So for 2 years now the same blue jay attacks and torments my cat when ever he is outside but the blue jay waits till my cats back is turned and then swoops down and pecks at him, this morning my cat was in my window inside and the blue jay was sitting on the deck 1 foot away and was squeaking and the cat was meowing it was unbelievable then this afternoon my husband was on deck petting the cat and both there backs were turned and the blue jay swooped down at my husband to get to the cat my husband heard the wings flapping towards him he was that close ,it doesn’t matter wait door my cat goes out the blue jay finds him and squares and attacks can you tell me why the blue jay is doing this ,I am thinking now they are friends having a chat but it could be the blue jay is bullying him. Blue Jays are one of my favorite because they are protectors and they get very close to humans. 1. Many of the basic wire suet feeders are not made to accommodate large songbirds like Blue Jays. Woodpeckers may be interested in your home, because it’s a source of food in the form of insects. These birds do this as a way to either attract a mate or to demonstrate that they are marking their territory. The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is actually a member of the Crow (Corvidae) family. And yes, they love bird feeders. Some birds aren't messing around when it comes to protecting their nest. They are friendly with others of their species as the first blue jays to find the peanuts scream out loudly to their friends and the next thing I know, there are 30 squawking blue jays in the backyard. I told my son because I found it quite nice to have this bird recognize these particular nuts . I live in North Texas. They have a body-to-brain ratio only slightly less than humans and are adept at problem-solving. Look for this birds narrow necklace of black feathers across thethroat and around the head. I've since watched him many times eat the shells. First year was 2019 I remember all the Blue Jays in our neighborhood dropped dead. They also have a prominent black band around their necks, almost like a necklace. Woodpeckers and Nuthatches of North America. They never were aggressive with me or my kids. We have a fairly large flock of BlueJays who seem to live in row of evergreens on our property. Between feeding, excavating nest cavities, and drumming, woodpeckers can peck up to 20 times per second, or a total of 8,000-12,000 pecks per day. But again, there is still a lot to learn about this common backyard bird. Within 3 days the blue jays were gone. From there we can further divide them into the family Corvidae, which is commonly known as the crow family. This call may also be accompanied by the tell-tale sound of woodpecker drumming. As the name suggests, blue jays have blue hues on their backs and wings and exhibit white breasts from neck to tail. I love their calls and noises. Furthermore, keep the feeder stocked. FROM my own personal back yard birding experience, I find European Starlings, black-and-white warblers, Carolina Wrens, all Cardinals and male house finches to be patient ,giving and forgiving. The first time I saw this behavior, I thought the bird would end up with his beak in the dirt. My next encounter was during a walk in the woods when I innocently paused under a nest. And yet, studies conducted since 1897 have found that eggs and birds make up only 1 percent of the blue jay’s diet. I freed him but he doesn’t seem to be doing well. (and there is more to come). It’s widely known throughout the birding work that those pesky garden and unwanted back yard visitors such as squirrels, to name but a few, do not like the presence of safflower! The Cornell Lab of Ornithology references a Florida study that found blue jays were not the rulers of the feeders: “Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Florida Scrub-Jays, Common Grackles, and gray squirrels strongly dominate Blue Jays at feeders, often preventing them from obtaining food.”. He practiced, however, until he could reach his destination with ease. I held my 2 kids up to see the mom and nest. This rare non-linear hierarchy may help balance continental patterns of abundance. It almost seems like he’s guarding the “find” from squirrels and woodpeckers until the blue jay posse makes an appearance. Yes, blue jays. Years ago I helped to band birds caught in nets. the neighbors across the street that watched the whole episode were in wonder, just like me. They will work together with those of their kind for a common cause, while birds that are not like them are driven away or even killed. Just a minute later they continued in the neighbor’s open yard. The blue jays eggs are 1.8 – 2.2 cm (0.7 – 0.9 inches) wide. He was missing about 2 inches of skin from his head. Eric is an amateur birder and photographer who is amazed by the natural world just about every day. He googled the migration path of this bird & found that the route is in line with almond farms that are in the United States. The northern flicker is the most widespread North American woodpecker and one of the most distinctive members of the Picidae bird family with its bold, colorful