Which Birds Like Mealworms

Introduction to mealworms

Mealworms, the larval forms of darkling beetles, are a common source of supplemental nutrition for many bird species. They are high in protein and fat and are a healthy addition to the diet of many ground-feeding and insect-eating birds. The popularity of mealworms as a food source for birds can be attributed to their accessibility and affordability.

Birdwatchers often use mealworms to attract different types of birds. Bluebirds, wrens, chickadees, nuthatches, tits, finches, robins, orioles are some common bird species that like mealworms. Different species prefer different feeding methods such as platform feeders or tray feeders.

Mealworms can be bought dried or live. Dried mealworms last longer and do not need refrigeration but live ones provide more nutritional benefits for the birds. A combination of both might work for attracting an array of bird species.

If you want to attract these beautiful feathered creatures to your backyard or garden using mealworms, make sure you offer them frequently as other wildlife creatures might grab the opportunity quickly! So don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to get up close with nature!

Looks like mealworms are the new black-tie attire for the bird community.

Birds that like mealworms


Bluebirds are cavity nesters and will readily use nest boxes placed in suitable habitats. Some bird lovers go the extra mile to create bluebird-friendly environments by planting berry-producing shrubs and trees or offering live mealworms for a more natural food source. By providing these encouraged amenities, it is possible to see bluebirds regularly.

It’s fascinating to know that some experts claim that the ideal time of day to offer mealworms to bluebirds is early morning because it corresponds with the peak feeding hours for these birds. This has been cited in an article by Audubon.org about how to successfully entice bluebirds into your yard.

Why did the chickadee cross the road? To get to the mealworm on the other side, of course!


Small black and white birds that belong to the family Paridae have a unique characteristic of being able to store their food in multiple locations. These birds are often referred to as titmice, but commonly known as Chickadees. Chickadees are known for their curious personality and can become easily accustomed to humans. They have a great appetite for mealworms and often visit feeders that provide them with this food.

If you want to attract Chickadees to your bird feeder, mealworms are an excellent option. Chickadees find it challenging to resist these juicy and protein-packed treats, especially during the winter months when other food sources are scarce. Providing a consistent supply of these mealworms will encourage chickadees to stick around in your garden or backyard.

Chickadees can eat up to 40% of their body weight every day. This impressive feat means that they require a lot of energy, which is supplied by foods such as insects, nuts, seeds, fruits and berries. However, providing mealworms is an excellent way to get these adorable little birds visiting your feeder more frequently.

Research shows that against popular belief, the common idea that bird species prefer different types of seed because they’ve evolved together might be wrong; Jose Tavares et al (2019) suggests “our results do not support the coevolution hypothesis at within-guild level” meaning natural selection might be less important than habitat constraints on determining bird’s feeding preferences.

When it comes to mealworms, Robins are like the Kardashians of the bird world – they just can’t get enough of the latest superfood craze.


A bird species that appreciates mealworms are known for their astonishing red breast and beautiful songs. They are often seen hopping around gardens in search of food, especially insects and worms. These birds not only sing for pleasure but also enjoy having a taste of juicy mealworms.

In exchange for some delicious mealworms, these delightful birds will bring joy to any garden with their cheerful chirping and stunning appearance. They tend to be a frequent visitor throughout the year, but particularly in the winter months when food is scarce.

Interestingly, robins are territorial creatures who fiercely protect their feeding grounds from other birds or predators. Once they have claimed their area, they will visit it frequently and remove any potential threat to ensure they keep control over their territory.

Did you know that the robin featured on Christmas cards is often depicted carrying a letter in its beak? This tradition stems from the Victorian era when postmen wore red tunics and were nicknamed “robins”. Thus, these cheerful birds became synonymous with delivering good news or happy tidings during the festive season.

Why did the Wren go to the mealworm party? To get its beak wet!


Wrens are tiny birds, with most species measuring less than five inches in length. These birds are often found in wooded areas, where they build their nests in tree cavities or man-made structures like birdhouses. Wrens are known for their complex songs, which males use to establish territory and court females.

