What Do Blue Jays Eat? (Feeding Tips & Favorite Foods)

Birds are usually capable of eating most foods reliable to their mouth or beak size. But not any food can be eaten by all the birds. Blue jays have a different nature when it comes to eating behavior, and many birdwatchers have asked, what do blue jays eat?

They have slightly different eating behavior, and blue jays can eat various types of foods, vegetables, insects, seeds, berries, and many other foods that we will discuss.

Table of Contents:

Blue Jay Diet

The Blue jays are brilliant birds and are adaptable too. Their diet consists of different food varieties like grasshoppers, mice, baby birds, larger insects, caterpillars, bird eggs, etc.

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So, blue jays can eat from tray feeders, hopper feeders, and hanging feeders, and they can also eat suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts in bird feeders.

What Kind Of Food Do Blue Jays Eat?

Blue jays prefer eating peanuts, seeds, tray, and hopper feeders overhanging feeders. And in the winter season, their diet consists of vegetables, seeds, beechnuts, berries, and acorns.

To feed blue jays, you can get acorns in the future by planting oak trees in your backyard or your garden. The Blue jays often drink water from birdbaths. You can buy shelled peanuts from the market to feed blue jays.

If you put these shelled peanuts in a bird feeder, then squirrels will eat them, and no food will be left for your birds.

To avoid such problems, put peanuts in a peanut feeder to keep squirrels away from blue jay’s food. Hence your bird will eat enough food. 

Blue jays are famous for robbing other birds’ nests and eating eggs and baby birds. It is a fact that blue jays rob other birds’ nests, but this is not common. A tiny percentage of blue jays adopt this habit to fulfill their hunger.

Blue jay’s love for acorns is beyond everything, and this love gave them a significant variance of becoming a great acquirer of the oak trees. In their gular pouch of the esophagus, they can carry a lot of nuts at one time.

In a radius of 2.5 miles, one blue jay can store 5000 acorns or more. And during that storage process, some acorns are left under the grass or leaves and then start growing and become a tree.

What Do Baby Blue Jays Eat?

Like other birds, baby blue jays follow their parent’s diet. Baby blue jays eat food more or less like their parents or eat what their parents gave them. For eating food, baby blue jays are dependent on both parents.

Their parents bring various food for their baby blue jays to eat, including small animals, seeds, nuts, insects, etc.

It is not the duty of a single to feed them; both have to work together to search for food for their young ones.

After hatching, baby blue jays cannot go outside the nest searching for food until they are six weeks older.

After reaching this age, they can go outside and feed themselves. But they have to live with their parents until 12 weeks old.

How Often Should You Feed Blue jays? 

It depends on the age of blue jays and how often you should feed them. You can feed an adult blue jay after every two to three hours, and for a baby blue jay, you should feed it after every 30 minutes or whenever you see them opening its mouth.

An adult Blue jay can eat almost 10 percent of its weight. But in winter, they need more calories than in summer.

Blue Jays Favorite Foods

Blue jays are capable of eating various foods, and the same goes for finding food. They can hold the nuts acorns from their feet and, after cracking them, open with their bills.

On the other hand, if they want to eat, they can easily find insects, hunt small animals, and fulfill their nutrition needs.

When it comes to insects, blue jays can eat various insects to fulfill their hunger and nutritional needs as they are good at finding and catching insects, even if they are small.

Even though they eat various insects, they still prefer insects such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and beetles over other insects.

Of these three, their favorite is a caterpillar, which is beneficial in the seasons in which there is an infestation of caterpillars.

The blue jay will first whip it around to consume a caterpillar to remove the bristles that are not required and swallow them.

75% of a blue jay’s diet is made up of all these insects, nuts, fruits, grains, and acorns as they prefer a primarily vegetarian diet.

They are very fond of corn, sunflower seeds, and acorns. Blue jays can eat peanuts very likely.

When it comes to grain and seed feeders, they love to eat from suit feeders. While feeding them food, do not forget to place water near them for drinking and bathing.

How Long Can Blue Jays Go Without Eating? 

Surviving without any food is impossible for any living being in this world. However, the duration that different beings can survive without having any food varies from species to species.

In blue jays, it isn’t very certain for them not to find any food due to the large variety of things they eat.

However, if such conditions occur, then under optimal conditions, a blue jay can survive for at least 1, 2 days, or a maximum of 3 days without eating food. Under adverse conditions, a blue jay cannot survive more than a day.

Do Blue Jays Eat Other Birds?

Yes, blue jays do eat the eggs of other birds and are known for this reason. There is no denying that blue jays have been spotted attacking other birds to steal their food and even eat their babies or eggs in some rare cases.

They show greediness and try to push away other species away from the food to save it for a theme. There are observed to be forming groups to secure the food sites and push other birds away.

Blue jays are very protective and conscious about their territory and do not hesitate in attacking the birds that enter their territory. They are even seen attacking humans, dogs, and cats that get too close.

Blue jays are observed to be insensitive when it comes to their dining choices. They attack other birds, rob their nests, and eat their babies or eggs. Blue jays are even seen to catch mice, which makes their reputation worse.

But it is infrequent for a blue jay to rob other birds’ nests and eat their eggs. It may be a result of desperation if a blue jay is unable to find any other food. We came to know that out of 100 blue jays, only one has eggs in its stomach.

What Do Blue Jays Eat In The Winter?

Blue jays eat plenty and various types of food. They have to eat more food in winter than in summer. In winter, their diet consists of vegetables, berries, seeds, and beechnuts.

They also feed on caterpillars, grasshoppers, mice, baby birds, bird eggs, and large insects. Blue jays also store food to eat later, and for this purpose, they visit feeders again and again and hide all food in a safe place.

They hide seeds within a radius of 2.5 miles. Blue jays mainly collect seeds from those areas where some activities like plowing and mowing occur.

Do Blue Jays Eat Snakes?

Blue jays eat various things, and they can eat almost anything, whether it is vegetables, fruits, nuts, acorns, insects, small animals, and even small mice.

Snakes also fall in the same category as the things that blue jays eat. But blue jays can only eat small snakes, which are easy for them to catch and handle.


Most blue jays satisfy their hunger by eating insects, small animals, or nuts and seeds, as explained above. Mostly blue jays rely on a vegetarian diet.

There may be consequences, and eating habits play the main role in selecting foods for any bird, especially for birds like blue jays.

An interesting ability of Blue jays is that they can judge whether the seeds are good enough to eat or not just by guessing their weight by holding them in their bills.

Blue jays are brilliant birds, and you can see their intelligence at work when they are picking the specific food they want to have for which they make small tools to reach the food that is hard to access and steal food from the nests of other birds.

To attract them to the bird feeders, you can use black-oil sunflower seeds or peanuts as blue jays really like them. Blue jays are fond of these nuts, and they have enough nutrition for blue jays.

To attract the birds to the feeders, you can hang the hanging feeder and fill them with nuts or seeds. You can put the nuts with shells as blue jays can easily crack the shells open to get the nut, which keeps them entertained.

A platform feeder can be used to make it easier for the small birds to reach the nuts.

It is suggested that you should not provide too many nuts in the feeder as blue jays enjoy catching their food and to do that, they start picking up the nuts and hiding them one by one. It wastes a lot of nuts which is not a good thing to do.

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