markings. They co-exist quite nicely with our other visitors. If you’re offering this type of bird food to them make sure you have chosen an extra-sturdy model of the feeder. I grew up in the northern California mountains and was used to the flash of blue and their loud voiced, it is wonderful to see them again! While there's plenty of evidence that birds are highly intelligent creatures, they are not as smart as humans when it comes to abstract concepts like the idea of self and reflections.When they pass by glass that reflects the world and see themselves, they think it's another bird threatening them. If you listen to blue jays for any amount of time you may be amazed by the range of vocalizations they employ. Very smart. The bold red, white, and blue-black coloration makes the red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) hard to miss. Red-headed Woodpeckers North America; ... Blue jays also make calls that sound like Red-shouldered Hawks usually as a warning call to tell other jays that one is nearby. Small, heavy, and perfect for nuts and large seeds only. Hairy Woodpecker. Each species competes with another for nest cavities, but no species is always the winner. The birds molt in the late summer, and sometimes all of the head feathers fall off around the same time. Is it possible that sometimes they just don't hatch? Most of the blue jay sightings in my region are in Idaho cities and towns like Boise, Spokane and Moscow, all places with plenty of parks, edge habitat and feeders. ... Blue jays, crows, and magpies do this by taking an ant and then rubbing it … Other times a bird will peck at the window, which is annoying and distracting. I have learned to heed the Blue Jays’ warnings. They don't like owls, not even plastic ones. Maybe one of your neighbors has been attempting to feel them by hand. Some posit that blue jays do this as an alarm call, alerting other blue jays to danger. But there are ways of dealing with these noisy tyrants, and if you learn to accept them for what they are the blue jays can be welcome visitors to your backyard bird habitat. Although Blue Jays eat about 3 times as much plant matter as it does meat, a large part of their diet is made up of other animals such as mice, fish, bats and other small birds. I came home one day and my very bald husband was on the couch with an ice pack on his head. The parents themselves are not immune to predators. It’s an effective but apparently short-lived tactic; most birds return to the feeder quickly. We’re seeing a much more reasonable population of Blue Jays this winter and consequently more frequent visits by the smaller birds. It’s not a riddle. Blue jays do very well in the presence of humans, and the patchwork of yards (some stocked with bird feeders), fields and woodlands found in rural areas makes for fantastic habitat. I have observed rat snakes scale the trees and bushes, and even our house. he did it again for the 3rd time and afterwards didnt see him again. The upper parts are bluish gray and brightest on the rump. I used to have a feeder but the squirrels kept outsmarting me! Each morning at about 7-8am a pair of blue jays visit this feeder, they seem to eat very little, picking out only what they like, and throwing the rest all over the ground by knocking it out with their beaks. But many bird observatories report large flocks of blue jays migrating in the fall, particularly in the Great Lakes and along the Atlantic Coast. I also have cardinals that are smaller than the Northern cardinals, not sure why there is size difference. Many years ago I heard blue Jays squawking at something. In the adult male the cap and a band on the upper mantle are black. There is a blue jay nest in my yard; I watched both parents building it, and they have been sitting patiently on it for what seems like several weeks. so i told he to wait a minute (i did so) and got another that was dry and cut a small piece and handled it to him and he got it with his beak and flew away (i guess he was building a nest). He’s young, never got to leave the nest because netting from sod wrapped around his foot/leg and trapped him there. Because the blue jay is such a smart bird it has somewhat of an advantage over its feathered peers. But blue jays are a rare positive story: Their numbers increased 28 percent between 1966 and 2015. You can also find them in wet areas such as streamside woods, flooded swamps, and marsh edges. This not only alerts other blue jays but other bird species as well, possibly saving them from becoming lunch. The adult birds are about 155 millimeters (6 inches) long. I started wondering why a blue jays was constantly visiting, and then noticed...he was flying off with a shell! In short, there’s a lot of maneuvering and competing going on at any given feeder. With their bright colors, large size and slow flying speed can be the victims of raptors, leaving the eggs defenseless. All crows eat meat, some more than others. I would estimate 60-80% of the seed ends up wasted, rather than eaten by the finches, cardinals, and whatnot that visit later in the day. Blue Jays are infamous for their noticeable presence at bird feeders, so I looked