Last Updated on November 22, 2021 by Guillermina
Are you installing a bird feeder for blue jays? Setting up these feeders is a lot of fun, but takes a lot of research and preparation.
Blue jays are majestic birds that look beautiful as they fly into the sky. If you want to do some birdwatching and prepare some treats for them close to your home, a bird feeder is a great solution for you. This will become a whole project, but you just need to be aware of all the elements you need to put together to make it all work.
Ready to set up your very first blue jay bird feeder? This guide can give you a rundown of information that could be helpful on your journey!
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Types of Bird Feeder
Because of the great variety of birds, we have all around the world bird feeder designers have put a lot of consideration into creating these contraptions. Different needs and locations have different requirements. Here are some of the typical styles you might come across while shopping for the perfect one for your home.
This typical and classic style features a nice and homey birdhouse. The structure is good at protecting the feed from the elements and big enough to hold a lot of food for many days. However, you will need to put protection from squirrels or other animals so they don’t stick their hands into the supply.
The platform feeder is also called a tray feeder, and it attracts a lot of birds (and other animals) because it’s an open system. But because it’s open to the elements, it quickly gets dirty and ripe grounds for fungus and bacteria.
Closed tubes are effective at holding together a lot of seed. The number of birds it can feed can be limited, but it’s easy to prevent errant squirrels from grabbing at the bird feed, too.
The suet feeder is a simple mesh construction that allows bids to peck at the available holes so they can get to the food. While these contraptions might look dangerous, they are safe for birds to peck at and stick to.
Want to watch those birds up close? It might be a good investment to get a window feeder. They can stick to windows and can give us really nice views of the birds trying to eat from the feeder. Since they are stuck on the window, they are usually not that big and don’t hold a lot of feed, needing to be refilled often.
So, which one is best suited for watching blue jays? All these types have their own strengths and weaknesses, but in general, the blue jay isn’t picky about where their next meal will come from. Given that blue jays are medium-sized birds and that they have a certain feed that they like, these are considerations you need to make when buying your bird feeder. There is no one blue jay’s feeder that is perfect, it’s really up to you.
Read more about How To Care For A Baby Blue Jay
Best Types Of Bird Feed For Blue Jays
Every bird has their favorite meal that it can’t get enough of. If you want to attract a lot of blue jays to your feeder, here are the surefire snack hits to load up your feeder with. These are some of the best blue jay foods. You will sometimes find that they will store some food in the throat and take the feed somewhere else.
Blue jays are a big fan of all kinds of sunflower seeds. The pure black ones are great, but they don’t mind snacking on the striped ones, too. They eat sunflower seeds by cracking them with their sharp beak.
You can choose to shell the peanuts or leave them whole – blue jays like both. Peanut feeders for blue jays are a huge hit. They are skilled with their beaks – so much so that they are one of the only birds who can crack peanuts open with them!
This can be cracked corn or even whole kernels. You can strip a cob of the corn kernels, but the birds are also known to peck them off.
Mealworms are basically beetle larvae, and full of nutrition for birds. They are attractive to a wide variety of birds, but blue jays really like them. You’ll find they can pack away a lot of these pieces.
Suet is the fat of the kidneys and loins, found in beef and mutton. Again, a multitude of birds loves this kind of food, as it’s very easy to eat and a great source of energy, especially during the cold, dry winter season. They are usually formed into blocks, which can be easily inserted into different feeders.
Considerations For Bird Feeder Installation
Aside from the feeder and the type of food you will load into it, you need to think about other factors for the installation.
Where in your backyard are you setting up your bird feeder? Blue jays may prefer to hand around a feeder that is surrounded by foliage. In the middle of your yard may work for convenience, but it depends on how you would like it to look.
Birdbaths are a great complement to bird feeders. They don’t just drink from these birdbaths, but they also bathe in them. Since some blue jays don’t migrate in the winter, you might want to have a heated birdbath installed for their comfort.
Squirrels And Other Competition
The blue jays in your area are not the only ones vying for free, tasty food. There are a whole lot of creatures who want to get a share of the snacks that you provided. There are a number of things you could add to your feeder like a baffle or wrap-around mechanisms.
Of course, a bird feeder is not a self-cleaning mechanism. You need to organize and schedule your cleaning days for the feeder. Sometimes, weather can affect the feeder. The food might start growing mold. The feeder will need intervention to function properly on a long-term basis.
Having a bird feeder for blue jays is a commitment to its maintenance throughout the year. If you really enjoy the bird-watching experience, then this project is definitely worth it.
Have you ever set up a bird feeder near your home? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.