Blue Jay Birdhouses: The Best Type & How to Build One

blue jay birdhouse

Do you want to transform your backyard space into Blue Jay Paradise? If you can’t get enough of these beautiful blue birds, adding a few Blue Jay houses to your outdoor garden is a wonderful idea. 

Unlike crevice-dwelling birds like finches, Purple martins, or other small wild birds, building your own Blue Jay house is super simple. They only require a large platform so you can make your own at home quickly and easily (no woodcutting classes required). 

Where Do Blue Jays Build Their Nests?

Blue Jays typically build their nests in the branches of a deciduous or coniferous tree in North America. They prefer wide-open spaces with easy access on platforms and make their nests from twigs, roots, and mud.

blue jay birdhouse 2
A Blue Jays preferred dwelling includes a lot of coverage provided by coniferous and deciduous trees.

Unlike other birds that prefer crevices for added protection, Blue Jays build nests on thick tree branches and will completely abandon the nest if they suspect a predator is nearby.

While Blue Jays love the protection of lush forests, they also dwell in urban and suburban areas. 

Do Blue Jays Use Bird Houses?

Yes, Blue Jays utilize bird houses – but not any old birdhouse. The traditional Purple Martin Birdhouse is great for most songbirds, but Blue Jays will not use this birdhouse style.

Blue Jays don’t nest in small crevices, they prefer birdhouses with wide platforms high off the ground and protected from predators. It’s more of a bird box rather than a birdhouse without the need for an entrance hole.

In the video below, we rounded up 10 of the most fascinating facts about Blue Jays!

Where Can I Buy A Blue Jay Birdhouse?

You have to be careful when shopping for pre-made birdhouse boxes online. Some companies claim that their houses are great for Blue Jays, but look at a small entrance hole, and you will know that’s not the case.

Verbiage is key when shopping online. Instead of using the term birdhouse, use the term nesting platform or nesting box instead. Always make sure that the nesting box you select looks more like a platform with a roof, and never select a design with an entrance hole.

Birdhouses with small nesting holes will attract birds like chickadees, goldfinches, and other small birds- but not Blue Jays.

blue jay birdhouse 6

How to Build My Own DIY Blue Jay House?

Since shopping online for Blue Jay nesting boxes is a little tricky, making your own is the best course of action. Don’t worry; these boxes are so simple to make, even if you didn’t take a woodworking class in high school!

A simple Blue Jay nesting box is made from three pieces of wood. It needs a strong base, a back, and a roof that measures eight inches long, eight inches wide, and at least eleven inches tall.

Materials needed:

  • Wood
  • Drill
  • Galvanized Screws

How to Construct Nesting Box

Step 1: Cut three pieces of wood. Two must be eight inches long, and one must be 11 inches long.

Step 2: For the base, drill two pilot holes to ensure the wood doesn’t split before attaching the base with galvanized screws.

Step 3: Drill the eight-inch base to attach to the eleven-inch rear wall.

Step 4: For an angled roof (that won’t collect water and debris), cut at a 45-degree angle so that the roof slopes down when the top eight-inch piece attaches to the top of the eleven-inch board.

Step 5 (optional): You can also attach two shallow side walls (not larger than 2 inches), but this step is only aesthetic and not necessary.

blue jay birdhouse
Example of other birdhouses.

Where Should I Place My Blue Jay House?

Once you construct your Blue Jay house, finding the proper placement is critical. Be sure to place your nesting box at least eight feet off the ground. Blue Jays typically build nests in tree branches that are around 25 feet off of the ground. The higher your place your nest, the better.

As long as you clear at least eight feet, you can place your Blue Jay birdhouse just about anywhere! Many mount it to the side of the tree, or you can even place it on the side of your house or garage. 

Just make sure it’s in a place where you can do some serious bird watching!

How Can I Attract A Blue Jay to my Birdhouse?

Simply, create an abundant habitat with several food sources including the Blue Jay’s favorite food: peanuts, and of course, a birdbath. 

If your Blue Jay house is placed high off the ground, and has all of the specifications needed to make a perfect home for a Blue Jay. But no Blue Jays come, what can you do to attract more of these striking blue birds. 

The local Blue Jays might not know that your birdhouse exists. So, it’s time to do a little advertising! If you don’t have good food sources or watering holes, likely, Blue Jays aren’t aware of your primo housing location.

This is a super simple fix. To attract Blue Jays to your yard, place Blue Jay feeders and all the food they love around your Blue Jay house. Pick birdfeeders that are designed specifically for larger birds.

Things like suet feeders with mealworms cakes are hard to resist. If you really way to drive Blue Jays to your yard, try a peanut feeder like a hanging peanut wreath or a tray feeder filled with peanuts.

blue jay birdhouse 7
Blue Jay sitting over a bird bath.

Another great way to drive Blue Jays to your yard is a simple birdbath.

Once local Blue Jays come to your yard regularly for food and a bath, they’ll discover your perfect nesting spot!

Tips for the Perfect Blue Jay Paradise

Blue Jays can sometimes be a little obnoxious, but they are such beautiful birds! Building a Blue Jay paradise in your backyard garden is simple and provides hours of entertaining bird watching. 

Three things to consider when transforming your backyard garden into a prime Blue Jay hangout. 

First of all, ensure that you attract them to your space with all the food they love. Use tray feeders filled with peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn – all their favorites. 

Also, make sure that you have a good watering source. Opt for a birdbath with a rather deep base large enough for their bulky frames. 

With delicious food and a steady water source, there’s no doubt that your local Blue Jays will soon take residence in your Blue Jay nesting box. 

Tara Summerville

Tara Summerville is a freelance writer that loves her backyard birdfeeders. She enjoys sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee, watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and chickadees munch away at her backyard offerings. Her fascination with birds began as a child; spending afternoons at her grandma's house watching and identifying birds. She has since carried her love of songbirds into adulthood and ensures no bird in her yard goes hungry!

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