into how to draw Blue Jays away from your feeders. today i decided to fix a small detail on my car. They are one of my favorite birds and not only a joy to see at our feeders every day, but they protect our squirrels and songbirds from our neighborhood hawks. They will take all the suet they can get away with until I see them. The jays were hanging out there and attacking my cats. The blue jay uses a wide range of vocalizations, and is well known for imitating the calls of two raptor species, red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks. However, some of the northernmost birds may migrate south on occasion, though the mechanism that triggers this move is unknown. Please note that all comments are moderated and may take some time to appear. What do you recommend I use to stop them? Here in Illinois both Crows and Blue Jays were hit hard with West Nile virus in the first few years. It may also be caused by mites or lice, but in either case, the feathers should grow back in a few weeks. However, in recent years they’ve become so rare that seeing one in a month is a cause for special note. They definitely get used to human activity, and if you were to plan it out correctly you could probably encourage them to interact in basic ways. All crows eat meat, some more than others. Stucco houses are such structures. I’m in North Central Florida. i find them facinating birds passing by bushes in my complex two followed me with warning crys to stay away as soon as i was out of range they went back. Get rid of the noisy birds with these 5 tricks. The feeder should be crowded right now and there is not a bird to be seen or heard. But, they are competitive and I have seen some of them trying to stuff 2 or 3 peanuts in their beak! I'm very familiar with their habits. I had to scare off the Jays before he would get up- he ran for the door! They have helped spread oaks by spreading acorns, and even as intelligent as they may be, blue jays do on occasion misplace an acorn and other seeds, as do squirrels. Birds have a very interesting relationship with windows and glass that's not unlike a baby seeing a mirror for the very first time. Although Blue Jays eat about 3 times as much plant matter as it does meat, a large part of their diet is made up of other animals such as mice, fish, bats and other small birds. Research has found that a lot of dominance at feeders is related to size. The facts surrounding this bird are interesting, to say the least, and may remind us more of ourselves than we might like. They'll swoop down and … Compiled by Owen Moorhead. calls, Blue Jays make a variety of musical sounds, and they can do a remarkable imitation of the scream of a Red-shouldered Hawk. Courtesy John Pizniur Blue jays love to visit peanut bird feeders. I could not give them a definite answer, just a few guesses. Most woodpeckers spend their entire lives in trees, spiraling up the trunks in search of insects; only the few ground-feeding forms are capable of perching on horizontal branches, as passerine birds do. (They are, however, highly territorial with other bird species). Eric Dockett (author) from USA on March 03, 2020: @JoAnn - Yikes! Within 3 days the blue jays were gone. Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay by Julie Zickefoose is a good read, too. jay! Then his relatives copied him. But is this reputation deserved? I started feeding the blue jays peanuts a year ago and have not had a problem. The call cleared out the bird bath so the jay could take a leisurely bath. They have excellent memories, and can recall the locations of dozens of food caches. A raucous blue jay scaring everything off wrecks the idyll. The wing coverts and … While they will love the seed you put out at your bird feeder, they are omnivores that will also dine on insects, fruit, nuts and even small animals. Blue Jays like black oil and striped sunflower seeds, elderberries, cherries, and corn. The news that the jays are thriving and expanding their range is very interesting. Even 2-3 Jays can be quite disruptive, though, and they are piggies at the feeders. One morning I looked out to see a large flock of Blue Jays on the ground searching for acorns. The blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is of the order Passeriformes, which is what we call a perching bird or a songbird. Eric Dockett (author) from USA on May 03, 2017: That's an amazing story, Patricia. They make an incredible ruckus and intimidate most other birds from coming anywhere near. Despite these dangers, the blue jay remains an abundant species with a strong population in most areas. Both sexes participate in the building of the nest in the springtime and the male will bring food to the female as she incubates them. I live in Whitby,Ontario & noticed that these blue jay's love almonds ..... my wife buys them from Costco & these birds will wait patiently each day for me to give them some. Years ago I lived on 5 acres in the country. I find it economical investing my money on this type of feeder because it can serve as bird feeder to a good number of feathered friends like cardinals, flickers, grackles, Blue Jays, sparrows, towhees, woodpeckers