Throughout the hard winter and frosts, wild birds can struggle to find food sources as easily as in the abundant spring and summer months. Leaving food out for them will help give them a much-needed boost and help them to conserve their energy.
Amongst other bird food, dried mealworms are an excellent option for supplanting the diet of insectivorous birds like robins, tits, starlings and sparrows.
So, what are mealworms, and why are they great for your garden birds?
What are they?
Mealworms are darkling beetle larvae. Dried mealworms are the dried-out version, made either by heating or freeze-drying. While you can get live mealworms, dried ones are easier to store and handle, with no maintenance needed.
Are they healthy for birds?
Mealworms provide an excellent source of protein, fat and fibre and are high in calories, making them an excellent, nutritious food source that provides energy and keeps a bird’s digestive system healthy.
How to feed them
As with any new food source, don’t worry if it takes a few days for your birds to realise it’s there. Be patient and leave dried mealworms in your bird feeders and on your bird tables. If the birds are a little slow on the uptake, try scattering a few live ones alongside in the short-term to lure them in. Remember, many birds like to naturally forage on the ground, so leave a few scattered there too.
You can feed dried mealworms to birds all year round, but over these coming cold weeks, your garden visitors will certainly appreciate the extra nutrition boost they provide.