June 12, 2021 at 9:19 am #9307David in Stafford,VAParticipant
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Over the past 2 weeks I have noticed that my bluebirds are not taking as many mealworms at feedings as they used to. I have regularly fed about 50 worms per sitting (morning and evening) following the hatch of the first brood. That was back around May 16. Since then they have not brought the brood back to the feeder and they do not seem to take very many of the worms. I have cut the feedings down to 25 worms to see if they clear the bowl but they did not do it yesterday (rained all day). Mom bird is sitting on 4 eggs and I rarely see the male (baby-sitting?)
I wonder if size of the worms has anything to do with it. With the slow down my feeders are growing in size.
Stafford, VAJune 12, 2021 at 10:09 am #9308blue diamondsParticipant
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I am seeing the same pattern with one of my pairs. The front yard pair fledged 5 and are incubating another 5 eggs. I was putting out 60 mealworms and they would normally only eat 1/2 of them. I only saw 1 of the fledglings on the feeder one time only. Never brought the others around. That’s a first for me not to see the group. I also think the larger the worms the less they need.
Backyard pair that fledged 2 and 3 newly hatched, I give them 60 mealworms also. They eat them all. They let the 2 older fledglings eat last.
Judy – MichiganJune 12, 2021 at 3:16 pm #9309Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
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David & Judy – yes, I have also noticed a slack down in the blues eating all the worms up. But most was because the young juveniles were not coming as much – mama and papa showed up almost as much, but not quite the same as before. Of course, with the warmer weather, all the rain we had for a while (right not it is pretty dry) there is an increase of natural food for them (RAH, RAH). The young ones are coming around almost as often as now, so I am putting out as many as before (I have no idea how many – rule of thumb is 10 worms for each bird (that would be 7 for me) two times a day – that would be 140 worms – I probably don’t put out quite that many but close – my worms are on the small to medium size even though I feed them about every 10 days – they devour my paper thin carrots by the end of the next day.
Oh, and I have 3 new babies which hatched today with one egg left to hatch – sure am glad – weather has been very hot and dry for about 10 days or so and I am thrilled I got my heat shield on on time.June 12, 2021 at 8:56 pm #9310ChrisParticipant
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I am feeding the bluebirds mealworms morning and evening. I can’t say if they eat more or less than they did before, but the mealworms im using are much smaller, i ordered some in bulk. I do notice that the mom will come and eat quite a few mealworms before she starts feeding the young.
I am using open glass trays, don’t have a problem with other birds taking the worms now like earlier this year. I like these Erva metal rain guards, i put them over hummingbird feeders too.
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