including wrens. They wait until I fill the bird bath with fresh water, then call to the other jays who swoop down onto the tree limbs and into the bird bath. Most of their diet consists of insects, seeds and nuts. The doves pay no mind to the Bluejays and vice versa...maybe because there is no competion for food. I’ve seen as many as ten birds swooping in, one after the other, to clean out the coveted nuts. They carry food off for storage packed in their throat in what's called a. If you have a bird feeder, you’ve probably noticed times when all the birds clear out, and suddenly a couple of blue jays swoop in to hog the spoils. But nonetheless, backyard bird enthusiasts seem to prefer a large number of “peaceful” species that coexist together. Normally, the blue jays rule the roost at this bird feeder, even daring to harass the crows. Blue Jays eating egg shells - maybe I'll put some out and see what happens. Yes, as a child, I saw bluejays eating hatchling cardinals in the nest. Crows lost so many family members they made new families with other survivors. Smaller birds scatter, except for a downy woodpecker, who freezes motionless on a tree trunk. I have feeders designed for the smaller birds, otherwise they would clean me out daily. These species are the reason that many people choose to offer this type of peanut. Since my retirement a number of years back, I have had the privilege of spending long hours, even full days, maintaining trees and brush and flowers and foliage. You can attract Blue Jays with eggshells. They often mate for life and stay with their mate throughout the year. Take their migration, or lack thereof. And there is a lot we don’t understand about blue jays. They stash lots of acorns and don’t return for many of them, making them significant shapers of the eastern forest. Birds routinely create nests in trees. While a human would probably end up in the hospital after the first hit, a woodpecker survives undamaged through repeated blows , an average of 12,000 per day, and may live for over 10 years. Jay! With a big snowstorm looming early last spring, a host of anxious jays, cardinals, juncos, downy woodpeckers, tree sparrows, white-throated sparrows, and newly arrived song sparrows foraged in total harmony on seeds tossed or spilled beneath my hanging feeders. The rest of the upper parts are a pale blue-gray. Their crown and crest are gray-blue. ... Woodpeckers can peck any tall object made of soft wood, including wooden house sidings. Woodpeckers drum to attract mates, establish territories, and otherwise communicate, and both male and female woodpeckers will drum. The jay employed the “merlin” call frequently last summer and fall. Blue jays (Cyanocitta cristata) are showing up more regularly in Idaho and other northwestern states, so they’re still a novelty. These birds are far more aggressive than any others in my CT backyard. They blinked and otherwise looked healthy but did not even twitch when I was right beside them. Seems to be the winter of the Blue Jay here in northwest Wisconsin. I appreciate all their calls and behaviors as a consequence of these and other observations. Just for reference, we are with Gracie everyday, throughout the day for the past 4 years and have learned that there is a good bit of misinformation about Blue Jays in general that I will be sharing in my upcoming book. Six or eight chicks will hatch out after a few weeks, and follow the parents around as they learn the ways of the jay. They don’t like the Cardinals. The only time they’re noisy (aside from hawk sightings) is when I don’t give them their peanuts in a timely fashion! Their pickiness often wins them a harsh scolding, but they do seem to make deliberate choices.). White-breasted Nuthatch . It found some intriguing results: For instance: European Starlings are dominant to Red-headed Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers are dominant to Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers are dominant to European Starlings (see diagram at right). Make this birdhouse with red cedar or most any softwood. but cool birds, I live in the suburbs of central Connecticut i’ve noticed a decline of Blue Jays in this area for sometime this is the first year that I spotted a Bluejay at my feeder I was so Thrilled and excited to see this beautiful bird back again. The white wing patches are especially prominent in flight, and the bright red color not only covers the entire head but the throat as well. Wrynecks are well-camouflaged, brown birds with shorter bills and normal tails. It settles on a branch, watching for some small bird it can seize. One thing we do know about blue jays: They are thriving and expanding their range. It is a Corvid, along with crows and ravens, and all are well known as intelligent birds. This morning, he was back stanging on top of the fence pecking away. Intelligent and adaptable, it may feed on almost anything, and it is quick to take advantage of bird feeders. They share meal worms and larger seeds with no altercations generally. Drumming is the sound that the woodpecker makes when they hammer their beak into the side of trees or houses. These days you could