Last Updated on November 17, 2022 by Lily Aldrin
Blue Jays are eye-catching birds known for their vivid blue hue and are easily identified by their lovely look and unique song. These large-feathered birds may be spotted in the east and center of the United States, usually.
The adult blue jays are frequently spotted breaking and smashing seeds and nuts when they invade other birds’ nests for food. However, what do young blue jays actually consume?
Most of the food that young blue jays consume comes from their parents’ birds. The parent birds throughout the nest often provide insects, seeds, worms, and caterpillars for the young blue jays to consume.
For more on what to feed newborn blue jays and their preferred meals, read the complete article.
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What Do Baby Blue Jays Eat?
Blue jays are generally omnivores, eating approximately 25% of invertebrates and meat as well as about 75% of plants and vegetables.
The diet of baby blue jays is quite similar to that of adults. They consume their leftovers or anything that was delivered for them and rely on their parents to provide the meals. The food for the youngsters is sometimes frequently given by many other nests.
To feed their young, these birds bring multiple aspects of their leftover meal to the nest. Let’s delve a bit further to learn more about the diet of young blue jays.
Baby Blue Jays Diet
A newborn baby blue jay’s nutrition is largely influenced by what its parents consume and give it.
The adults frequently store additional food that they will need or be able to consume in the near future in order to provide for both themselves and their offspring later.
What parent jays feed young blue jays is explained in the following detail:
It is well-known that blue jays mostly consume plants and vegetables that they pick from trees, and they frequently gather dried herbs to eat. As a result, vegetables are frequently used as a portion of the newborn’s diet.
Blue jays forage insects by hopping from branches to branches. They frequently consume insects that make up about 30% of their total body weight.
Caterpillars are the most frequent bug they consume and give to their young, along with gypsy moths, beetles, spiders, arthropods, and grasshoppers.
Nuts, seeds, and soft grains are among these birds’ favorite foods. Blue jays enjoy eating hazelnuts, peanuts, suet, and black sunflower oilseeds.
To feed their young, the parents of blue jays frequently search trees for food. Blackberries and Rowan berries are often what they consume and provide for their young.
One of the worms that live on the jays’ most preferred meals. They enjoy eating soft, tiny foods, and they may consume approximately 100 to 150 worms throughout a single day.
Furthermore, earthworms are challenging to find because they are subterranean creatures that only surface during wet seasons or in response to human activity.
Baby blue jays consume only adult leftovers since they are unable to consume huge worms.
As omnivores, blue jays might also consume other creatures, including frogs, fish, lizards, mice, or even bats.
Despite the fact that this isn’t their regular diet, blue jays frequently consume it for energy and provide some leftovers to their young.
7. Other Birds Eggs
It is well-known that blue jays break into some other birds’ nests in order to steal their eggs and consume the nestlings.
Furthermore, the research concluded that there isn’t much proof that blue jays raid nests. In a study on the food of blue jays, the researchers examined the components of the bird’s stomach and hypothesized that just 1% of the egg and nestling remnants were present there.
A newborn blue jay’s diet does not include eggs, and its parents only eat a small portion of eggs or nestlings.
Big birds like crows will raid blue jays’ nests since they are not prolific egg muggers or nest invaders. They typically kill or consume the young blue jays after stealing their eggs.
The adult’s diet consists solely of eggs. Therefore, the nestling’s leftovers are not given to the baby.
Blue jays prefer acorns. Acorns are too large for the young to eat, whereas, by the time acorn season rolls around, the young blue jays have grown up and left the nest.
For the winter months, the birds of autumn gather and bury 4,000 to 5,000 acorns beneath the soil. In the United States, blue jays are well known for spreading oak forests and frequently leaving some acorns in the soil, which leads to the growth of multiple oak trees, mostly in fall.
Six Ways to Feed a Baby Jay
It can be easy and simple to feed the baby jay at the exact same time. The food source is simply because the diet is comparable to that of an adult blue jay.
However, a young jay’s process of digestion can be a little weaker. Therefore as a birder, additional caution is required.
While striving to escape their current home, those adorable but little jays require all of the assistance you can muster.
Blue jay chicks left behind by their mother should have been looked after and fed for six weeks, however, they shouldn’t be taken out of the nest.
A baby blue jay can be fed in the following ways:
- If you are lacking any berries, choose some decent ones from the shop or your garden.
- To create a smooth appearance, grind or combine them. To soften the meal, add water.
- Use a feeder for infant food with such a point that it mimics a mother blue jay’s bill. They didn’t notice alienation due to the use of plastic, thanks to this.
- Whenever it’s time to eat, the newborn birds automatically extend their mouths wide. Use the syringe to administer to the young jays by putting the food into the back of their mouths. As forcing it down their throats could result in choking, prevent them from doing so.
- Space out feedings to give each bird time to properly consume the food.
- Have a cup of water on hand. After eating, they’ll get a drink.
Personally, I like to give them nuts. These crunchy nuts could be fed to the jays after they have become at least one month old.
The sound of them eating the nutrient-rich nut has always been enjoyable, even if they might require the nuts to be split into little pieces.
Check out this article on Fun Facts about Blue Jays.
Any food that their parents provide their young blue jays will be eaten. That mostly refers to nuts, seeds, and insects.
Baby bird food or pet food that is marketed publicly will assist you in satisfying the nutritional demands of abandoned baby blue jays until you look for aid from a wildlife rehabilitator.
What tends to happen when a baby blue jay is discovered?
These birds are likely to perish if left alone. If there’s a nest, returning the youngster to it would be the best course of action.
If you see nestlings in your backyard, search for a nest a few yards away from the location of the bird. Return the nestling as soon as it is possible to do so securely.
How long does a young blue jay require to figure out how to fly?
A newborn bird must be taught to fly for at least five days. Throughout this time, nestlings are particularly susceptible, so keep an eye on your pets outside. Free traveling cats and dogs are hapless prey for young birds.