How To Attract Blue Jays, Foolproof Strategies

July 23, 2021 // 9 minutes read

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How To Attract Blue Jays

Some birdwatchers feel that a Blue jay is too aggressive, but I’m not one of them. Quite the opposite since I’ve tried, failed and tried again to attract them to my backyard. After getting fed up beyond belief, I researched the topic, learned their likes and dislikes, and I began to have great results that I’ll tell you about right now.

A few tricks to attract blue jay birds include providing an irresistible variety of their favorite foods, use the best blue jay-friendly feeder (or more), and providing a year-round water source, even in the winter. Other pro tips include scattering leaf litter and adding a large heated birdbath in your yard.

blue jay on branch in backyard
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Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

I’d like to go into greater detail about the tips mentioned above and other best practices that include:

  • Provide a smorgasbord of their favorite foods
  • Using blue jay friendly bird feeders
  • The reasons to offer a heated water source in your backyard
  • How leaf litter attracts blue jays
  • Why it’s necessary to give blue jays plenty of space
  • How planting the right trees can bring blue jays in droves

Ready to discover the details?

Stick around and keep reading to learn the reasoning behind these tried-and-true tactics.

The Smorgasbord Attraction Technique: Provide A Tasty Spread Of Their Favorite Tantalizing Treats

Picture this:

Your backyard is flooded with blue jays and they’re flittering around and having fun. You’ve never seen so many of these majestic birds in one place.

What changed?

You decided to get smart. You decided to feed them their favorite treats every day. And this made a world of difference toward attracting amazing blue jays to your property.

Which foods do they love?

A quick list of their favorite seeds and bird food options include:

  • Cracked corn
  • Peanuts
  • Suet
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Mealworms
  • Blackberries
  • Cherries
  • Acorns
  • Beechnuts

Are you starting to see the full picture?

Provide a smorgasbord of these tasty treats for blue jays every day and I promise they’ll begin to swarm your backyard on a regular basis.

Once they know that they can easily get their favorite foods in one place, they’ll continue to come back for more as long as you keep delivering the goods.

It won’t take long for your backyard to become a hotspot for blue jays.

The Bird Feeder Magnet Method: Serve Them Delicious Treats Using Blue Jay Friendly Bird Feeders

On a warm spring morning, you wake up and look out your back window.

What do you see?

You see one blue jay struggling to get the delicious food you provide out of your bird feeder.


You see two other blue jays flying away from your bird feeder without any tasty treats in tow.

What gives?

You obviously aren’t using blue jay-friendly bird feeders. You could put all of their favorite foods in your feeders, but if they can’t get to it then you’ll have a neighborhood filled with hungry and unhappy blue jays on your hands.

The solution:

Visit your favorite online retailer to purchase blue jay friendly bird feeders.

First off, typical bird feeders are much too small for these larger winged creatures. On average, they are 9-12 inches long and weigh around 3 ½ ounces.

Other backyard birds are half their size and weight even less.

Instead of stuffing all of their favorite foods inside tube feeders that are much too small for their larger bodies, you need to install large platform feeders or hopper feeders.

These options provide ample space for blue jays to safely and successfully devour the tasty food that you provide to them.

The Gift Of Year-Round Heated Water: It’s Something That Every Blue Jay Craves and Needs

Like all living creatures, blue jays need a fresh water source made available to them all year round. Without it, they’ll have a difficult time staying hydrated and clean throughout the year.

In particular…

These majestic birds struggle to find water during the freezing cold winter months. It’s often problematic for wild birds to survive in cold climates, which is why many head south for the winter.

Guess what?

The best way to provide blue jays and other backyard birds with fresh water during the cold weather is to add a heated birdbath to your backyard.

Personally, I recommend installing a solar heated bird bath as long as you can place it in an area that gets ample sunshine for about eight hours a day.

Why a solar-heated birdbath?

Two reasons include:

  1. It saves money on electricity – why not harness the power of the sun instead of spending your hard-earned money on additional electricity? Let the sun power the solar panel in the bird bath to provide heated water to your favorite blue jays.
  2. It eliminates the need for a power outlet or extension cord – this can be a problem for many backyard birdwatchers. The best location for your solar heated bird bath might be away from a power outlet. You’d either have to install a new one or drag an extension cord through the snow, which is potentially dangerous.

