Depending on the size of their mouths or beaks, most birds can eat a wide variety of foods. It’s impossible for all the birds to consume the same thing. Many birdwatchers have wondered what blue jays consume because of their unusual eating habits.
Vegetables, insects, seeds, berries, and many other items are all fair game for blue jays, despite their unique eating habits.
- 1 Blue Jay Diet
- 2 What Do Baby Blue Jays Eat?
- 3 How Often Should You Feed Blue jays?
- 4 Blue Jays Favorite Foods
- 5 How Long Can Blue Jays Go Without Eating?
- 6 Do Blue Jays Eat Other Birds?
- 7 What Do Blue Jays Eat In The Winter?
- 8 Do Blue Jays Eat Snakes?
- 9 Conclusion
Blue Jay Diet
To put it simply, blue jays are exceptionally intelligent and flexible birds. Grasshoppers, mice, young birds, larger insects, caterpillars, bird eggs, and other foods are all part of their varied diet.
So, blue jays may eat from tray feeders, hopper feeders, and hanging feeders, and they can also eat suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts in bird feeders.
What Kind Of Food Do Blue Jays Eat?
Blue jays like tray and hopper feeders over those that hang from the ceiling. And in the winter season, their food includes of vegetables, seeds, beechnuts, berries, and acorns.
Planting oak trees in your yard or garden can provide you with a future source of acorns, which may be used to feed blue jays. Blue jays frequently use bird baths as watering holes. If you want to provide a food source for blue jays, you can purchase shelled peanuts from a store.
The squirrels will devour all of the shelled peanuts in your bird feeder, leaving nothing for the birds.
To prevent squirrels from stealing blue jay food, fill a peanut feeder with peanuts. Therefore, your bird won’t get hungry.
The blue jay has earned notoriety for being a notorious nest predator. Even though it is true that blue jays occasionally steal eggs from other birds’ nests, this is a very rare occurrence. Only a small fraction of blue jays will resort to this method.
The blue jay’s insatiable appetite for acorns is what gave them the edge they needed to become the dominant species among oaks. They are able to store a large quantity of nuts in a pouch at the base of their esophagus called the gular pouch.
It is estimated that a single blue jay can hoard 5,000 acorns or more within a 2.5-mile radius. Some acorns are dropped on the ground or covered with leaves to wait for a more favorable time to germinate; these will eventually grow into trees.
What Do Baby Blue Jays Eat?
Blue jay chicks, like chicks of other birds, eat what their parents eat.
Infant blue jays mimic their parents’ diets or consume the food their parents provide. Both parents must bring food to a young blue jay.
Blue jay parents provide a wide variety of foods for their young, including insects, small mammals, seeds, nuts, and more.
Neither parent is responsible for providing for their offspring; rather, they must both forage for food.
Blue jay chicks stay in the nest for around six weeks after birth before venturing out to find food.
When they reach this age, they are mature enough to fend for themselves in the wild. However, babies must stay with their parents until they are 12 weeks old.
How Often Should You Feed Blue jays?
If you want to know how often you should feed blue jays, that will change depending on their age.
The adult blue jay needs to be fed every two to three hours, while the young birds need to be fed every 30 minutes, or as often as you notice them opening their mouths.
The average adult blue jay’s daily caloric intake is equivalent to nearly 10% of its body weight. They require more food in the winter than in the summer.
Blue Jays Favorite Foods
This also applies to the foods that blue jays can find and eat. They crack open acorns with their bills and use their feet to grip them.
However, they can readily satisfy their nutritional requirements by eating insects or hunting small animals.
Blue jays are able to meet their dietary demands by eating a wide variety of insects, despite their small size, because they are adept at locating and capturing these creatures.
They eat several kinds of insects, but caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles are their favorites.
Their preferred food of the three is a caterpillar, which is good news during caterpillar-infested seasons.
Before swallowing a caterpillar whole, a blue jay will whip it around to eliminate any unnecessary bristles.
Blue jays are largely vegetarian, therefore their diet consists of things like insects, nuts, fruits, cereals, and acorns (making up 75% of their diet).
They are especially fond of grain, sunflower seeds, and acorns.
Blue jays can eat peanuts very likely.
When it comes to grain and seed feeders, they love to eat from suit feeders. In addition to providing them with food, you should also provide them with water for drinking and bathing.
How Long Can Blue Jays Go Without Eating?
No living thing on Earth could possibly survive indefinitely without access to some form of nutrition. However, the length of time that certain species can go without food varies greatly.
Due of their wide diet range, blue jays are not likely to go hungry for long.
A blue jay can go without eating for at least 1–2 days, and up to 3 days in the worst case scenario.
A blue jay’s lifespan is cut short to one day in the wild if conditions aren’t ideal.
Do Blue Jays Eat Other Birds?
Blue jays are well-known for their habit of consuming the eggs of other species of birds. There’s no doubting that blue jays have been seen assaulting and stealing from other species of birds, and even killing and eating their young on occasion.
They act greedy and try to keep other animals from eating so they may have it all to themselves. Birds have been seen to assemble flocks in order to protect their favorite feeding spots from competition.
The blue jay is a fiercely territorial bird that will aggressively defend its area from other birds. In some cases, they have been seen attacking humans, dogs, and cats.
It has been noted that blue jays have a callous attitude toward the food they eat. These birds prey on other species, robbing and devouring their nestlings and eggs. The fact that blue jays have been spotted catching mice only adds to their bad character.
Blue jays occasionally steal eggs from other birds’ nests, but this behavior is quite rare. If a blue jay is eating poisonous snakes because it can’t find anything else to eat, it may be desperate. We learned that only one out of every hundred blue jays lays eggs.
What Do Blue Jays Eat In The Winter?
The blue jay has a large and varied diet. In the winter, they need to eat more than in the summer. Vegetables, berries, seeds, and beechnuts make up the majority of their food throughout the colder months.
Caterpillars, grasshoppers, mice, young birds, eggshells, and big insects are all on their menu. To save food for later, blue jays will return to feeders multiple times and secretly stow away the food they’ve taken.
They scatter seeds over a 2.5-mile radius. Seeds are mostly gathered by blue jays in regions that have been disturbed by human activities such as plowing and mowing.
Do Blue Jays Eat Snakes?
Vegetables, fruits, nuts, acorns, insects, small animals, and even small mice are all fair game for blue jays.
Blue jays and snakes share a common food source. However, blue jays are only able to consume little snakes, which they can easily catch and handle.
As was previously said, blue jays typically eat either nuts and seeds or small animals. In general, blue jays eat plant-based foods.
Consequences are possible, and eating habits are the primary factor in food choice for all birds, including blue jays.
Blue jays have the unique capacity to determine whether or not a seed is edible by simply holding it in their bills and estimating its weight.
You may see the blue jay’s intelligence at work when you see it choose the exact food it wants to eat, then craft tiny tools to help it get to the food it needs from places it can’t normally reach, or when you witness it steal from another bird’s nest.
They can be enticed to your bird feeders with black-oil sunflower seeds or peanuts. These nuts are a favorite of blue jays, and they provide all the necessary nutrients for the birds.
You can hang a feeder and fill it with bird food to attract various species. Blue jays will be entertained by the sound of breaking apart the shells of the nuts you put out for them.
The nuts can be made more accessible to the smaller birds by placing them on a platform feeder.
Blue jays like to play “catch” with their food, so if you give them too many nuts in the feeder, they may start scurrying about one by one to hide them. It’s wasteful because so many nuts are thrown away.