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Which Garden Birds Eat Mealworms?

August 10, 2021

When putting out a variety of bird foods or trialling new ones, it can be fascinating to see which food attracts which species. Even better if someone new comes exploring into your garden.

Trying out new bird foods can be interesting but it can also leave you wondering just which foods do which species prefer. This article is going to explore mealworms; who likes them, what they are, what they’re good for and how to serve them to our feathered friends.

So who actually eats mealworms?

The answer is a lot of species! Birds natural food sources often includes a variety of insects so mealworms are popular in offering an alternative to these.

Mealworms number one fans are Robins who are very partial to a mealworm supper.

To learn more about the Robin: The Robin

Other fans includes:

Blue Tits

Great Tits

Coal Tits





House Sparrows


What exactly are mealworms and why are they good?

Believe it or not mealworms aren’t actually worms! Rather they’re the larvae of mealworm beetles. They’re brown and about an inch long making them the perfect size snack for birds.

Being both high calorie and high protein as well as packed full of nutrients, they’re great year round for all stages of life from chick to adult.

So which is best; live or dried?

Mealworms can come either dried or live and both are very similar. It may just come down to personal preference on which you’d rather serve, but here are some of the facts.

The birds themselves don’t have a preference, and as both have similar nutritional value they are equally good for your garden birds. Live mealworms however may be more popular with the birds due to their freshness.

It can be a little trickier to store live mealworms with them requiring a cool dry place potentially a fridge. Make sure you have a storage plan before you purchase them.

Ultimately Dried Mealworms are easier, but if you fancy watching birds chase and play with live natural food, Live Mealworms are the choice for you!

How to serve the mealworms

As they’re popular with such a variety of birds, if possible it would make sense to serve them in a variety of ways.

Ground Feeders

Many birds such as Robins and Blackbirds enjoy eating off the ground so a Ground Feeding Dish would be ideal for such species. You could also scatter them straight onto the ground however a dish means that mess is kept minimal.

Hanging Feeders

Other species such as Blue Tits and Great Tits much prefer the safety of hanging feeders. You can cater for these by providing either a Hanging Feeder or Hanging Tray. If using a hanging tray, try to only put out a days worth at a time to minimise waste and mess.

Bird Tables

If you’d rather use a bird table to provide the birds their mealworms that’s fine too. Ensure once again to only put a days worth out at a time, and if you’re using live mealworms make sure the table has a rim!


Mealworms are a great food addition to any garden in attracting new as well as increased numbers of birds to come and enjoy. Most birds will eat mealworms, however some such as the Robin will delight in them. Why not try them out yourself and let us know how you get on!

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1 comment

  1. Every morning I put out a feeder full of mealey worms plus scatter on ground and in a tray in the hope that all the birds have a chance but within 2 – 3 minutes there are about 40+ Starlings squabbling amongst themselves and scoffing the lot and within 10 – 15 minutes you wouldn’t know I’d put any out. I try to check later in the day no sight of a starling so put some more out so the sparrows etc can have some but guess what back come the starlings!