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Birding Focus: Interesting stories of our feathered friends.

Eastern Bluebird
© George H. Harrison

Feeding Bluebirds

Many people attempt to attract bluebirds to their yards by putting up birdhouses, and some are successful. But most backyards are not located in or near ideal bluebird nesting habitat, in or near an open field or meadow, where the birds can find insects for themselves and their young.

There are other ways to lure bluebirds, the best of which is to offer them mealworms in a tray feeder. Bluebirds are very fond of mealworms, and if they are presented alive, and in a tray feeder, there is a possibility of success.

Mealworms are inch-long larvae, with brown, crusty shells, available from most pet supply or bird stores. They are inexpensive and last a long time if kept in a refrigerator. American robins, gray catbirds, and mockingbirds may also be attracted to feeders containing the worms.

If your yard has the good fortune of having an active bluebird house, the tray feeder offering mealworms should be placed on a post a few yards from the birdhouse where the birds will quickly find the free food. After they are used to eating the mealworms, the feeder can be moved closer to a viewing window where the birds can be enjoyed at close range.

Bluebirds may also be attracted to birdbaths, particularly if the water is moving, and makes splashing noises that they can hear at some distance.

Whether its a birdhouse, mealworms or water that attracts bluebirds to a yard, the reward of seeing these gorgeous birds up close is well worth the effort.

-- George H. Harrison