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5 Proven Hacks to Elevate Your Mealworm Feeder’s Potential – Come Take a Look!
A backyard Mealworm feeder filled to the brim with nutritious mealworms is a surefire way to infuse endless excitement into your bird-feeding routine. These wriggly morsels, often confused with regular worms, are, in reality, the larval form of the mealworm beetle. Beyond their cleanliness and ease of management, they serve as an outstanding source of nutrients, helping our feathered companions endure the harsh winter and thrive during the spring breeding season. Bluebirds, in particular, have an insatiable appetite for mealworms, making them the darlings of bird enthusiasts.
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Live or Dried Mealworms – The Great Debate:
Now, the age-old question emerges: should you opt for live or dried mealworms? Each method brings its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Live mealworms undoubtedly have more appeal to birds, but they come at a price and necessitate some effort to maintain. On the other hand, dried mealworms are a budget-friendly and convenient option, although they may not be as captivating to our feathered friends.
Jack Harris from Owasso, Oklahoma, wonders, “I’ve tried every trick in the book to feed dried mealworms to the bluebirds. What could I possibly be doing wrong?” Birding experts Kendra and David Kaufman recommend, “During seasons when natural food sources are abundant, many birds are less likely to take advantage of our offerings. You might want to consider briefly offering live mealworms to grab their attention, and then switch back to dried worms once they’ve caught on. Another trick to make dried worms more enticing is to soak them in lukewarm water before offering them.”
What Bird Enthusiasts Have to Say: We reached out to our readers for insights into their mealworm preferences:
- Emily Johnson from Spring, Texas, shares, “We source both dried and live mealworms. Every now and then, we place live ones in a dish alongside the oatmeal they come with. The birds eagerly search for the worms beneath the oatmeal.”
- Daniel Martinez from Fayetteville, Georgia, emphasizes, “Dried mealworms are not only more convenient but also more economical compared to live ones.”
- Sarah Anderson from New Carlisle, Indiana, offers her wisdom, “With several mealworm feeders in use, I opt for dried worms, which hold up better during the scorching summer and the bitter cold of winter. Look for mealworms at a farm supply store—they offer better deals!”
- Mike Robinson from Homosassa, Florida, contributes, “I put dried mealworms in a hanging platform feeder. Bluebirds, woodpeckers, wrens, and titmice all relish them.”
Birds That Savor Mealworms:
Numerous bird species relish mealworms as part of their diet. This list includes bluebirds, chickadees, thrushes, titmice, wrens, nuthatches, and kinglets.
Safe Storage of Mealworms: When you purchase a batch of live mealworms, place them in a shallow plastic container with a 2- to 5-gallon capacity. Cover it with a screen or perforated lid for proper air circulation. Add a few apple slices for moisture, some loose bran, and oatmeal. Remember, mealworms are only as nutritious as the food they consume, so ensure they’re well-fed for one to two days before offering them to the birds. To slow their growth and maintain them in the larval form that birds adore, place the container in the refrigerator.
Feeding Mealworms the Right Way:
Instead of scattering mealworms on the ground, place them on a platform feeder or a rimmed dish to keep them contained. This prevents the mischievous mealworms from escaping to safety. Position the feeders near vegetation and away from windows. It’s crucial to note that mealworms should only serve as a supplemental food source and should be offered in moderation. Overfeeding can lead to health issues for both adult and young birds.
Conclusion: Mealworms are a guaranteed way to add endless excitement to your bird-feeding routine. They offer a valuable source of nutrition for a variety of bird species, and whether you choose live or dried mealworms, your feathered friends are sure to appreciate the gesture. So, let’s make mealworms an enduring addition to our bird-feeding repertoire and continue to cherish the profound connection between people and nature that feeding birds fosters. Happy bird watching!
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