Feeding Bluebirds with Mealworms

Find out why bluebirds might not be stopping to feed on the mealworms you're putting out and what you can do.

Feeding Bluebirds with MealwormsSubmitted by B&B user: Hummerva
Submitted by B&B user: Hummerva Eastern bluebirds will eat both live and dried mealworms. But feeding bluebirds isn’t always easy, so follow the expert tips below.

We hear from a lot of readers who are trying to feed mealworms to bluebirds or readers who want to lure bluebirds to their backyards with mealworms. And often the results are not always instantaneous and it can be frustrating. If that’s you, you’re not alone. Read Gloria’s question from our popular magazine column, Glad You Asked.

I have tried every method I can think of to feed dried mealworms to the bluebirds. What could I possibly be doing wrong?

Gloria Kirby Owasso, Oklahoma

Kenn and Kimberly: It could be the time of year. During seasons when natural food sources are abundant, many birds are less likely to take advantage of our offerings. You might try briefly offering live mealworms to garner their attention, then switch back to the dried worms once they know the drill. Another trick that can make dried worms more appealing is to soak them in lukewarm water before you put them out.  It’s also important to note that mealworms do not provide complete nutrition and should only be used as a supplemental food source, offered on a limited basis. Overfeeding can cause health issues for adults and young!

This question was in the Glad You Asked department of our April/May issue. Our bird experts, Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman, answer reader questions like this one in every issue. Don’t miss out on expert advice! Subscribe today.

Find out more about feeding bluebirds and how to attract them to your backyard with these simple tips. 

Kirsten Schrader
Kirsten is the executive editor of Birds & Blooms. She's been with the brand in various roles since 2007. She has many favorite birds (it changes with the seasons), but top picks include the red-headed woodpecker, Baltimore oriole and rose-breasted grosbeak. Her bucket list bird is the painted bunting.