Posted by Nancy on 11/20/2013
to All About Bird Feeders
Question: What are mealworms and why should I offer them at my bird feeders?
Answer: Mealworms are the larvae of a flightless beetle and are loved by many birds. If you want to attract bluebirds, tanagers and warblers mealworms are a great way to go. Many of the insectivorous birds that are not attracted to seed feeders will come to mealworm bird feeders.
You can purchase mealworms in small tubs of 50 to 100 worms from many pet shops that carry them for reptiles. When you get them home transfer them to a plastic tub or an ice cream bucket. If your worms come with wadded newspaper, remove the paper as soon as possible. Feed your mealworms oatmeal. Add a piece of potato, carrot or apple to provide moisture. Change the vegetable every few days.
Store your mealworms in a cool place to slow the metamorphosis to beetles. Once you start feeding mealworms you want to start a breeding colony. This is easy to do and much more cost effective. A great book on how to breed your own mealworm is entitled "The Complete Guide to Rearing Darkling Beetles."
We put mealworms out several times a day, just a few at a time. If you want to have fun while feeding mealworms, start whistling when you put the worms out. You will soon find that the birds will respond to your calling them for their meal. This is a great way to attract new birds to your yard and a fun way to enjoy the backyard bird habitat you have created