Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun with Mealworms!

This post is dedicated to Bill Fenimore of Wild Bird Center of Layton.  (You said mealworms would be fun and you were right!!!)  

I've been feeding wild birds in the backyard for several years now, but I had never tried feeding them mealworms until now.  So far I have seen Western Tanagers, American Robins, and Black-capped Chickadees dining on mealworms.  The finches, sparrows, and grosbeaks don't seem to pay them any attention.

Eying Breakfast!
The Glutton!  American Robins tend to pick up every single mealworm they can in their bills.  Amazing how they hang on to the grubs they already have when they go for the next one.  After it can't hold any more (which is much more than you'd think) they fly off to feed their hungry brood.
Western Tanagers are much more dainty eaters than American Robins.  They delicately pick up one mealworm at a time and politely swallow it.
This fantastic photo was taken by my son Kyle, age 10.  All of these photos were taken from inside a make-shift photo-blind which I will blog about later.
Okay, one more photo of The Glutton!  I used to believe and even taught others that Robins were not feeder birds.  I guess it all depends on what you offer them in the feeders!  I have found that American Robins are readily feeder birds when I offer grape jelly and mealworms.


  1. Real Nice series Robert,
    I really love that first one
    with the Tanager.
    Lucky you are to have all that action right at the door...

  2. Great pics! What a piglet..hee hee My father is mad at the Robins here for hogging the Jelly and the Birdbath. I havent tried mealworms yet, I see you have the live ones which are supposed to me much better that dried.

  3. Robert:

    Glad to see that you are enjoy this added dimension to your backyard bird feeding. It will become more entertaining when the nestlings are fledging and the parents bring them to the feast.

    Bill Fenimore
    Wild Bird Center,

  4. Love this fun post! Looks like the birds are feasting on those squiggly worms. Must be a joy to observe. We have bought mealworms and waxworms for our Eastern Bluebirds. They behave similarly to the robins, collecting as many worms as the beak will hold. Terrific post and wonderful photographs!

  5. @Mikey - when I see all the eastern migrant warblers I get a tad jealous and then I remember I've got Western Tanagers and Lazuli Buntings.

    @Dawn - the robins are downing my grape jelly too! Dang gluttons!

    @Bill - thanks for the encouragement to buy mealworms from your store! I can't wait for fledglings.

    @Julie - Gluttony must be a Thrush family trait!