Archive for mealworms
Its that time of year! The bluebirds are starting to shop for a nice home in which to raise their families this year and if you want to ensure that they pick YOUR backyard, mealworms are the ticket! Of course, you still need to make sure you are providing them with a quality home that meets all their specifications. If you live in the Charlotte, NC region, my favorite birdstore is Backyard Wild in Matthews and they offer an assortment of official bluebird houses to meet all budget types. They have a great house that will open up on one side so you can monitor the progress of the babies! If you start offering mealworms now, you increase your chances of scoring a bluebird family this spring and you can train the bluebirds to come when you whistle. If you really want to impress your friends, you can teach them to eat out of your hand. This takes time and patience, but wouldn’t that be great? Here’s our video on bluebirds to inspire you to go out and get a good birdhouse and some mealworms!
Want an (almost) guaranteed way to get bluebirds to nest in your yard? Watch this video we just completed and discover the secret weapon. If you live in a condo in Manhattan, this probably won’t work, but if you are in a typical suburban neighborhood, and have seen some bluebirds around, use this technique to get them to pick your yard as the place to raise their family. It won’t matter if you don’t have all the “ingredients” the books say you have to have in order to attract bluebirds. The secret weapon will make them ignore all the rules!
With all the talk about the real estate bubble bursting across the country, its definitely a buyers market right now. And plenty of “buyers” will be visiting your backyard in the weeks to come. February is when we start to see the birds staking their claims to the bird houses in our backyard. The bluebirds will be among the first to check out the boxes in our backyard, so the first of February is when I make sure that I have cleaned out the houses well to welcome any pairs who may stop by. There are disagreements among the experts about whether or not you should leave the old nests in the boxes, or clean them out, so I compromise by leaving in the old nests through the winter for insulation, but cleaning them out in February. If you want the best shot at attracting a pair of bluebirds to your yard, start with a house specifically designed with bluebirds in mind. There are many plans on line or you can visit your local bird store, like Backyard Wild in Matthews, to buy one. All the books say to place your bluebird house so that it is facing an open area, preferably south or southeast. Sometimes the birds have read the same books, but others have not. The best way to ensure you will get a pair of bluebirds in your backyard is to offer them their favorite food, mealworms. Although bluebirds will come to your traditional seed feeders, they are primarily insect eaters and can be easily trained to come when you whistle if you regularly offer them mealworms. Start by picking a time of day that you consistently at home, for me, its in the morning. Set up a worm feeding station. It can be a dish on a deck rail, or a specifically designed feeding station that hooks onto the post where you have your bluebird house attached. Every day, at roughly the same time, go outside and whistle, ring a bell or make another non-threatening noise and put your worms in the feeder. Then go back inside and wait. The first day or two, it make take a while for the birds to find it, but after that, they will learn that the time of day and the whistle or other noise you make means MEALWORMS! and they will be there waiting for you. If you’re quiet and patient, you may even be able to stand near the feeder and watch them gobble up the worms. Once you have the birds trained that there’s a reliable source of their favorite food in your backyard, they will most likely nest in the bluebird house you have provided for them, not matter what direction its facing. And while you’re at it, don’t forget our other feathered friends. Put up a variety of birdhouses. Different sizes with different size entry holes. That will provide a place to raise young for a large variety of area songbirds and ensure your backyard is filled with beautiful birds all spring and summer. A large variety of food will also attract a large variety of birds. Add one final element of fresh water and you will be guaranteed a large demand for the birdhouse real estate in your yard!