What’s the Best Bird Seed for Blue Jays?

Despite their unfounded label as “bully birds” at feeders, Blue Jays are one of my favorite birds at my feeding station. They’re smart and have entertaining, boisterous personalities. The bright blue color they bring to your home is an added bonus.

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So long as you live in their range, it’s relatively easy to draw Blue Jays to your bird feeder. All you need is a large enough feeder to support their weight (Blue Jays are large song birds, weighing two to four ounces) and some of their favorite food. Before jumping into that, here’s a picture showing the range of Blue Jays in North America.

A map showing the range of Blue Jays across North America. Image is from Wikipedia.
Here’s the range of Blue Jays
Purple: Year-Round
Blue: Winter Non-Breeding Season
Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Best Bird Seed for Blue Jays – Peanuts In the Shell

Video proof of Blue Jays enjoying peanuts-in-the-shell off my apartment balcony

Much like me at a Minnesota Twins game, Blue Jays go crazy for eating peanuts in the shell. So, if you place a handful on your deck or in a bird feeder, (I’d recommend something squirrel resistant. It turns out they also love peanuts), chances are good you’ll get Blue Jays swooping in to carry them to a nearby tree. One of my favorite bird feeding sights is a Blue Jay picking up multiple peanuts to select the heaviest they can carry.

Related Content: 5 Cool and Unique Blue Jay Facts You Didn’t Know

Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein for birds and Blue Jays have large, strong beaks that can easily break into the shell. Just be sure to buy un-salted, un-seasoned peanuts for bird feeding. You can find these are bird feeding hobby stores. Here’s a link to options you can buy on Amazon.

Also, if you’re looking to avoid the mess of leftover peanut shells. De-shelled peanut bits have also worked well for me with Blue Jays. They will grab several of these and stuff them into their throat pouch before flying off. For some reason, I do find that they go extra crazy for peanuts in the shell if you can swing it. So, food for thought if you have a bird feeder with enough space.

As a bonus, several other birds will gladly enjoy eating peanuts at your feeders:



-Northern Flickers


-Tufted Titmouse

-Some Sparrow species


Related Content: 5 Proven Ways to Attract Cardinals to a Feeder

Peanut Bird Feeder Recommendations for Blue Jays

As mentioned earlier, Blue Jays are bigger birds and need something sturdy to support their weight. Here are a few good options below:

The Best Bang For Your Buck: Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF3 Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder

Nature's Way Bird Products CWF3 Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder
This platform feeder has a lot of space for songbirds of all sizes…including Blue Jays! (Photo: Amazon.com)

A Sturdy, Weather-Proof Option: DutchCrafters Poly Hanging Fly-Through Bird Feeder

DutchCrafters Poly Hanging Fly-Through Bird Feeder. A great option for birds of all sizes!
This feeder is sturdy and has a roof to protect seeds (and birds) from the weather. (Photo: Amazon)

A Unique and Specific Choice: Birds Choice Whole Peanut Blue Jay Feeder

Birds Choice Whole Peanut Blue Jay Feeder.
This feeder has a bottom tray and holes through its panels, making it easy for birds to snag peanuts on the go. (Photo: Amazon)

Other Food Options to Explore

In addition to peanuts, Blue Jays will also eat sunflower seed, mealworms, cracked corn and, occasionally, suet at bird feeders. However, I’d suggest peanuts over these. In my experience, Blue Jays will poke at these offerings but will go out of their way to stop by if you have tantalizing peanuts.

Also, if you have a tree in your yard with acorns, that will also likely draw in Blue Jays. The Cornell Bird Lab says Blue Jays love acorns so much that they’re credited with spreading the growth of oak trees after the ice age.

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