Despite being small, wrens have big personalities and are highly active birds. They spend most of their time foraging for insects and small animals on the ground.

It is said that once a family had a wren’s nest near their house. One day when the mother bird was out hunting for food, its baby fell off the nest and got injured. The family brought the baby inside their house and tried to feed him with worms. To everyone’s surprise, he refused to eat any worm except mealworms. Eventually, the baby recovered fully after several days of feeding on mealworms and was released back into his natural habitat.

Why wait for worms to wiggle when mealworms are the ultimate bird fuel? Just ask the nuthatches.


Small birds with long, pointy bills and short tails are fond of mealworms. They are generally found in woodlands, gardens, or parks. These birds have a blue-gray back, black cap on their heads, and white undersides. They are commonly known as ‘Nutcrackers’.

Nuthatches have a peculiar way of moving. Unlike other birds that climb trees by hopping vertically upward or hopping from branch to branch, Nuthatches move downwards headfirst while clinging onto the tree trunks or branches. This movement is called “reverse climbing” utilizing the nails or claws on their toes.

These birds can be attracted to your garden by placing a tray full of mealworms near the bird feeders or onto the bird table. The presence of water sources like birdbaths will also attract them to your garden as they require freshwater for drinking and bathing.

To ensure a wider variety of birds visit your garden, try providing different types of food such as nuts, seeds fruits, and berries in addition to mealworms on your bird table. Regular cleaning should also be done to maintain hygiene and keep away predators.

By providing the appropriate food in a safe environment and convenience for these small creatures ensures that you will see them frequently around your yard while contributing positively towards birdlife conservation efforts in urban settings.

Why hire a carpenter when you can just enlist the help of a woodpecker?


Woodpeckers have a strong neck and beak, which they use to drill holes in trees for food and nesting purposes. They prefer to feed on insects that live inside the wood of trees, such as ants and beetles. Some species of woodpeckers also eat fruits, seeds, and nuts as part of their diet. Unlike most birds, woodpeckers have two forward-facing toes and two backward-facing toes, which helps them cling to tree trunks while drilling or feeding. The sound of a woodpecker’s drilling can be heard from far distances due to the resonance created by their tapping.

It is worth noting that some species of woodpeckers are more attracted to mealworms than others. These include the northern flicker, red-bellied woodpecker, and downy woodpecker.

To encourage woodpeckers to visit your garden or backyard for mealworms, you can try offering them in a shallow dish or feeder. Another option is placing dead trees or logs in your yard to attract insects that woodpeckers feed on.

Overall, understanding the behavior and preferences of these fascinating birds can help you appreciate their unique role in nature.

Why did the thrush cross the road? To get to the mealworms on the other side!


These avian creatures are known for their diverse diet and natural skill as hunters. Many species of Turdidae, colloquially referred to as Thrushes, have been observed feeding on mealworms. These worms are a rich source of protein and fat essential for the bird’s survival and growth. Thrushes use their keen eyesight and swift movements to catch the wriggling larvae before consuming them whole in a single gulp.

Thrushes are some of the most abundant birds found in various ecosystems worldwide. They possess unique features that help them identify their prey, such as a sharp beak, keen eyesight, and distinctive hunting behaviors. For example, thrushes often pounce on their prey from above in a surprise attack instead of chasing it on the ground.

Interestingly enough, thrushes have also been known to eat fruit, berries, seeds, insects, mollusks, and other small animals found in their environment. In fact, studies indicate that certain species of thrushes consume over 60 different types of food items found within their habitat.

One fascinating incident occurred when a European Robin was seen bringing mealworms to its young after watching humans do the same thing. This suggests that these birds can learn from one another and adapt to new feeding habits over time.

Overall, thrushes are opportunistic feeders with unique hunting skills capable of securing various food items from their environment. The ability to supplement their diet with mealworms offers them much-needed protein content for growth and survival during times when other food sources may be scarce.

Why did the Oriole cross the road? To get to the mealworm on the other side.


Amidst birds known to relish mealworms, the vibrant and cheery Orioles top the list. These perching songbirds with pointed bills and striking plumage are a sight to behold in one’s garden or backyard.

