Predator GuardsBlue Jays & Magpies

Blue Jays & Magpies

Yes, Blue Jays and their cousins Magpies DO eat eggs and nestlings if they can get at them.

A couple years ago I noticed a large blue tail and two legs sticking out of the entrance of one of them. A jay had tried to get in and got stuck in the hole and died. Nestlings were inside.” Cheryl.


  • Eggs missing or broken on ground.
  • Nestlings missing (maybe only one or two – including nestlings close to fledging that are sticking their heads out of the entrance hole – Magpies reach in from roof top).
  • Magpie may enlarge hole.


  • Ample roof overhanging entrance hole (install 30 gauge sheet flashing metal width of roof, extending out 5-7″ over front edge of nestbox – collapses when predator steps on it and then bounces back (do not use aluminum flashing.)
  • Eliminate perches including latches. Measure entrance hole (1 1/2 – 1 9/16″ round or 1.375″ x 2.250″ oval hole), put hole restrictor on if enlarged.
  • Add wooden face guard/block (1 1/2 to 2 1/4″ thick) over hole, lower nest to 4.5″+ below entrance hole, use deeper nestbox (8.5″ from bottom of hole to floor) with kerfs on interior to enable fledging.
  • Remove used nests so bluebirds don’t build on top, making nest too high.

A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
– Joan Walsh Anglund, A Cup of Sun, 1967


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