But most important of all…

Your heated bath for birds will save many feathery lives. Not only will local blue jays swim around and clean themselves in your large birdbath, but they’ll also have fresh and clean water available to keep them healthy and hydrated.

blue jay on bird feeder
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Image by Richard Emerson from Pixabay

The Power Of Leaf Litter: Spread It Around To Keep Blue Jays Coming Back To Your Yard

You may not know this…

Blue jays love to hide their food. They create food caches inside tree crevices and underneath piles of leaves, otherwise known as leaf litter.

So, the next time the lawn guy comes to clean up your leaves, tell him to leave a few strategic piles strewn about your backyard.

A great place is to leave them underneath an oak tree in your yard. If you do not have an oak tree, place the leaves at the base of the most appealing tree on your property.

Here’s the deal:

By leaving a pile of leaf litter under a tree, you’ll occasionally see one or more blue jays hide a peanut or some seeds underneath the pile.

And then…

Maybe later the same day, or the next morning, you’ll find the diligent blue jays rooting around in the pile of leaf litter looking for their buried treasure!

These piles of leaves are very tempting to these birds because it plays into their psychology and the very nature of their being.

By spreading it out around your backyard, you’ll give these beautiful birds one more reason to visit on a regular basis.

The Wide Berth Practice: Attracting Blue Jays Requires Giving Them Their Space

Did you know that these winged creatures tend to remain scarce when human beings are in their vicinity?

Or even worse…

If humans, cats, and dogs enter their territory, they have a tendency to dive at them to scare them away!

Have no fear though, because blue jays will not intentionally fly into you on purpose. They really aren’t that brave.

So, if you ever get bumped into by blue jays, please know that it happened by accident.

Here’s what you should do:

The best decision to make is to steer clear of their territory and give these beautiful birds a wide berth.

This will keep them roaming around your backyard, eating from your bird feeders, enjoying your heated bird bath, and ultimately leading a great life.

Remember this as well…

If a blue jay is nesting in the area with its young, it will do everything possible to keep the hatchling protected.

Again, it likely will not intentionally attack you, but it will fly close in an effort to scare you away from the nest.

The Tree Planting Process: Plant The Right Trees And Watch Blue Jays Swarm Your Backyard in Scores

Blue jays like two tree species in particular…

They absolutely adore beech trees and oak trees.

Do you know why?

They love eating beechnuts and acorns! (Click this link to learn what do Blue jays like to eat)

These beautiful winged creatures cannot get enough of these tasty treats. Packs of blue jays will fly through your backyard hunting for their favorite tasty treats.


By planting these trees, you’re giving these beautiful birds another place to enjoy a tasty meal, create a nest for their family, and perch throughout the day.

Even better, acorns and beechnuts are a delicious part of a blue jay’s diet. They provide a plethora of healthy vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and delicious energetic fats.

Planting one or both of these trees will beautify your landscape and create an amazing home for local blue jays in your community too.

The Last Word On How To Attract Blue Jays

You made it all the way to the end! That’s amazing. Take a moment to read through these tips again and begin implementing the most practical ones to accomplish.

Because the truth is simple…

The more you use these strategies, the more wonderful blue jays will begin visiting your property day after day. And before long, these astonishing creatures will consider your backyard their home.

A quick recap of the top tips shared with you today include:

  • Always provide a spread of their favorite foods including peanuts, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, and a list of other tasty treats mentioned above
  • Use large bird feeders that are friendly to blue jays – platform and hopper feeders are great options
  • Provide a year-round heated water source for drinking and bathing purposes
  • Keep the leaf litter in your backyard so these majestic creatures can instantly hide nuts and seeds for future consumption
  • Give them a wide berth because they’re territorial and do not like the company of humans, cats, dogs, and other creatures because they feel unsafe in their presence
  • Plant oak and beech trees and let nature provide these birds their favorite acorns and beechnuts for a tasty treat

That’s about all.

Please take these strategies to heart and use them liberally throughout the year. Before long, you’ll have so many blue jays swarming your backyard they’ll have a hard time keeping track of them all.

Wouldn’t that be amazing to see?

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