My family loves watching Blue Jays visit our bird feeders!
Frequently heard before being 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.
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 use.
Woodlink 3 in 1 Tray Feeder View Today’s Price
This tray feeder made by Woodlink is arguably my favorite feeder to use for Blue Jays. The simple, open design is desirable to both jays and many other birds. They love the large surface area, which 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.
Placing the tray on the ground also provides a great way to feed other birds that prefer feeding there, like native sparrows. 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.
- Birds and other animals feel extremely comfortable on tray feeders. I have seen everything using it; crows, cardinals, sparrows, chipmunks, rabbits, opossums, etc.
Droll Yankees Platform Feeder View $ on Amazon
This platform feeder made by Droll Yankees does an excellent job of feeding Blue Jays. The wide (13″ diameter) 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, but you need to make sure it’s not too low for Blue Jays, 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!
The official name of this feeder is “Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder.” It’s called this because the feeder is also great at attracting Northern Cardinals. You will find that jays and cardinals tend to prefer similar feeders.
#3. Use this tube feeder WITH an 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, because it’s true. But tube feeders can work for jays, but one slight adjustment is required.
You need to attach a tray to the bottom of your tube feeder!
In my feeding station, I combine tube feeders with attachable trays. 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 the live stream below where you can see my current setup, and you may see a tube feeder with a tray attached!
Here is the information regarding the tube feeder and tray that I am currently using. They are both made by Aspects, so they are compatible with each other.
Check the prices on Amazon below:
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.
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.
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?