My family loves watching Blue Jays visit our bird feeders!

 

Frequently heard before seen, jays typically don’t stay long at our feeding station. Once they land, they quickly take a whole peanut or fill their throat with sunflower seeds and fly off again.


*Jump directly to the list of the 4 best bird feeders for Blue Jays.*


Unfortunately, because of a Blue Jay’s relatively large size (9-12 inches long) and feeding preferences, they won’t use certain types of bird feeders.

 

For example, a typical tube feeder that features small perches next to feeding ports will NOT be used commonly by jays. They have a tough time fitting their body onto the perch and twisting around to eat.

 

So I thought I’d share the 4 BEST Blue Jay feeders that I own and use.

 

But before we begin, I think it’s important to address one question:

 

What do Blue Jays eat?

 

At your bird feeders, Blue Jays are fond of eating peanuts (both shelled and unshelled), sunflower seeds, and corn. In nature, they eat a wide variety of foods depending on what is available, but they are known to feed on acorns, insects, and fruit. Interestingly, Blue Jays will even raid the nests of other birds to eat their eggs or nestlings.


Knowing what jays eat is crucial because if you don’t fill your feeders with their favorite foods, they are never going to visit!

 


1. Tray/Platform Feeder

 

This tray feeder made by Woodlink is arguably my favorite feeder to use for Blue Jays.

 

The simple, open design is desirable to jays (and many other birds). The large surface area provides them with lots of room to land and find their food.

 

This tray feeder is versatile and can be used in three different ways. It can be hung, permanently attached to a pole mount, or laid on the ground (which is how I use it).

 

Check out the tray feeder in action below! The short video clip shows Blue Jays filling their throat with sunflower and corn.

Woodlink 3 in 1 Tray Feeder  View $ on Amazon

 

For a LIVE view of my feeders and bird feeding station, click here.

 

By placing the tray on the ground, it also provides a great way to feed other birds that prefer feeding on the ground. Not to mention it gives mammals, like squirrels and raccoons, a place to eat which helps keep them from trying to reach your bird feeders!

 

Here are a few other things that I like about the Woodlink tray feeder:

 

  • It has a mesh bottom so water drain outs, which helps the food dry faster and last longer.

 

  • I have found it to be durable. Ever since I bought the tray about two years ago, it has been sitting outside in the unpredictable Ohio weather, and it’s still going strong.

 

 


2. Plastic Platform Feeder

best feeders for blue jays

Droll Yankees Platform Feeder   View $ on Amazon 

 

This platform feeder made by Droll Yankees does an excellent job of satisfying Blue Jays. The wide (13″ diameter), deep plastic platform holds about a quart of seed and provides a large area for jays to land and feed.

 

The top plastic dome helps a bit to keep water and snow off the food, but don’t expect your food to be dry after rain. Luckily, the plastic tray has small holes to allow moisture to drain.

 

The dome is adjustable. Too attract Blue Jays, you need to make sure it’s not too low, or they won’t be able to fit! But the fact the dome can be lowered makes the feeder versatile in case you want to provide a place that only small birds can use.

 

I like that the durable, smooth plastic is EASY to clean. There are no hard to reach places where food and waste can accumulate. Simply spraying with the hose typically gets the job done!

 

If you view the full description on Amazon, you will see the feeder is named the “Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder.” It’s called this because the feeder is also great at attracting Northern Cardinals. You will find that Blue Jays and cardinals tend to prefer similar feeders. (For the record, these are two of my favorite birds!)

 


3. Tube Feeder WITH Attached Tray

 

I know what you are thinking.

 

“Scott, I thought you said tube feeders are not a great option for Blue Jays!”

 

Yes, I did say that. So why am I now recommending a tube feeder?

 

Well, tube feeders can be great for jays, but one slight adjustment is required.

 

You need to attach a tray to the bottom!

