Feeder just for corvids?

Does anyone know where I can get a cunning tricksy peanut dispenser aimed specifically at corvids? As I understand it, corvids are particularly smart, and so they can figure out how to operate some simple mechanical devices. I love corvids, especially jays, and I'd like to encourage them to visit more regularly, but the trouble is we get a lot of pheasants coming, and whilst they are gorgeous, they are pretty much hoovers and half a dozen don't leave anything behind for the shy jays. Any ideas?

  • Jays will take peanuts from a normal nut feeder, so unless the pheasants are using it as well that will probably suffice. you will also get the Woodpeckers, Tits and normal feeder birds as well.

    Richard B

  • Thanks for that suggestion Richard. Jays don't come to my peanut feeders but maybe that's because my feeders are close to the house, perhaps they are too nervous. But they don't come to the coconut shell fat I have hung up either, and those are a distance away. We get woodpeckers and magpies and jackdaws on those, so I have been assuming that jays just don't like doing acrobatics to get their food.
  • There are plenty of pictures about of Jays readily using a Nut feeder. Perhaps try it further away from the house

    Richard B

  • If you have jays in your area, they are easy to attract with whole peanuts. A small bird table is good enough to place the nuts on. The table would need to have raised sides to stop nuts falling or blowing onto the ground. I can't comment re scientific experiment type feeders, but would have thought it's best kept to scientific experiments, where birds are guaranteed food no matter whether they crack the puzzle or not.

  • Hi Robbo. Thanks for that idea. That's actually what I am trying right now, I set it up yesterday... a really tiny bird table so that the pheasants don't leap up onto it. So far it's not working because the little song birds are all nipping in to clear it, so there's nothing left to attract the relatively timid jays. So I think I need to go with Richard's suggestion of a peanut feeder further from the house, But the jays do come pretty close by the house, they approach very nervously but they do come, so I reckon them not using my current feeders is probably not just shyness, it'll also be that as the feeders are dangling from a trellis there really isn't anywhere for a bigger bird to land. So I think I need to rig up a feeder that's both a bit further and a bit more accessible.

    I get your point about giving them food without it being dependent on cracking a puzzle, but at the moment they aren't getting much food at all because all the bold birds are just snaffling it and along come the jays and get the one peanut that no one else saw....
  • Personally, I've not seen jays on bird feeders. They've not used the nut feeder here. (obviously, they are known to use them.....maybe some individuals do, and others won't).

    Any corvid will fly if they see a human here, so if the feeder is by a window, moving it is a good idea.

    I should also have said earlier in my rush, that feeding whole nuts from approx mid-April isn't a good idea, as smaller birds may take the whole nuts back to feed to chicks. Nuts really should be Autumn & Winter only.