blue jay eating peanuts

What Does A Blue Jay Eat? Their Favorite Foods Revealed!

The Blue Jay is one of the most vibrant and eye-catching birds to visit bird feeders. The blue jay is known for its intelligence, adaptability, curiosity, and memory.

They are also great mimics! You might see them sitting on a branch watching other birds or hunting through your feeder for food.

The population of these brightly colored beauties has been increasing over the years as their habitat continues to grow larger than ever before due to climate change.

You may be familiar with them as they are often seen trying to steal food from other feeders, or hopping around on the ground looking for crumbs.

It’s important that you know what this “thieving” behavior means for your own backyard feeder! Blue Jays will swoop down and grab a seed right out of a feeder – then fly off.

The blue jay has a very simple diet that you will find in the wild. These small birds have a number of things that they eat, and most of what they eat will be made from what they find or hunt.

Eat Berries and Fruit

What do blue jays enjoy? Blue jays love berries of all different colors and types. They like to eat apples, oranges, elderberries, cherries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries.

Eat Insects and Invertebrates

It’s always been a joy to watch the birds out my window. They make their rounds, hopping from branch to branch in search of insects and invertebrates for food.

I never really noticed before how many they were eating until recently when I saw that the blue jays seemed to be enjoying them most of all.

It’s become apparent that blue jays are eating insects and invertebrates in large numbers. The blue jays love eating caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, gypsy moths, arthropods.

In fact they can eat up to 30% of their body weight each day.  One study showed that up to 75% of a songbird’s diet is composed by invertebrates like insects and worms. 

Bluejays Love Mealworms

Blue jays will eat almost anything that is small and soft in texture. These birds will come to your feeder if they have the right food and, believe it or not, their diet is just as diverse as ours!

There are many types of foods that can be given to these curious animals in order to please them. One common type of food that many people provide for blue jays is mealworms.

Mealworms are often considered by bird watchers as a key food for blue jays because they are easy to find and offer the birds lots of protein. Blue Jays will typically eat about 100-150 mealworms per day. Blue Jays love meal worms!

Experiment with Different Foods

Many people are looking for new ways to keep their bird-watching life interesting. One of the best ways is by experimenting with different foods and finding out what your favorite birds like to eat.

There are many things that you can feed a blue jay, but if you want to get an idea of what they would most likely enjoy, then try these foods: Fruits, berries, apples, oranges, acorns, peanuts, corn (whole kernels) or walnuts and even peanut butter.

Blue Jay eating
Image by nickfish03 from Pixabay

Try Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Many people feed their birds a mix of seed and grain, but blue jays are especially fond of black oil sunflower seeds. In addition to seed and grain feeders they also like peanuts, hazelnuts, fruits, suet pellets, oranges, apples or slices of bread soaked in birdseed.

Use a Platform or Hopper Feeder

Blue Jays are not aggressive and will only enter an area if they know there is food to be found. If you want the birds in your yard to stay then it’s important to provide them with what they need – which includes the right type of feeder.

In order for any bird species to thrive in your backyard, it needs certain things like water, shelter from predators and a steady supply of peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.

A platform tray feeder or hopper feeder is a good option for feeding them because it has openings at both ends so that birds can feed from either side of the tray. Check out 15 Best Bird Feeders for Blue Jays.

Blue Jays eat Wildflower Seeds

If you do not have access to a wild bird food, the next best thing to try is some wildflower seeds. Wildflowers are a great choice for your birds because they are easy to harvest and very nutritious for your birds.

They are high in protein and other minerals that will keep them healthy. The problem is that wildflowers will not last long in the wild because they are eaten by large predatory birds, but if you want to add them to your bird feeders, you can try to grow your own wildflowers at home.

Blue Jay feeding young
Image by cytis from Pixabay

Ble Jays Eat Starches for Energy

Wild Blue Jay actually has four different kinds of food they can eat, although the food sources are all similar. One of these is starches. Starches are very rich in proteins and make up a large percentage of the food they need. The other three are made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat.

The starches are found in such things as grains, fruits, seeds, nuts, and seeds. When wild jays eat starches, they are actually getting them from the seeds, and they can even turn them into starches, by grinding them up. This helps them get their proteins. One of the other foods that Blue Jay eats is cellulose, which they can break down into glycerin and use as a source of energy.

A lot of people believe that wild jays can not get enough energy from starches, since they need to eat starches for their metabolism. However, it has been shown that the metabolism of wild jays actually increases when they feed on starches, and they do not have to burn them for energy.

Wild blue jays also have the ability to digest cellulose. This is a protein byproduct of plants, and cellulose is broken down into glucose, which wild blue jays can use as energy.

Blue Jays are Omnivores

One thing that many people do not realize about Blue Jays is that they are omnivores, and some of them do eat carrion.

This means that they actually have been known to eat small mammals such as mice.. This is not a normal part of their diet, but it is something that they do for energy.

For the most part, they do not eat carrion, but they will eat fish, insects, birds, frogs, crayfish, worms, lizards, insects that come from the water, small mammals, worms, and spiders for food sources.

10 Species of Jays in North America

  • Blue Jay
  • Canada Jay
  • Brown Jay
  • Green Jay
  • Mexican Jay
  • Pinyon Jay
  • Steller’s Jay
  • California Scrub Jay
  • Florida Scrub Jay
  • Island Scrub Jay

Blue Jays are found only in North America

Blue Jays are the only one found in North America. There are several theories on why they are so rare in other places, but there is no clear answer to this question.

Some think that it has something to do with climate and geography while others believe that humans may have introduced them to North America.

Blue Jays live all over Canada and much of the United States, however, they can be seen as far south as Mexico. They prefer open spaces such as fields or woodlands.

Blue Jays drinking water
Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

Provide Drinking Water

If you would like to attract this beautiful bird, be sure to provide them with drinking water or a birdbath. They need fresh water daily, and it’s not uncommon for them to drink up to half their body weight in one day. 

Blue Jays need both fresh water and a bath in order to stay healthy. Without them, they will leave and find somewhere else to live!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Blue Jays favorite food?

    Blue Jays love a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds, nuts, and seeds, which can be eaten raw or prepared in any way you see fit. The variety will give your bird a great deal of fun.
    Blue jays also love and eat all kinds of berries.

  2. What fruit do blue jays eat?

    Blue jays will eat all kinds of berries like elderberries, cherries, as well as fruits such as apples.

  3. What is the best bird feeder for Blue Jays?

    There are 2 types of bird feeders I would recommend for Blue Jays. The Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder or the Birds Choice Whole Peanut Blue Jay Feeder

  4. Can Blue Jays eat bread?

    Blue Jays will definitely eat bread, but it is to be avoided because feeding bread to blue jays can lead to nutritional problems and deficiencies.

  5. Do Blue Jays mate for life?

    Yes, Blue jays do mate for life and will form a parenting partnership with their social mate.

  6. Do Blue Jays eat hummingbirds?

    Yes, Blue Jays love to eat hummingbird eggs as well as baby hummingbirds.

  7. What do baby blue jays eat?

    Baby Blue Jays are omnivorous. This means that their diet consists of both plants and meat. Baby Blue Jays love berries and nuts.