 

In my feeding station, I combine tube feeders with attachable trays, both made by Droll Yankees. The trays are incredibly easy to fasten to the bottom and typically don’t even require tools.

 

My tube feeders are probably the most popular in my backyard now that they have an area where larger birds can land and eat.

Check out this live camera below where you can see my set up, including the tube feeders with attached trays!     subscribe to live animal and bird cams

 

Here is the information regarding the tubes and trays that I am currently using:

 

Tube Feeders – Both made by Droll Yankees:

 

Trays – can be used on either Droll Yankee tube feeder above:

*I see Blue Jays using both size trays, but they seem to prefer the bigger one.*

 


4. Peanut Wreath

peanut wreath to feed blue jays

Songbird Essentials Peanut Wreath    View $ on Amazon 

 

Peanut wreaths are one of the best Blue Jays feeders to use when you want to have your birds work a bit for their food!

 

Just fill the wreath from the top with whole peanuts. The metal wiring is strong enough to hold peanuts in place but flexible enough that jays can pull them out to eat.

 

Once Blue Jays discover the delicious peanuts hidden inside the wreath, they can’t resist visiting every day.

 

Typically, I avoid putting this peanut feeder out during the summer months when I have a lot of grackles hanging around my yard. Grackles also love peanuts, and a big flock can empty the wreath in less than a day! During winter the Blue Jays don’t have as much competition for the peanuts and are usually joined by titmice and chickadees.

 


Final Thoughts

 

No matter which Blue Jay feeders you ultimately choose, remember they need to be filled with peanuts, sunflower seeds, or corn because these foods work best at drawing jays to your yard.

 

But providing the correct type of feeder is only the first step in attracting jays. To read how to turn your backyard into a bird paradise, try reading this article:

 

The four bird feeders listed above work well at attracting many different bird species, not just jays! Specifically, a quality tray feeder and tube feeder are essential for any bird feeding station. 

 

What are the best feeders you have used for Blue Jays?

 

Good luck! Soon enough you should be enjoying these highly charismatic and intelligent birds all the time in your backyard. Maybe you can even train them to land on your hand?

 

2 responses to “Blue Jay Feeders: The 4 Working Best For Me (2019)”

  1. JOANNE says:

    I was glad to read the info you put about the wreath peanut feeders. You say the wires are gentle enough to make it possible for the jays to pull the peanuts out. I am in a tricky situation. I have had to cut down on all kinds of feeders etc because pigeons are taking over and my neighbours do not appreciate the droppings all over their yard. I am trying to find a feeder to hang so the pigeons can’t land on it but the jays can. I have never seen my jays land on a vertical feeder but I’m sure they will learn. Is there anything else you can suggest to me so I can feed the jays and not the pigeons? Thank you so much for any advice., Also, I live in Alberta where winter temps go well below -20C (-4F) often. Will the wires of the wreath get too stiff for the jays to be able to pull the nuts out? If you can reply it would be greatly appreciated. I love my jays. ~ Joanne

    • Scott says:

      Hello Joanne. Pest birds like pigeons can be very frustrating. Here are my thoughts and experiments to try. First, I’m not sure how the metal wires of the peanut wreath will perform when it gets down to -20C, it gets cold in Ohio but not that cold! Jays are incredibly smart and adaptable and I bet they would find a way to get the peanut out, but you will never know until you try.
      To prevent pigeons, I would focus on foods they don’t like and feeders they can’t access. The peanut wreath is a great idea, but pigeons should not be able to eat whole peanuts no matter where you put them. Also, getting larger striped sunflower instead of black-oil sunflower, my guess is that pigeons can’t eat it because it’s too big. Also, whole kernel corn you could try, jays love it, not sure about pigeons and if they can eat it. Maybe a seed block/cylinder. I have one in my live cam right now of the feeders. I see jays feeding on it but the Mourning Doves don’t land on it to feed, my guess is pigeons would have the same problem. Hope that helps! Let me know if any feeding any of those foods keeps the pigeons away.

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