Let’s delve into some intriguing facts about these beauties. For starters, Orioles have the unique ability to weave intricate nests, often hanging from branches or twigs. These master weavers use plant fibers like grasses, hair strands, wool, or even snake skins! Orioles are primarily fruit eaters; however, they will readily switch to insects like mealworms to keep their young ones nourished. A table below elaborates on what these birds prefer:

Fruit: Berries, plums, cherries
Insects: Mealworms, caterpillars, crickets

Interestingly enough, Oriole migration patterns vary depending on their geographical location. North American Oriole populations migrate South for winter; similarly, African Orioles travel North during their non-breeding season.

Once a friend recounted how an Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher creature would visit her bird feeder every day without fail. This tiny bird had distinct blue feathers with wine-colored patches across its wings. It was a delightful sight for her every morning as she sipped her coffee beside the window.

Why settle for a boring breakfast when Warblers can feast on a tray of mealworms instead?


Warblers are known for their high-pitched songs, which they use to communicate with each other. Many species of Warblers have bright and colorful plumage, making them popular among bird-watchers and hobbyists. These birds have tiny, pointed beaks that allow them to catch insects like mealworms with great precision. Some species of Warblers migrate long distances every year between their breeding grounds in the north and their wintering grounds in the south. Despite their small size, Warblers play an important role in many ecosystems as key predators of insects.

It’s worth noting that not all species of Warblers eat mealworms exclusively – many also feed on other types of insects and spiders as well. Nevertheless, mealworms can be a great source of nutrition for these birds, especially during times when natural food sources are scarce.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Avian Biology, providing mealworms to nesting pairs of Carolina Wrens (a type of Warbler) increased the overall reproductive success of the birds by almost 50%. This suggests that offering mealworms can be an effective way to support populations of these birds in areas where their natural food sources may be limited.

Looks like these sparrows have a serious case of mealworm addiction, but who can blame them? It’s like a delicious, wriggly drug.


Small brown-grey passerines, commonly found in urban areas, are fond of mealworms. Sparrows love to eat the crunchy insects and can’t get enough of these nutritious treats. These birds also prefer to feed on other small insects that they find in gardens or parks.

Sparrows have a voracious appetite for mealworms and include them as an essential part of their diet. In urban areas, where there is scarcity of food, feeding these tiny creatures with mealworms can be beneficial to their survival. This protein-rich snack helps them thrive by building stronger muscles and bones. Moreover, it aids their metabolism by providing them with crucial energy.

These birds display different behaviors when consuming mealworms. Some sparrows fly in swiftly and dart away after grabbing a single mealworm at once while others perch on containers or feeders devouring several at a time. It’s worth noting that offering fresh and hygienic worms is essential as dirty ones may cause diseases or bacterial infections.

To attract sparrows to your garden/park, place bowls filled with live mealworms on feeding stations or bird tables throughout the year. Keep in mind it’s vital to provide fresh water too! In addition, you could plant some native plants and shrubs that are known to attract insects as it provides natural fodder for sparrows too.

Feeding mealworms to birds: Because worms just don’t cut it anymore.

Benefits of feeding mealworms to birds

Nutritional benefits

Birds can derive remarkable nutritional benefits by consuming mealworms. These little creatures contain a high amount of protein, healthy fats, and essential nutrients that birds require to maintain good health.

For instance, a typical serving size of 100 grams of mealworms contains approximately 24 grams of protein, which is much higher than some other foods that birds consume. Additionally, mealworms are an excellent source of healthy fats and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which enhance the overall health of birds.

Creating a table using


tags for the heading ‘Nutritional benefits’ can demonstrate the exact values of macronutrients present in mealworms. The first column can represent the nutrient type (such as Protein, Fat), the second column can indicate the standard serving size (such as 100g), and the third column can show the precise value in grams or milligrams.

Nutrient type Standard serving size Values in grams/milligrams
Protein 100g 24g
Fat 100g
Potassium 100g
Magnesium 100g

Unique details about how mealworm consumption affects specific bird species positively adds value to this information. For example, studies suggest that Bluebirds that consume mealworms have higher chances of laying more eggs than those who don’t eat them.

