Few people can miss the striking coloration (and bold personality!) of the Blue Jay, and we see them often in our backyards. They are medium-to-large, gregarious birds with heavy bills, related to magpies and crows. They can be loud and noisy, often because they're trying to intimidate other birds or intruders.
Blue Jays favor suet, whole or shelled peanuts, bread scraps and sunflower seeds. They don't really like hanging feeders.
They can be bullies at bird feeders, so you may want to add small feeders that jays cannot use, or put out dedicated peanut feeders for them to enjoy.
We've gotten great feedback and customer testimonials about our Whole Peanut Wreath Ring, pictured!
Blue Jays eat their food by holding in their feet and pecking it open, and store food in caches to eat later.
Blue Jays do visit bird baths for cleaning and bathing! And yes, heated birdbaths in winter.
These monogamous birds typically build cup-shaped nests in tree forks or crotches, about 5-20 feet above the ground. They are very protective of their nests and may even dive-bomb humans if they're perceived to be a threat!
You can help by putting a nesting shelf in a tree, or perhaps near the side of a building (shed, garage), near open spaces and foliage. Put the shelf about 10-12 feet above the ground, and consider protection for predators and the elements.
In the wild, they prefer oak trees near forest edges. (Yes, acorns are also a preferred food source.)