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Using mealworms will attract different types of birds to your yard other than those who eat bird seed. Since mealworms require more work, here are some tips and suggestions for attracting birds with mealworms.

Although bird seed is by far the most popular method of feeding birds, it’s also not the only option. If you want to attract a variety of birds, you’ll have to expand to food like suet, berries, dog food and mealworms. For many people, raising or buying mealworms is a gross way to attract birds, but it’s also among the most rewarding. Since attracting birds with mealworms takes a bit more thought and knowledge than buying a regular bird feeder and filling it with seed, here are some tips and tricks for attracting birds with mealworms.

mealworms for feeding birds

About mealworms

Mealworms are the small larvae of beetles called darkling beetles. Typical mealworms are tan, grow about 2.5 cm long and stay in the larvae stage between 12 and 54 days. Although they aren’t slimy, many people hate handling them because they’re very wriggly.

What birds eat mealworms

Mealworms are actually ingested by many animals, including reptiles, fish, birds and even humans. Bluebirds are best known for eating mealworms, but titmice, wrens, robins, woodpeckers, chickadees, cardinals and nuthatches also eat them. Birds eat mealworms the most during summer while raising their nestlings because mealworms provide nutrients. Mealworms should be eaten in moderation because despite being a good source of protein, they’re harder for young bird to digest.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.