Do you have a pair of Bluebirds? Or curious to know & thinking about what do Bluebirds eat in the winter time?
Don’t worry. I am going to write in detail about the topic. My team did hard work to find the solution. I am hoping you will love it.
So, let’s go to dive into the main article.
If you have ever wondered what do Bluebirds eat in the wintertime, wonder no more.
Bluebirds are very unique birds. Because they migrate south during the fall. Come back to the same area year after year to find a mate and build their nests. They also return back north during late February or early March.
Types of Bluebird Foods
Bluebirds are known for their love of insects. They mostly eat beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, and many other types of bugs. In the winter time, bluebirds must eat a diet rich in protein to keep warm.
One particular study showed that it is important not to overfeed bluebirds during the winter. Because it changes their natural migratory route.
Here are just some of the foods that bluebirds eat. So you can have an idea of what food you should put out for them in your backyard.
1. Beetles and Grasshoppers
Beetles are not only a great source of protein, but they also help to prevent other bugs from overpopulating your yard. If you have too many beetles in your backyard, that is a good sign. Bluebirds eat Beetles and Grasshoppers as their regular food habits.
These live mealworms are high in protein and fat. Provide the best nutrition for bluebirds during the winter months. Especially when insects either die or go into hibernation. When feeding mealworms to your backyard wildlife, make sure that you buy them already prepared. Because it used to be thought that mealworms had to eat decaying matter before they were fed to bluebirds or other animals. But now we know this is incorrect.
Note: Dried mealworms should never be kept in the refrigerator.
Crickets also provide protein for bluebirds. Also for other wildlife when they are available in the winter. In some parts of the country, you can purchase crickets and use them as a supplemental food source for your backyard animals. Or you can feed to reptiles. Such as bearded dragons.
The problem with earthworms is that there is no way to know if they have been treated with any pesticides. So it is best just to harvest or buy organic earthworms. Especially when feeding them to wildlife. Even though there is research that shows that organically grown worms may not be “wormy” enough for certain types of wildlife. This is including bluebirds. Because they need fat and protein instead of roughage.
5. Millet and Other Small Seeds
If you are feeding other types of small seeds, such as millets, make sure that they are untreated and not coated in any type of pesticide or chemical fertilizer. Because bluebirds eat the whole seed, shell, and all.
6. Suet Cakes
Suet can be purchased at most local grocery stores during the winter months. Especially when there are fewer insects for birds to feed on. When purchasing suet cakes, look for 100 percent animal fat or a vegetable-based product without any additives. Because those could kill wildlife if eaten in large quantities. Don’t you have time to buy suet cakes? Then you can also make them yourself by buying beef kidney fat from your butcher. Just cutting it into small pieces, and then mixing in peanut butter, seeds, fruit, and cornmeal. There are also some great suet feeder products available on the market. So that can be fed to wildlife right out of the Bluebird nest box without making your own.
7. Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seed is one of the most popular backyard bird foods for a reason. That is appeals to just about every type of bird there is. Sunflower seeds provide protein and fats that Bluebirds need during the winter. As well as throughout the year when insects are scarce. When feeding sunflower seeds to your backyard wildlife, make sure that you buy untreated sunflower seeds with shells or purchase them separately. So birds aren’t getting pesticides or chemical fertilizers along with their food source.
Bluebirds will eat all kinds of fruit, including oranges, limes, grapefruit, and strawberries. As with anything you put out for your backyard wildlife to eat, make sure that the fruit you feed them is organic. Because non-organic produce is often treated with pesticides or herbicides. So that could be harmful to birds if ingested in large enough quantities.
9. Meal and Oil Supplement
For some additional protein and fat during the winter months when insects are scarce, Bluebirds appreciate mealworms prepared as a supplement with either oil or jelly mixed into it. So they don’t get dehydrated over the winter months. You can use tuna fish water as an oil supplement for your mealworms. Especially if you don’t have any cooking oil on hand.
10. Grit and Sand
Bluebirds need grit (small pieces of limestone, granite, or other non-toxic stones) in their gizzard to help them digest the foods they eat. You can purchase grit for birds at most local pet stores. As well as you can buy it from bird supply shops. Even you can find it at your local garden center in a product called “wild bird grit”. That also provides a source of minerals needed by wild birds. Bluebirds also need sand to help aid digestion as well as to help them remove parasites from their skin. If you don’t have any sand available where you live, your feed store probably carries some that are used for horse hooves.