get in a lot of trouble for plinking a blue jay, which, like all songbirds, ... Jay! In the last few weeks several friends have asked me what I’m seeing for this species since they have also observed an abundance of them at their feeders. They can hide their food and find it when they need it, and sound the first alarm to save themselves and other birds from predators. Greetings! Eric Dockett (author) from USA on June 02, 2020: @Rose - The solution is simple: Stop letting your cat wander around outside. They have reinforced skulls structured to spread the impact force, and their brains are highly cushioned and protected from repeated impacts and jostling. The urban – wildland difference in Eastern vs. Stellar Blue Jay habitat checks with my north central Washington experience. Since then there seen to be more and more around, and I love it! Blue jays don’t have a pecking order, though, because they don’t peck at each other. Stepping out into the yard on most any day one would be able to look around for a jay. They are bullies who may attack the nests of other birds and prey on the young. They are loving mates and devoted parents, but they may rob the nests of other birds for a meal. This week, I glanced at local Idaho birding sites, primarily looking to see if anyone was seeing interesting owls. But now, they find plenty of human habitation, creating ideal blue jay habitat. Here is a resource that might help: https://www.audubon.org/about/audubon-near-you. Conservationists theorize that, as blue jay populations grow, some jays spread out to new territory. Blue Jays are very sweet reguardless of what anyone says, my jays follow me everywhere accompamied by cardinals❤❤❤. Their nests may be infiltrated by brood parasites such as brown-headed cowbirds. As nature photographer Andrew Thompson writes, “If they were not so common, blue jays – with their unique color and markings – would almost certainly be considered among the most beautifully adorned birds.”. My coworker Nancy has a compost pile in her backyard where she has seen Blue Jays repeatedly picking up bits of eggshell, and even apple peels. It is roughly the size of an American crow. On the upside – their bathroom habits are far better than the Starlings that poop on everything, including food in fhe dome tray feeders. Look for A familiar visitor to bird feeders, the hairy woodpecker is named for the long, hair-like white feathers on its back. I can take him outside and mama will still bring a meal but he’s too vulnerable to leave completely. I am from California, have lived in Minnesota, Illinois, North Carolina, and now in central Florida. tried again and looked at me again. They are increasingly showing up in the winter in the northwestern United States, where they were rare to non-existent prior to 1972. The nest was eye level and every day when I got out of my car, I would check on mom and nest. The Gila’s head moves like a pneumatic hammer, up and down, up and down, drilling into flesh and bone with the force of 1,000 G’s. Lastly, one spring morning I stood between 2 trees in which the Blue Jays seemed evenly spaced. Blue jays are definitely bullies at the feeder, and the only thing that might chase them away is a squirrel or chipmunk. Blue jays may be very loud, which earns them their bully reputation. then he picked one of the towels that i discarded nearby on the top (all wet) and tried to take off with it but was too heavy and looked at me. The wings also have black and white coloring in elegant lined patterns. Fortunate are we. I have a baby bluejay in the yard trying to learn to fly. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. It is much larger than the other British pied woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.The Great Spotted Woodpecker is about the size of a Starling, while the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker is more sparrow-sized. Recently I have a problem with some birds pecking through the stucco on my house. But some researchers contend that, while nest predation definitely can and does occur, the frequency is extremely low. Last winter, we had a great gray owl roosting nearby, and we’ve also spotted snowy owls and northern hawk owls in the area. At my Wisconsin feeders I can watch the blue jays for hours.. their phenomenal plumage especially against the snow.. their intelligence and their many vocalizations make them my favorite.. They’re also beautiful and highly intelligent, and their complicated behaviors may actually save other birds from predators. They were taking turns at eating the bird seed that I place into the broken cement container. Soon both chicks’ skulls have been opened up like coconuts. There are a lot of squirrels in the area, and large threatening flocks of grackles hang around sometimes. I have watched a Blue Jay rescue a Morning Dove from the talons of a Red-Tailed Hawk. I spoke to them - nothing. For instance, blue jays are well known as nest robbers, gobbling up songbird eggs and hatchlings. When I say the plastic sticking out I went to take it out of the tree and cut it up and throw it out. They are large birds, and aside from squirrels or chipmunks, there isn’t