what wild birds eat dried mealworms

Live or Dried Mealworms for Birds?
what wild birds eat dried mealworms

You decide. There are pros and cons to each method. Live mealworms are most appealing to birds, though they come at a price and require work to maintain. Dried mealworms are low-cost and convenient, yet may not be as effective at catching birds’ eyes. “I have tried every method I can think of to feed dried mealworms to the bluebirds. What could I possibly be doing wrong?” asks Gloria Kirby of Owasso, Oklahoma. Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “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.” [caption id="attachment_5566639" align="alignnone" width="700"]

Bluebirds at a mealworm feeder

When preparing this traditional songbird snack, we asked readers to share their favorites:

  • “We obtain both dried and live mealworms. Every now and then, we include live ones in a dish with the oatmeal they come packaged with. According to Birds, the birds search for worms beneath the oatmeal.
  • “Dried mealworms are more cost-effective and easier to handle than live ones,” claims Jennifer Kurdelski of Fayetteville, Georgia.
  • “I have several mealworm feeders. Since dried worms withstand both the intense summer heat and the icy winter temperatures better, I used them. Mealworms can be found for less money at a farm supply store, according to Valerie Kirkham of New Carlisle, Indiana.
  • “I put dried mealworms in a hanging platform feeder. They’re enjoyed by titmice, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and wrens, according to Kay LeRoux of Homosassa, Florida.

How to Store Mealworms Safely

After purchasing a live batch, put the specimens in a 2- to 5-gallon shallow plastic container. Cover with a screen or perforated lid for air circulation. Add oatmeal, a few apples for moisture, and some loose bran. Feed the larvae well for one to two days before distributing them to birds, as mealworms are only as nutrient-dense as the food they eat. To slow their growth and maintain them in the larval form that birds adore, place the container in the refrigerator.

Use these suggestions to feed birds throughout the year.

What Birds Eat Mealworms?

what wild birds eat dried mealworms

  • Bluebirds
  • Chickadees
  • Thrushes
  • Titmice
  • Wrens
  • Nuthatches
  • Kinglets


Should I soak dried mealworms for birds?

You don’t have to soak your dried mealworms in water before you use them. However, soaking them in warm water for 30 minutes before you offer them out is a brilliant way to give your garden birds some extra hydration.

Do Robins eat dried meal worms?

Make a mixture of bird seed, sunflower hearts and mealworms, sprinkle it out on a tray and wait for the robins to arrive. As they’re such fans of mealworms, you can give them an extra helping hand by soaking dried mealworms in water, giving the robins some valuable moisture from the food.

Do squirrels like dried mealworms?

Squirrels are omnivores. YES they’ll eat dried meal worms. They’ll steal them from my chickens if I leave to many down and the hens don’t clean them all up.

Will Blue Jays eat mealworms?

Mealworms attract a host of birds including: American Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, Blue Jays, sparrows, finches, Northern Cardinals, woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, chickadees, warblers and even Purple Martins.