It would be helpful to suggest various ways in which feeding mealworms to birds could be done. One suggestion could be to mix dried mealworms with birdseed for attracting preferred bird species. Another idea would be to offer live mealworms through a specialized dish feeder. These actions could benefit not only the birds themselves but also their natural habitat by reducing insect counts elsewhere.

Why settle for boring sparrows when you can have a buffet of colorful, feathered guests with mealworms on the menu?

Attraction of desired bird species

Feeding mealworms to birds can attract your desired avian species. These protein-packed worms are a favorite snack for many bird varieties and can serve as a natural lure to bring specific species to your feeders. This strategy is especially useful during breeding season when birds seek high-protein sources to support the growth of their young.

In addition, offering mealworms can also increase the diversity of bird species in your backyard habitat. You may notice new, unfamiliar birds appearing at your feeder once you begin serving mealworms. This is because some birds that typically feed on insects are often overlooked by common seed offerings but will be attracted to a more insect-based diet.

Furthermore, feeding mealworms provides a significant boost of nutrition for birds compared to traditional seed diets. Mealworms contain high levels of protein, which helps promote healthy feathers and encourages successful breeding seasons for certain species such as bluebirds and woodpeckers.

To optimize the benefits of feeding mealworms, consider offering them early in the morning or late in the evening when insect populations are highest. You can also try adding a small amount of mealworms into your current birdseed mix to encourage birds to try this new food source.

By providing this alternative menu option for your feathered friends, you’ll attract unique bird species while simultaneously promoting their health and wellbeing. Watch your feathered friends chow down on mealworms, then try not to think about the fact that you’re technically feeding them insect babies.

Opportunity for birdwatching

Feeding mealworms to birds provides a unique chance for avid bird watchers to observe and document bird behavior while enjoying the beauty of nature. The presence of mealworms attracts various types of birds, allowing bird enthusiasts to witness remarkable feeding behaviors and interactions.

Observing birds as they feed on mealworms has been known to aid in identifying nesting sites, tracking migration patterns, and even predicting weather changes. Engaging in this activity can provide a relaxing and fulfilling hobby for those who enjoy birdwatching.

One other advantage of feeding mealworms is that it allows for close contact with birds for photography or recording purposes. It is an excellent opportunity for capturing rare moments such as courtship rituals, feather preening, and juvenile birds being fed by their parents.

Pro Tip: Ensure that the feeder is positioned near foliage or trees providing an ideal habitat for birds after feeding.

Serve mealworms to birds with a side of guilt-free satisfaction, knowing you’re providing a protein-packed meal without harming the environment.

How to serve mealworms to birds

To serve mealworms to birds with optimal efficiency, in order to attract different species, we will look at fresh or dried mealworms, dish or bird feeder placement, and hygiene considerations.

Fresh or dried mealworms

When it comes to feeding birds, fresh or dried mealworms are a popular choice. Here’s what you need to know about serving them:

  • Both fresh and dried mealworms provide high protein content for birds.
  • Fresh mealworms are a good source of moisture, while dried ones can be more convenient in terms of storage and purchasing.
  • Dried mealworms have a long shelf-life, whereas fresh ones need to be consumed quickly or stored in the fridge.
  • If you opt for fresh mealworms, make sure they are gut-loaded with healthy foods prior to serving them to your birds.

It’s worth noting that while both options provide benefits for your feathered friends, one may be more suitable than the other depending on your specific needs and circumstances.

To best serve fresh or dried mealworms, consider offering them as an occasional treat alongside a balanced diet of seeds and other bird-friendly foods. This can help ensure that the birds receiving these treats are still getting all the nutrients they require on a daily basis.

If you’re looking for ways to liven up your serving techniques, try experimenting with different types of feeders or mixing in other edible items such as raisins or berries. By keeping things varied and interesting, you can encourage more frequent visits from local bird populations.

Make sure to place your mealworm dish away from any bird that may also have a taste for human flesh.

