The Proven Best Bird Seed for Blue Jays

Despite their unfounded label as “bully birds” at feeders, I’ve found Blue Jays to be one of the most riveting 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.

So long as you live in their range, it’s easy to draw Blue Jays to your bird feeding station! All you need is a large enough bird feeder to support their weight (Blue Jays are large song birds, weighing two to four ounces) and some of their favorite food…

A map showing the range of Blue Jays.
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

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Much like me at a Minnesota Twins game, Blue Jays go crazy for eating shell-on peanuts. 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) you’ll soon get Blue Jays swooping in to carry them to a nearby tree to eat. One of my favorite bird feeding sights is a Blue Jay picking up multiple peanuts to select the heaviest they can carry. I told you they were clever.

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

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. 

Note: You need to buy un-salted, un-seasoned peanuts for bird feeding.

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. 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:

  • Cardinals
  • Chickadees
  • Northern Flickers
  • Nuthatches
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Some Sparrow species
  • Woodpeckers

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 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!

The Sturdiest Option: DutchCrafters Poly Hanging Fly-Through Bird Feeder

DutchCrafters Poly Hanging Fly-Through Bird Feeder
This feeder is sturdy and has a roof to protect seeds (and birds) from the weather

The Most Interesting and Niche 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.

Other Potential Food Options

Blue Jays will also fancy sunflower seed, mealworms, cracked corn and, occasionally, suet at bird feeders. However, I’d strongly 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.

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