Any yard with bluebirds in it is sure to be the envy of the bird-watching world. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to attract these bright birds with traditional bird feeders.
So, what do bluebirds eat? And how can you attract them to your yard?
Well, the answer can be a bit varied. To learn what to feed bluebirds, you first need to learn about how their eating habits change throughout the seasons.
What Do Bluebirds Eat?
A bluebird is a type of thrush, similar to the American Robin. There are actually three different types of bluebirds in North America, including the Eastern Bluebird, Western Bluebird, and Mountain Bluebird.
Bluebird eating habits vary by location, season, habitat, and activity level. However, all three types will generally eat some combination of the following:
- Grubs, caterpillars, snails, and other types of mollusks
- Beetles, ants, spiders, crickets, grasshoppers, and other types of insects
- Moths, termites, mosquitos, and other types of flying insects
- All types of insect larvae
- Berries like holly, dogwood, sumac, hackberries, and pokeweed
- Vine and small tree fruits such as cherries or grapes
Bluebirds are insectivorous, meaning they eat mostly bugs throughout the majority of the year. However, when the cold air sets in and the insects begin to die, their eating habits change a bit.
What Do Bluebirds Eat in the Winter?
In winter, bluebirds tend to supplement the loss of insect food sources by eating more berries and fruits. Their diet will become predominantly vegetation-based during this period.
Southern bluebirds will eat insects throughout the year, but even they will supplement their winter diet with fruits.
Winter is a great time to attract bluebirds to your yard with the help of a bluebird house, as they will be looking for abundant food sources and a warm place to rest.
The Best Bluebird Food
When looking to attract bluebirds to your yard, you need the proper bluebird feed. The best food for birds, especially insectivorous ones, is probably going to be mealworms.
However, bluebirds are also attracted to things like eggshells, suet dough, small chunks of fruits, berries, and small sunflower chips.
Eggshells are particularly attractive to female bluebirds, as they provide the calcium needed to lay their own eggs. And, in the winter, many bluebirds will be especially attracted to mealworms, as they provide the insects their diet will be missing.
You can purchase mealworms at a pet or yard supply store. However, many bird enthusiasts get their mealworms in bulk directly from mealworm growers. Mealworms for birds can be live, dried, roasted, or canned.
The Joys of Beautiful Bluebirds
Now you know a bit more about the answer to the question “What do bluebirds eat?” By creating an environment full of yummy foods and safe places to land, you’ll be building the perfect place for beautiful bluebirds to rest their wings.
Who knows, you may even see one (or a few) before too long!
For more about wildlife and home, check out our lifestyle section. We have tons of tips for making your home animal friendly.