Mama II’s effort for a second brood is coming right along. She laid a second egg on Independence day and a third on the
Daddy on the mealworm feeder.
morning of July 5. She is much more comfortable with me and in just being in the yard now. Nothing bonds animals to you like food. The birds know when I come out in the morning that breakfast is on the way, although they have no trouble fending for themselves in warm weather when insects are plentiful. I would love to get a photo of Daddy feeding Mama II a bug, but I never seem to be at the right place at the right time.
In really cold weather and especially icy conditions when berries are covered in a sheath of thick ice, I know my birds get enough food to survive by feeding them mealworms. I think it also keeps them around your nestbox. Often in the wild they move on from a cavity after just one nesting.
Mealworms are generally fed live. Mine will not eat the dead, black ones or dried ones. I ordered some suet pellets with mealworms
Mama II on the mealworm feeder. Click photos to enlarge.
in them one winter and they wouldn’t touch those either. I’ve read that bluebirds will eat waxworms, but they are expensive. I’m currently raising some mealworms in a plastic tub, but in winter usually buy them from Petco where most people buy them to feed reptiles. I get a tub of 500 for $6.99. About 15 mealworms should feed a bluebird for a day. They will stay alive for weeks in the refrigerator. I’ve known of some folks who bought mealworms attempting to attract bluebirds and generally that won’t work. They will be eaten by another species long before bluebirds find them.
If you frequently see bluebirds near your house, putting up a box is the best way to attract them. Once they move in, feeding mealworms will certainly encourage them to stay for a long time. Daddy has been here since August of 2009.
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Second Brood Summary
- First sign of nest building 28 June
- Nest completed 01 July
- First egg laid 03 July
- Second egg laid 04 July
- Third egg laid 05 July