jim's Birdacious Bark Butter

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Jim's Birdacious Bark Butter.

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Educational Resources

Meal Worms

Why feed worms to the birds? Because so many birds eat insects naturally, feeding meal worms to the birds seems like a natural thing to do.

What are meal worms? Meal worms are the larvae of the beetle Tenebrio molitor. This larvae stage typically lasts for 10 weeks.

Birds such as chickadees, bluebirds, wrens and woodpeckers will eat meal worms if they are placed in a feeder accessible to the birds. Because meal worms can crawl, it is best to place them in a feeder where they cannot crawl out.

A bluebird feeder (shown here) works well for feeding meal worms to smaller birds. Any feeder that has smooth sides and can be easily accessed by the birds can be used as a meal worm feeder. A simple tray or platform can also be used, but, it is possible that the worms will crawl out. Placing the worms in a shallow bowl in the middle of the tray may help. Birds typically look for food around the same time each day, so worms can be placed in a tray daily around that time.

Meal worms can be purchased and kept for weeks at 40 - 50 degrees F. For longer storage they should be placed in bran flakes, wheat bran or corn meal in a container having air holes. A potato or apple slice should be kept in the container for the worms to use as a moisture source.

To maintain the larvae in a state of dormancy, they must be refrigerated at 40 to 50 degrees F (lower temperatures can kill the larvae).

You can get a lot of enjoyment from watching birds eat meal worms, and the meal worms are quite a treat for the birds!

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