Blue Jays are sought after birds for backyard bird sanctuaries for their brilliant color. However, these fascinating birds can be quite noisy and are known to fight the smaller birds.
A Bit About Jays:
Belonging to the Corvidae (crow) family, Blue Jays are known to be quite intelligent and most curious! These birds are by far one of the most distinct and intelligent birds in the world. They are curious, hardy birds that can be rather intimidating to others (They have been noted to even tease outside cats – flying just out of reach!)
These beauties are mostly found in North Eastern US, however, can be spotted in other areas during migration.
Size and Color
Jays stand approximately 12 inches tall and sport bright blue plumage (feathers). These beauties are hard to miss when the grace your backyard sanctuary! It is difficult to tell the female jays and the male jays apart because they are both about the same size and same color. You can tell you have attracted a blue jay into your backyard sanctuary by their brilliant blue crest. They also have white and black feathered patterns throughout their blue body.
If you want to attract these bright blue beauties to your backyard sanctuary, be sure you are prepared to have the right feeders and space for them!
Feeding and Food:
Platform feeders are what Blue Jays prefer. They are larger birds that require a sturdier surface in which to feed comfortably. However, if there is not a larger platform for them to stand on and they see their favorite food – they will perch on smaller feeders (just don’t expect them to hang around too long).
Blue Jays LOVE raw peanuts (non salted) and sunflower seeds. They especially like the black oil sunflower seeds in the shell (as do many other birds, such as cardinals).
If you are feeding in the winter, Blue Jays search for sunflower seeds in suet. This provides them a great source of energy during the colder months where food is scarce. (Click here to get the step by step directions on how to make your own suet and save money!)
The male and the female are responsible in building and caring for the nest. Typically, the males will gather the twigs and twine and the female constructs the nest in just the perfect spot. Mom Jays typically prefer to build her nest in the crook of trees with larger supporting branches.
A female Jay can lay up to 7 eggs at one time! The young will fledge the nest when they are about 3 weeks old.
Fun Fact: Jays often build more than one nest…. if they think their nest has been spotted by a predator, they will abandon the nest and relocate to a safer location!
Ready to Attract Blue Jays to Your Backyard?
We would LOVE to hear your Blue Jay experiences… please post a comment below!
Happy Birding 🙂
Lori & Ginger