Eugene, Oregon

Barbara & Dan Gleason

Barbara & Dan Gleason

We’re passionate about birds and nature. That’s why we opened a Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in our community.

Eugene, Oregon

2510 Willamette Street
Eugene, OR 97405

Phone: (541) 844-1788
Fax: (541) 844-1732
Email: Send Message

Store Hours:
Mon - Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun - Sun: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Comments:
Eugene's Wild Bird and Nature Experts... Call us about monthly seminars, bird walks, and any wild bird questions...we're all about the birds!

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Mealworms...

are for the birds!

Why...

Many birds eat insects as a normal part of their diet, so birds' attraction to mealworms is natural. Plus, you’ll enjoy watching birds such as chickadees, bluebirds, wrens, towhees, woodpeckers, robins, nuthatches, and others devour these mouthwatering (to them!) morsels! One observer noticed a Red-breasted Nuthatch taking mealworms from a feeder, then carrying them to nearby trees to feed babies, at a rate of three per minute. 

 

We carry fresh, grown-in-the West mealworms and feed them here until they go home for your birds. Birds typically look for food around the same time each day, so you can place worms in a feeder or tray at the same time the birds regularly visit. Make sure the birds can access the feeder but that the worms can’t crawl out! We have some very attractive yet practical feeders that work well for mealworms...Some to consider are the Dinner Bell and the SideDish™ feeders as well as our newest small blue dishes with copper hooks - beautiful feeders bring you beautiful birds!. Mealworms are a great way to attract birds that don’t ordinarily come to seed or suet feeders.

Some birds who never visit seed feeders will sometimes visit mealworm feeders, including bluebirds, phoebes, and robins. Grosbeaks and orioles sometimes also eat mealworms during the summer. Finally, many well-loved feeder regulars such as chickadees, nuthatches and scrub-jays love mealworms.

(Shown here: Momma Western Bluebird feeds baby a mealworm on a friend's deck railing.)

During the nesting season, mealworms are especially valuable as a source of protein for young nestlings; birds will visit mealworm feeders more frequently during this time of year when they naturally switch to a more insect-heavy diet. It can be very interesting to watch even common birds eating mealworms as they employ different feeding methods and behaviors than you might be used to seeing at a seed feeder.

Bluebird mom feeding mealworm

 

How

Offering mealworms is easy! No fancy feeder is required and a small cup of mealworms is very inexpensive. If you are using live mealworms, such as those we carry in our store's refrigerator, use a smooth-sided feeder so they can't escape; here are three options:

Stokes Treat Feeder
  1. Make do with what you have: Just set any smooth-sided dish on the ground - many birds like Song Sparrows, jays, and sparrows will readily forage on the ground. Alternatively, a saucer-type dish feeder, or a small smooth-sided birdbath or plant saucer, makes a decent mealworm feeder - maybe you're already equipped!
  2. Simple FeedersWe have a number of feeders, from small and inexpensive ones to more versatile, larger ones, that make it easy to start offering mealworms. Small cup feeders can be hung, wall mounted, or easily attached to our Advanced Pole System. These kinds of feeders are great for experimenting with all kinds of different foods, including seeds, nuts, or fruit. Some Wild Birds Unlimited multi-purpose feeders to consider for mealworms are the Dinner Bell and the SideDish™ feeders. 
  3. Specialty Feeders: So-called "bluebird feeders" have small openings to prevent domination by larger birds, while allowing bluebirds, chickadees, and other small birds to access the contents.

What

The most important thing to most people is that birds like to eat them. But if you want to know more, mealworms are the larvae of the beetle Tenebrio molitor. The larvae stage of the beetle (what we call mealworms) typically lasts for 10 weeks. To maintain the larvae in a state of dormancy, they must be refrigerated at 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (lower temperatures can kill the larvae). You can keep mealworms for several weeks and they will maintain their dormant state. (Mealworms contain important nutrition for baby birds, and contain the following: moisture 62.62%, protein 10.63%, fat 10.01%, fiber 3.1%, and calcium 420 ppm.)

Birds typically look for food around the same time each day, so you can place worms in a feeder or tray at the same time the birds regularly visit. Make sure the birds can access the feeder but that the worms can’t crawl out! At WBU Eugene, we sell live mealworms, since they are preferred by the birds.

Robin with Mealworms

 

Mealworms Are For The Birds FAQs