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  • John Sterling Poole

Mealworms!





We all want to provide our birds the best foods, we all want the most birds at our feeder, and, most importantly, we want the widest variety of birds at our stations. One of the best foods to achieve those three things are mealworms! Mealworms are a wonderful food for birds and tons of them will eat these insects. We are going to break down a few key points about mealworms in order to improve your success at feeding your birds!


One of the biggest misconceptions with mealworms is that they should only be fed during nesting season. That is not true at all. While mealworms are particularly popular during both nesting and fledgling season, birds will eat them year-round. Birds need high fat/protein foods whenever the weather gets rough (right before any storms or hurricanes) and whenever the temperature drops. But even if it is in mid-September and most of the fledglings have flown, the nests have been abandoned, the hurricane has passed, and the weather has stayed consistent for two weeks, your mealworms will still be eaten up at your feeders.



One of the biggest questions I have been asked if is birds really notice a difference between live and dried mealworms. They do. Birds always like the live mealworms much more than the dried. They have more protein, more fat, and better nutrients than dehydrated worms. All you have to do is keep the worms in the fridge to keep them dormant. To keep the worms most healthy, you can feed them some carrot bits or some brown paper. Well-fed worms are the best for your birds. Some people do not love the idea of having worms in their fridge, but it really is nothing to be concerned about. The best live mealworm containers will not allow the worms to escape or make a mess in there. Either way, I would just be sure any/all food is covered and sealed in your fridge.


Feeding mealworms is very simple too. You can just sprinkle some out on some railing or in a shallow bowl. Any mealworm feeder will have an open area in which the birds can perch and pick through the worms. These feeders are simple in design and easy to maintain. I would very much consider getting a feeder because they can typically double as another feeder for any food. You can usually put Oriole jelly, Barkbutter, or seed in them besides mealworms.



Most appealing about mealworms is the variety of birds that will eat them. First off, everyone knows that bluebirds go crazy for them during nesting season. Since these birds never leave our yards, they will eat worms year-round. Other birds that will come to eat mealworms are wrens, cardinals, jays, nuthatches, and woodpeckers. A popular seasonal visitor are the Baltimore orioles. You can see these orange beauties devouring mealworms for several minutes which can be truly a sight to see.


As you can see, mealworms are definitely a food to have on your feeder station. Try to include foods with mealworms along with regular mealworms in a cup on their own. This will ensure you have the best success with mealworms. Check out our mealworm options the next time you’re in the store, and if you mention that you read the blog, you can get 20% off of one item between now and December 24th.


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