When Blue Jays start making loud bird sounds in your yard, you know it’s time to get a bird feeder.
Blue jays prefer seed-filled bird feeders, however they can’t reach the seeds in small, compact feeders, thus they prefer open top or easily accessible feeders instead. Jays prefer platform feeders that are attached to the ground or a pole, as well as hanging hopper feeders.
While Northern Cardinals may get all the attention, Blue Jays are just as common and brightly colored, making it more important than ever to provide food for them when they visit our yards.
Jays will eat just about every variety of bird seed, though sunflower seeds seem to be a particular preference.
In order to attract Blue Jays to your bird feeder, you need be aware of the foods they prefer, as this will be what you add to the feeder to mimic their natural diet in the wild.
However, you can attract Jays to your yard without a feeder by offering them dried mealworms, cracked corn, or oats.
If you want Blue Jays to visit your yard, give them what they want: a bird feeder with plenty of room for seeds and no potential hazards.
Feeder success is guaranteed with a combination of inexpensive seed mixes and high-demand species like sunflower, niger, and safflower seeds. These seed blends are usually too big to be provided in the clear tube seed feeders often used for finches and titmice.
A hopper or lantern-style seed feeder is preferable since the seeds will fall to the bottom, into a wide seed tray, where they will be exposed to the environment and where Jays may easily perch.
Despite their preference for seeds, Blue Jays will also eat suet cakes; providing this food in the open is ideal, but if you plan on using a suet cake feeder, you need secure it so that it doesn’t fall over.
Jays can also be fed peanuts and other nuts, but you should never put them in a bird feeder. Instead, put them on a sturdy dish or open-top platform feeder for the birds to enjoy, either in or out of their shells.
Blue Jays prefer seed feeders
Having an easily accessible seed feeder is especially helpful for blue jays, which prefer using such feeders but may struggle to use one that is more difficult to operate, like the one in the image.
There is no scarcity of the seed bird feeders favored by Blue Jays, but the feeder’s capacity to accommodate a larger bird will be constrained to easily accessible varieties of seed.
Naturally, a hopper-style bird feeder is the greatest choice for attracting Blue Jays to your yard.
Why? Because birds like Blue Jays may feed more easily from feeders that are mounted or use the more prevalent hanging hopper bird feeders, which have broad, open perches and filter seed mixes in a way that is less obstructive to the birds.
The only way to guarantee that there are no restrictions on the access of blue jays to a bird feeder is to provide one with an open hopper.
What kind of bird seed do Blue Jays eat, and thus what kind of seed feeder do you need to provide them with? Blue Jays eat sunflower seeds, niger seeds, and safflower seeds, as well as cheaper wild bird seed mixtures, and any or all of these should be readily available in your seed feeder.
Cracked corn, peanuts still in their shells, and the ever-important dried mealworms are all good options for luring Blue Jays to the seed feeder.
Sunflower seeds, which jays enjoy eating, should be given first priority.
Seed filled suet cages too
Although blue jays can eat from a suet cake feeder, they are restricted in where they may perch, so it is helpful to position the feeder such that the birds can feed from any nearby perch.
Blue Jays can also be lured to a feeder with the use of suet. The Blue Jays may now use a cage feeder, however perching there can be challenging.
Instead of clinging to the side of the cage like smaller birds do, Blue Jays are more likely to be spotted perching on top of a suet cake bird feeder or using a neighboring perch placement.
Blue Jays prefer suet cake feeders to seed feeders, but only if the suet is easily accessible.
It’s not hard to figure out how to get Blue Jays to visit your bird feeder, but it’s a different story to actually witness them eating there without any barriers.
Instead of dangling a suet cake or fat ball feeder from a tree branch or bird feeder pole, you should lean it against something sturdy so that Jays can eat from it safely.
A suet cake stuffed with seeds, fruit, insects, or nuts will likely be favored by blue jays because of their versatility as bird feeder eaters.
Blue Jay benefits more on platform
A platform bird feeder is the only way to maintain order on a flat surface such as a deck railing or patio table in your yard.
A Blue Jay, one of the largest and most prevalent backyard birds in North America, would have a hard time using bird feeders made for the smaller birds that are more common in our area.
If it means Blue Jays can eat, they will perch on a low perch at seed feeders or cling at an odd angle on a wire bird feeder. Remember again, that doesn’t mean Jays have it easy.
If you want to attract Jays to your yard, a platform bird feeder with an open top is the way to go. You may hang one from a pole or set it on the ground.
Since blue jays prefer to consume insects and other ground-dwelling organisms, a ground platform bird feeder will attract them as they browse on the lawn.
There are no size constraints on the birds that can use open-top platform feeders, and even though a pole-mounted platform feeder is higher off the ground, Jays can still easily perch on it.
An open platform bird feeder is the best option for feeding Blue Jays and other birds with limited foraging abilities.
Jays like to eat their food without the aid of a feeder, preferring instead to do so on the grass or on a flat surface like a deck railing. Organizing bird food can only be done with a platform bird feeder on a pole or a feeder on the ground.
Nuts can be offered up
Feeders are the most effective way to provide nuts to Jays, but they can also be placed on a platform in the yard, like the glass table top shown above with peanuts still in their shells.
Blue jays prefer peanuts to other foods, and they will eat them either roasted or uncooked.
Providing nuts of any kind, especially peanuts, is a must if you want to attract Blue Jays.
Due to the constraints imposed by the wire mesh used in constructing nut feeders, Blue Jays are unlikely to take a liking to any type of peanut bird feeder.
One solution is to include raw or shelled peanuts in the bird feed mix.
The intention is that the Jays, as is customary, will eat their preferred seeds, and that they will also consume the accessible peanut meat that is mixed in.
Blue Jays can be attracted to your yard by the sight of peanuts, but you should never rely on a feeder to store them. Instead, you should keep a supply on hand and place them in strategic locations, such as the platform bird feeder, garden furniture, the deck railing, or, if you prefer, a heavy ceramic dish.
Although I can appreciate your curiosity about which bird feeders attract blue jays, the fact is that you don’t actually need any of them.
In fact, scattering peanuts or bird seed on the deck won’t hurt anything.
Put out some of the Blue Jays’ preferred seeds, suet, or nuts in a location in your yard that they frequent frequently.
To sum it up
Blue jays favor seed mix feeders. If you want to attract larger birds like Jays, you shouldn’t use a seed feeder that’s too small for them.
Blue Jays often make short work of feeding time by perching on the long, wide perch of a feeder like a wooden hopper, which is mounted to a tree limb or a wall bracket.
Smaller birds, like finches, can utilize a seed feeder designed for them, such as a hanging panorama, lantern, or a hexagon-style seed feeder; however, Jays may have difficulty using these feeders because to the paucity of perching space.
The most important thing is a secure hanging seed feeder with a long perch for the birds to perch on.
Blue Jays prefer the type of seed feeder that allows them to eat the seeds in a natural, relaxed manner, rather than one that forces them into an uncomfortable position.
A suet cake or fat ball feeder will also be well received by jays.
Never let Blue Jays perch on a compact suet cage feeder, since this feeder will only sway or swing as the birds perch on it, when the same suet cake feeder can lean or be jammed on an adjacent limb or on the bird feeder pole to keep it firm.
Jays prefer platform bird feeders because they provide them unrestricted access to suet and seed mixes, regardless of the size or shape of the birds that visit.
Consider a ground platform bird feeder so Jays may eat at their preferred height, while a pole-mounted platform feeder will get just as much use and has no constraints on where the birds can perch.