Blue Jay

What Attracts Blue Jays to your Yard?(Expert Tips)

Blue Jays are one of the most common birds found in residential yards. These colorful, chatty creatures can be quite a joy to watch from your window.

But what is it that attracts them to your yard? In this article, we will take a look at some expert tips for attracting blue jays and how you can have these beautiful birds coming back every day!


The blue jay, is a medium-sized bird measuring 9-12″ in length, native to the Central and Eastern United States and Canada. They are one of the most recognizable birds in North America with their distinctive crest and loud calls.

The males have a blue plumage on top and white underneath with a pronounced blue crest, and a black necklace around its neck. Females are brownish-gray or olive-green on their heads and necks.

Blue Jays are not migratory birds, but they will often move short distances if they need food or want to find new habitat that’s better for raising young birds.

These beautiful creatures are common across much of North America where they feed on insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets and beetles; grains such as oats, wheat and corn; fruits such as blackberries and apples; nuts such as acorns or peanuts.

Attracting the Blue Jay with Feeders

Feeders for blue jays are a great way to attract and keep this lovely bird in your yard. Blue jays love to feed in gardens, backyards, and parks and have a very good social hierarchy that requires their presence.

It is important to find the right feeder for your bird. The most popular feeders for blue jays are the suet and tray feeders. These are among the more popular choices available on the market.

Blue jays tend to have very different tastes in terms of what they eat. Some will eat nuts, while other will prefer fruit and seeds. Blue jays love to snack on peanuts, sunflower seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, bugs and plants.

They will also eat many other types of bugs such as crickets and maggots. Insects like ants, earthworms, wax worms, crickets, termites, lacewings, roaches, and earthworms.

When choosing a place for your feeder, place it in the shade and away from predators and also where the birds can see them or hang them from a nearby tree. The feeder should be supported and should not swing around. The feeders can also be placed in a visible location.

When feeding the blue jay I would recommend using the Woodlink Absolute II Bird Feeder with a premium mix like Wagner’s Gourmet Bird Food. This type of feeder will keep the area clean and free of any mess and eliminates  attracting unwanted guests like raccoons, mice or rats.

Another method that works great, is by hanging a platform feeder like the Natures Way Bird Feeder filled with their favorite foods, such as mealworms, peanuts, fruits, berries, and sunflower seeds.

Image by Eleanor McDonie from Pixabay

Food Sources that Attract Blue Jays

Some of the most popular blue jays’ favorite foods include:

  • Suet
  • Dogwood
  • Black-oil and striped sunflower seeds
  • Cherries
  • Fruits
  • Elderberries
  • Acorns
  • Shelled Peanuts
  • Peanut Butter

Purchase an Open Nesting Platform

An open-front nesting box is perfect for the Blue Jay’s nesting needs. This unique open-front nesting box is designed to keep the bird protected while they are nestling.

If you live in an area where your Blue Jay may go searching for a place to lay their eggs, you will find it is very beneficial. One product that I would highly recommend is the Coveside Nesting box. See today’s price on Amazon.

Video by Lute Graves from Pexels

Attract them with Trees and Flowers

Many people plant trees with fruit, berries or nuts for them to eat because it attracts blue jays and other birds that like these foods.

Blue jays especially love oaks, hickories, walnuts, pecans, butternuts and pignut hickory trees. They also enjoy wild grapes, blackberries, blueberries and elderberries. Fruit trees that attract blue jays are apple, cherry, peach and apricot.

Attract them with a Birdbath

You can add bird baths to your yard, too. They can be used to give the birds a place to bathe or drink. A bird bath should be placed near your bird feeder. It should be less than 10 feet away, but not be so close that it blocks the feeder.

If you’re searching for a nice bird bath, I would recommend this Sunnydaze birdbath. The birds will thank you for it, and it will add a stylish touch to any yard. You can find it on Amazon.

Extra Tips

  • You will need a variety of foods available for them, such as sunflower seeds and suet cakes.
  • You should also put up bird feeders and even a bird bath if possible.
  • Put up nest boxes for them.
  • Plant native plants that produce nectar or seeds.
  • Provide water at all times of year near your house.
  • Blue Jays love oak trees with large leaves and lots of acorns! Plant one in your yard or if there are already some, place some feeders on the ground beneath them, so they can easily find food while perched.
  • Blue Jays can’t resist certain food items: apples, corn on the cob, peanuts in shells and sunflower seeds (unsalted). They also enjoy oranges with the peel left on. 
  • Plant Blue Jay friendly plants like roses and cedar trees in your garden. 
  • Offer a bird feeder with plenty of sunflower seeds, peanuts and safflower seeds.
  • Plant native trees and shrubs in clusters – Clusters of different types of plants will provide food for blue jays throughout the year. These include berry-producing plants like dogwood, holly, sumac and viburnum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What month do Blue Jays lay eggs?

Blue Jays typically lay eggs from March to May, but In most parts of the United States, blue jays will start laying eggs in April. 

What kind of bird seed do Blue Jays not like?

If you have a bird feeder and want to attract Blue Jays, don’t use nyjer (thistle) seeds or safflower. You can still attract these beautiful birds by using black oil sunflower seed or peanuts in shells.

Are Blue Jays territorial?

Blue Jays are notorious for their territory defense, and it’s not uncommon to see two or more of them in a fight. What causes these disputes? Some believe that the birds’ competition for resources is what leads to territorial battles.

What is a flock of Blue Jays called?

Blue jays are a type of bird that can be found in North America. They live in flocks and these groups are called bands. The flock is typically composed of many blue jays, but the number may vary depending on how food is distributed. A typical band consists of five to ten birds with about three or four adult males, two or three females, and one immature bird.

Do Blue Jays mate for life?

In the wild, blue jays mate for life. They are monogamous and share their nest and resources with each other. The female incubates the eggs while the male feeds her food so she can stay warm and nourished during this time. When it is time to leave the nest, both parents will feed them until they fledge from their home.