Bring on the Blue Jays

3 ways to Attract a Blue Jay to Your Backyard

Blue Jays are beautiful — yet still one of the most intelligent — backyard birds.

Blue Jays are part of the Corvidae family, which means they’re curious and even demonstrate problem-solving skills, attributes that sometimes make it difficult to attract them to your feeder.

Their bright blue coat is visible from afar and both males and females share the same relative look. Many jays have distinct crests, plumes or markings that make them easy to identify after visiting your yard.

  1. Go Nuts! (Use the correct food and feed.)
    If you’re looking to attract blue jays to your backyard, the first step is using the right blue jay food. Jays love peanuts – seriously, they absolutely go crazy for whole peanuts – acorns, suet and sunflower seeds as well as small fruits, berries and insects. If possible, try and host the blue jays nest in an Oak or Beech tree – the jays appreciate the ready source of nuts and thick foliage.
  2. Think big.
    Blue jays are fairly large birds; your blue jay feeder needs to accommodate the size and weight of the birds. Choose a blue jay feeder that can host more than a few jays and won’t swing or sway under their weight. In terms of shelter, blue jays do not use birdhouses but prefer mature deciduous and coniferous trees like a Cedar, Spruce or Pine tree. You can encourage a blue jay nest by providing nesting materials like twigs, yarn, small sticks and grass clippings. There are several ways to offer the materials to your feathered-friends. You can drape materials over trees or shrubs, lightly fill a clean suet cage with materials or create a small pile of the nesting material in a place where it will not be blown away or rained on.
  3. Create a ‘Blue Jay Hot Tub’.
    After eating all those peanuts, the jays are going to need a nice big bird bath to wet their whistle. In addition, blue jays stay year-round in their ranges so if you live in cooler climates, it’s probably a good idea to have a heated bird bath for the winter months. Your bird bath needs to be large so the birds have room to move and splash around – I would recommend 2-3” deep. Jays are known to travel in numbers so it’s best to have a bath suitable for a handful of larger birds. This ‘Heated Bird Bath with Pedestal’ is a great option – 25” across, strong and sturdy to ensure a safe bath or drink for the birds.