Two jays and a woodpecker!

Hi all

I've just joined RSPB and the community. While walking my dog the other day, two jays took flight from a tree followed closely by a greater spotted woodpecker. The jays settled in an adjacent tree, but were harrassed by the GSW, and once again took flight. This was repeated over and over until I lost sight of them. Has anyone experienced this?

"I was born under a wanderin' star......"

  • Hi and welcome.

    How odd, Have often seen them together in the same vicinity but never harassing each other.




  • In reply to Susan:

    Hi albert_ross

    Welcome to the forum from me.

    Haven't seen anything like this but it's very interesting so would like to know if this is common.  We get jays in our garden and know that GSWs are in th area but have never seen the two together.



  • In reply to Kezmo:

    Hello albert_ross.

    Welcome to the forum.  I've never been lucky enough to see any jays but I sometimes get GSWs in my garden and they can act aggresively towards another bird if they are disturbed while feeding.  I'd guess what happened between the woodpecker and the jays was something to do with either food or teritory.


    Warning!  This post contains atrocious spelling, and terrible grammar.  Approach with extreme edginess.

  • Hi Albert Ross,

    Welcome from me. I have never seen a jay. 

    Cheers, Linda.

    See my photos on Flickr

  • In reply to Susan:

    Hi and welcome from me also. I've not heard of it before either but it must have been fascinating to watch.

    The necessity of bird-watching is a really good reason for avoiding all forms of housework.

    The dust will still be there tomorrow - the birds may not be!

  • In reply to Squirrel:

    Welcome to the Community Albert Ross. I have seen Jays and GSWs in the same area but never what you witnessed. I am guessing it was territorial.

  • Hello albert_ross. I have never seen such behaviour between jays and GSW, although I do see both species in the woods behind our house.

  • In reply to Brenda H:

    Welcome Albert_ross (love the name!!)

    Could it be that the jays, being opportunists, were trying to 'pinch' the nuts that the GSW was wedging in crevices to open? A conflict of common interests (nuts!)? Or maybe it was just territorial... Must have been fun to watch anyway!

    "All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)

    My photos on Flickr

  • I saw one jay in almost the same place this morning. I stood quietly for about five minutes hoping the other one would make an appearance, but it was in vain. I hope he hasn't succumbed to the cold weather. Jays are probably quite hardy, aren't they?

    "I was born under a wanderin' star......"

  • In reply to albert_ross:

    Jays are beautiful.  Too often, all I see is their white rump as they fly away.  Seen side on, or from above they are fantastic birds.  Jays are also some of the most intelligent birds of all.  There was a fascinating article in New Scientist a year or two ago, showing that some species of jay appear to be able to think ahead and make allowances for what they would do in another bird's place.  (e.g. A jay who is hiding food may return and move it to another hiding place if he notices that he is being watched as he hides it.)

    I've seen jays and green woodpeckers in the same area, but not interacting.  I once saw a greater spotted woodpecker and a green woodpecker flying from the same patch of woodland almost as if they were together.

    Greater spotted woodpeckers tend to bully smaller or  less aggressive birds, and defend their food supply quite vigorously.