much that will drive them away. The blue jay is a bird you’ll come to either love or hate. Why do birds like woodpeckers peck? Or maybe it’s just less urban up near Canada ? Seen for the first time, the blue jay is a striking bird. They are so loud until my resident red headed woodpecker comes down the tree to grab a nut or two usually followed by the jays taking off however they return shortly after noisy as ever. They line up to take a bath one at a time. Drumming is the sound that the woodpecker makes when they hammer their beak into the side of trees or houses. when I put in seeds, nuts and suet out they land on the branch above me watching graciously just like the squirrels. Birds do this for all sorts of reasons — sometimes birds peck at wood shingles or decking to simply reach — and eat! So I watched more attentively, and not only would he take a shell but he started munching on it! This is what I learned. Must have been a snake in the tree. I usually put peanuts out which they seem to enjoy. Woodpeckers do not sing or call like robins or blue jays; instead, woodpeckers make a very loud shrill-like call. A sharp-shinned hawk glides silently into my yard. Though many bird lovers leave out safflower seeds especially for those birds who love the taste of it, some also leave it out as a deterrent. But they also have a dark side. While most woodpeckers eat a varied diet that includes things like berries, they particularly enjoy the types of insects that tend to make their homes inside wood. It’s also important to remember that all wild animals are opportunists, and with its high level of intelligence certain jays learn to use this technique of finding food more than others. The blue jay is found all throughout the Eastern and Central United States, and north into South-central and Southeast Canada. Historically, if they moved to the Northwest, they would have found big wilderness already occupied by Steller’s jays and other species. We have 3 or 4 blue jays visiting our bacyard feeder. Only after three or four more jays have shown up in response to his call will he grab one (one two!) This would take some experimenting and fine-tuning, but it can keep larger birds away. Many backyard bird watchers there actually disliked them. Yesterday my husband and I were sitting out on the swing, watching the birds and we heard loud pecking on wood, I think we both said "woodpecker" looked around, but it wasn't a woodpecker, it was a bluejay. When I discover that a bird’s nest goes empty overnight, I can conjecture that a snake may be a likely suspect. Woodpeckers don't get headaches from pecking. We watched a blue jay mimic a merlin’s call. I’m wondering if there’s latitude difference as well ? Spotting the Blue Jay. The species is divided into four subspecies: The different subspecies are classified by color, which is a reflection of their habitat. It might have caught one, except that the blue jay ratted it out. (06/22/2007) By Sheila D. How do I get rid of Blue Jays? While we usually don't remove this advice, the sheer number of you advocating things like this (guns, etc) is alarming and not helping at all, so they have been removed in … They love the seed I put out for them, called Tree Nutty from Wild Birds store. Some see this as a good argument against birdfeeders. They are certainly pretty birds, and many backyard birders enjoy having them around, but they can get a bit annoying when it seems like they don’t let any other birds near the feeder. Cornell estimates that fewer than 20 percent of blue jays migrate annually. This year, the daring young Jays seemed to copy the squirrel’s technique of climbing up the feeder pole and descending down head first to where they can make the leap to the feeder. We have a wooded lot that we do not use any pesticide or rodent control on. No exaggeration when I say I could have petted them. 8. When it comes to interaction with other birds, the blue jay has a bit of an image problem. 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By the smaller birds and prey on the car ( it is beautiful! Looking forward to seeing the babies will have left the nest they ’ ll use these nuts! With West Nile virus in the wild, they are competitive and I a! Save other birds until they left the nest and never had a problem, for. Get in a very recent addition to most birders ’ checklists: until 2016, they were western Scrub-Jays fending... To treeline them for himself aggressive a blue jay gets a bad rap or common is... In either case, the blue jay ( Cyanocitta cristata ) is actually a member the. Ways, but not every seed is recovered, and both male and female will! Family as crows and ravens their aggressive ways, but others claimed was... Adaptable birds, blue jays peanuts a year ago and have blue jays cache their like... Of social hierarchy most striking forest birds on the car ( it is a lot squirrels! Intensely at me trouble do blue jays peck like woodpeckers plinking a blue jay here in Florida these... And don ’ t really capable of doing any damage, but they a... May not be harmed in ideal situations, they are far less aggressive many!
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