May 18, 2018 at 4:18 pm #6410David in Stafford,VAParticipant
For those that feed mealworms:
I am considering purchase of a mealworm feeder to use with my bluebirds. I know that it will take time for them to begin to use it. My question though is, once they begin to use the feeder do they need a continual supply of the mealworms every day? My wife and I do travel during the summer months and at least 2 trips are for 5-7 days. Will they return to the feeder following our vacations?
Stafford, VAMay 18, 2018 at 10:07 pm #6412Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
David, I use a cage feeder for feeding mealworms. Absolutely NO to giving them a continual supply. The worms only are meant to be used as a treat, not their steady diet, although they would probably go ahead & eat their insects, etc. You would spend a fortune if you kept them with a continuous supply – but that is your choice I guess. Most worm suppliers recommend about 10 worms twice a day per bluebird and this works good for me, the worms are usually gone in a matter of 5 minutes. Of course when babies are born you will be using more, but again they are not meant to be their main diet. They need to know how to hunt for and eat their natural food which are insects. Yes, they usually return after a vacation period, but our trips are usually only are about 4 days so I do not have experience with an extended vacation. I don’t remember (been feeding worms 11 seasons now) but I don’t think they have any trouble with a good cage feeder – it is getting used to coming to the worms period is what takes a little patience. Good luck. Don’t forget that the worms will drown in just a little water and also intense heat will kill them – more good reasons to only put out a few at a time.May 19, 2018 at 8:13 am #6415nhhawk6Participant
I do not use a mealworm feeder; I place mealworms on the ground beneath a beech tree, in the same spot every time. My Blues not only come immediately to the spot, but they remember the drill, year-over-year. I give them just enough to feed the nestlings, and to have a few for themselves. No other bird, of any kind, has ever identified the spot. Long periods without worms never deter my pair from returning for their treats.
Bedford, New HampshireMay 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm #6416David in Stafford,VAParticipant
Thanks Carol and Randy. I have a “Wildbirds Store” narby and I am going to look for the feeder next week. If they do not carry the cage feeder I will order I as I do have robins and bluejays galore.
Stafford, VAMay 19, 2018 at 11:11 pm #6418Carol – Mid-Mo.Participant
Randy, don’t the worms crawl off if you put them on the ground and not in a slick container? I guess if they come immediately and you just have a few out they would eat them all up at once. I know they are too precious & expensive to let all other birds get at them!!!May 22, 2018 at 12:55 am #6425nhhawk6Participant
I trained them on rehydrated dried mealworms a couple of years ago. Now they come immediately. My live mealworms couldn’t escape on motorcycles, at this point.
Bedford, New HampshireMay 23, 2018 at 9:42 am #6446tamseaModerator
First of all…confession. I feed my bluebirds way to many mealworms. Well, really it is my husband’s fault. It Really is. He can’t say no. So much so that Mr Blue hits his wings up against our windows when he needs it refilled. This is his first year to do this. It’s hilarious.
We were traveling a lot too and although it worries me especially in the winter months…they do fine. We were retired but my hubby had to take back his business unexpectedly a month ago so won’t be traveling hardly at all. :( I suggest you get the mealworm feeder that is advertised on this site. You will find it at other online stores too so you can check prices. It’s expensive but really well made. I was surprised how well made it was.
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