Bluebirds such as the Eastern bluebird, Western bluebird or mountain bluebird do not eat conventional birdseed mixes. They prefer to eat insects like mealworms and high-protein food such as scrambled eggs or suet. Bluebirds learn to eat from flat-dished feeders filled with these delicacies, according to the Michigan Bluebird Society. Filling the feeders at the same time each day helps train the bluebirds to use a feeder.
Technically these are not worms, but the worm-like larvae of the darkling beetle. These are purchased at pet stores and bait shops. Use a live mealworm feeder in order to best display the wriggling mealworms. These feeders, often made of wire or plastic, consist of shallow dishes with or without a cover. If a feeder is unavailable, scatter mealworms outside in the yard, suggests the North American Bluebird Society. This is the best food to use to attract bluebirds to one’s yard. Once the bluebirds get used to grabbing mealworms from the feeder, other foods are able to be placed there.
Scramble eggs so they are not liquid. Allow to cool and then place in the mealworm feeder. The Michigan Bluebird Society recommends moving the feeder close to where bluebirds are nesting in order to attract them to the eggs. Remove any uneaten eggs after 24 to 48 hours so the eggs do not attract vermin and stray animals. Add shredded cheese to the scrambled eggs or serve the cheese by itself, advises “The Bluebird Monitor’s Guide.”
Sold in squares or rectangles for winter feeding, suet is also appreciated by woodpeckers. Bluebirds do not eat suet in summertime because of the abundance of insects available, according to the Michigan Bluebird Society. Commercially made wild bird suet that bluebirds eat in winter includes sunflowers, peanuts, raisins, berries or ground corn.
Bluebirds in winter are not too finicky about their diet and eat a variety of foods once they have first learned that feeders get filled with food. Mealworms tend to quickly die when exposed to cold, unless the feeder is a specially made, heated live mealworm feeder. In place of the scrambled eggs or suet, try canned cat food, canned dog food, sunflower seed hearts without shells, soft raisins, currents and blueberries. In the wild, bluebirds eat fruits and berries during winter, so planting native berry bushes also attracts bluebirds, according to “The Bluebird Monitor’s Guide.”
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