon 11 Aug 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Hi all,
    I live just south of Atlanta, Ga. I use to have Blue Jays in my yard and enjoyed their color. I have not seen any in my area for the past two to three years if not longer? Where have they all gone?

  110. Kate St. Johnon 11 Aug 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Karen, according to eBird there are indeed fewer blue jays south of Atlanta than there are in the northeast quadrant. See the eBird link here: http://bit.ly/1sPglWT This is pretty amazing but it might be explained by habitat. Blue jays are very fond of acorns so I’m wondering this: Are there lots of oaks in the northeast area of metro Atlanta? Are there fewer oaks where you live — fewer now than some years ago?

  111. Philon 19 Aug 2014 at 12:01 pm

    It’s now August 19,2014 This past year I’ve seen only 5 blue jays here in North Jersey, Sussex county. I posted back in 2013 that I had only 2. Not a great comeback, but a slight rise in populace. It seems that the Blue Jay is the only bird lacking in quantity. I put up a Hummingbird feeder this year and to my surprise I have about five coming to feed the only problem is the yellow jackets seem to control the feeder and they chase the birds away. I’m hoping for more Blue Jays this winter, I’ll keep posting any increase results.

  112. Kate St. Johnon 19 Aug 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Phil, thanks for the news. Good luck!

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