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…
The Best Bird Seed for Blue Jays – Peanuts In the Shell
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.
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:
-Some Sparrow species
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
The Sturdiest Option: DutchCrafters Poly Hanging Fly-Through Bird Feeder
The Most Interesting and Niche Choice: Birds Choice Whole Peanut Blue Jay Feeder
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.
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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