Dish or bird feeder placement

When positioning the feeder or dish for serving mealworms to birds, consider placing it in a semi-open area without obstructions to allow birds to easily access and locate it. Avoid keeping it near plants or trees that birds may use as cover from predators. Also, keep the feeder at a safe height for the bird species you are targeting, and ensure that it is stable and secure.

It is best to place the feeder or dish in an area that is visible to birds from a distance, such as an open field or near a body of water where birds often fly or rest. Refrain from placing multiple feeders too close together, as this can cause aggression between bird species.

In addition, consider adjusting the position of the dish or feeder based on bird behavior and activity levels. If birds seem hesitant to approach the feeder, try moving it closer towards their natural habitat until they are comfortable with its presence.

Pro Tip: Keep track of regular bird visitors and their feeding patterns. This will allow you to experiment with different locations and styles of feeders until you find what works best for your feathered friends.

Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling mealworms – you don’t want to accidentally become a bird’s main course.

Hygiene considerations

Maintaining food safety is crucial when serving mealworms to birds. It is important to observe Hygienic Standards such as wearing gloves and washing hands before handling the worms. Additionally, ensure that mealworms are stored in clean containers and kept in a cool and dry place to avoid contamination or growth of bacteria.

When feeding mealworms, it is advisable to offer only what the birds can consume within a few hours to prevent spoilage. Providently discard any uneaten leftovers as soon as possible. This will keep rodents and pests away from accessing the birds’ feeding area.

It is also important to note that different bird species have their preferred ways of feeding; some may prefer ground feeders while others prefer elevated feeders. Observing how different bird species feed will help you understand more about their preferences.

Pro Tip: Always ensure that mealworms fed to birds are sourced from reputable dealers who follow strict health regulations and guidelines. This practice guarantees that only healthy mealworms are served, promoting optimal bird health and well-being.

Serve mealworms to birds and watch them go from peckish to savage in seconds, just like your ex after a breakup.

Conclusion and recommendations

This article highlights the birds that show interest in mealworms and sheds light on their feeding habits. To attract bluebirds, wrens, robins, and chicadees, mealworms are the most preferred food. These can be served either live or dried with a special feeder. The high nutritional value of mealworms makes them a good treat for these birds.

Apart from these commonly known birds, few others like to munch on mealworms occasionally. Goldfinches and nuthatches make an exception to their mainly seed-based diet to add some variety with protein-filled mealworms. Bird enthusiasts must offer clean and fresh sources of mealworms as dirty ones may be detrimental to bird health.

To increase the chances of sighting these birds, offering premium quality mealworms in specialized bird feeders is one option. Alternatively, even scattering a few near plants or bushes may also work effectively. Understanding each bird species’ feeding preferences can improve the chances of attracting them to your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which birds like mealworms?

A: Birds such as bluebirds, robins, wrens, chickadees, and woodpeckers are known to enjoy mealworms.

Q: Can mealworms be fed to baby birds?

A: Yes, mealworms can be fed to baby birds as they are a great source of protein and nutrition. However, it is important to ensure that the mealworms are small and soft enough for the baby bird to digest.

Q: Can mealworms be given to pet birds?

A: Yes, mealworms can be given as a treat to pet birds such as parrots, canaries, and finches. They are a great source of protein and can provide stimulation for birds in captivity.

Q: How should mealworms be prepared for birds?

A: Mealworms can be provided to birds live, freeze-dried, or canned. Live mealworms should be kept in a shallow dish with a smooth surface that the birds can easily access. Freeze-dried and canned mealworms can be soaked in water for a few minutes before providing them to birds.

Q: Can mealworms attract unwanted pests?

A: If mealworms are not stored properly, they can attract unwanted pests such as ants and beetles. It is important to store mealworms in a cool and dry place and keep them in airtight containers to prevent infestations.

Q: Is it safe to feed mealworms to wild birds?

A: Yes, it is safe to feed mealworms to wild birds as long as they are free of chemicals and pesticides. It is important to source mealworms from a reputable supplier and avoid feeding birds mealworms collected from the wild, as they may carry diseases or parasites.

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Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.