11. Clean Water
Bluebirds need clean water as much as other backyard wildlife. That is including humans. Keep a clean birdbath filled with fresh water at all times. Of course change it every few days to keep algae from growing by using bleach or another non-toxic solution found at your local hardware store. If you don’t have time to tend to your bird bath daily, add a low-voltage submersible pump. That will automatically refill the bath with fresh water while you’re away.
Bluebirds Winter Food
So what do bluebirds eat in the wintertime?
Bluebirds mainly eat insects like grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and other bugs. Those are found around your home and garden. If you place a feeder with live crickets or mealworms near their nesting site, chances are good that they will quickly discover it. So they nab some grub for themselves before returning to their young later on in the day.
Want to attract Bluebirds into your yard? Make sure to have bird feeders filled with black sunflower seeds and safflower seeds all year round. Bluebirds will also eat fruit, berries, and salted peanuts. Especially during the winter months when insects are not as plentiful.
Bluebirds love this time of year. Because Bluebirds get insect in the wintertime.
So these bugs are crickets, grasshoppers, and mealworms. These are available as backyard feeder or naturally occurring insects. So that they can find on trees or bushes near their nesting site. That’s what I am talking about.
What Do Bluebirds Eat In Various Season?
It is true that Bluebirds food habit depend on season. So, what do bluebirds eat in different seasons? Before we start exploring that, we first need to learn some facts about Bluebird.
Here is list of various food eaten by bluebird during various seasons:
What Do Bluebirds Eat In The Fall?
Now you have found out what do bluebirds eat in the fall. Let’s look at what do baby bluebirds tipped starlings eat.
Bluebirds in southern states will often stay around all year long if they can find enough food to eat. However, those that migrate north to Canada and northern states like Michigan will leave during the spring. Especially as soon as young Bluebird have fledged and start migrating south.
Occasionally larger birds from even further north may decide to try staying through the winter. But these are usually adult males (male Bluebird). They don’t know any better. So if you see a late-season “bluebird”, it’s probably not one of our native bird species like house sparrow! More than likely, it is an escaped cagebird that has no idea where to find food during the winter.
Bluebirds are omnivorous animals. It is meaning they eat both meat and plants. This means that Bluebirds will often feed on mice, pupae, or insects found near their nests. Bluebirds will also eat fruit and berries if they are available in your yard or nearby fields.
What Do Bluebirds Eat During Summertime?
You may wonder that in the summertime. That time bluebirds eat mostly insects and spiders. As these make up the bulk of their diet during this season. Because insects are so common in the summer. That is why Bluebirds can often feed their babies up to five times a day.
Bluebirds will also eat berries during the summertime if they come across them. But insects offer more nutrients than berries do. Bluebirds usually find bugs by following flycatchers and watching. Especially where they go to catch food for themselves. That is why it’s very important not to use pesticides on your property. Because not only do you risk killing the Bluebird population. You also risk killing everything else that might eat those bugs. You could be poisoning yourself or your children as well!
What Do Bluebirds Eat In Winter?
The best way to help your local bluebirds through the winter months is by putting out a high-quality bird feeder filled with black sunflower seeds and safflower seeds. Bluebirds will also eat fruit, berries, and salted peanuts during the winter months when insects are not as plentiful.
What Do Bluebirds Eat When It Rains?
Now you know what do bluebirds eat in the wintertime. But do you know what do Bluebirds eat in the rainy season? The answer is what do bluebirds eat in the rain, you will be surprised.
During rainy weather, they may find a mealworm in their backyards under wet leaves or similar places. They can also pick up live mealworms after heavy rains.
So what is the best thing to feed Bluebirds in the rain? You should put out some mealworms near your Bluebird feeder. Then they will come looking for them! Keep your eye on that bird feeder during stormy weather. Take it down if necessary to prevent any damage from occurring when wind and rain are present.
Bluebirds will eat insects. Such as beetles and grasshoppers as well as spiders, snails, slugs earthworms. Therefore we can conclude that they are omnivorous.
What Can You Feed Bluebirds In The Winter If Unavailable Of Insects?
If it is cold where you live, what do bluebirds eat in the wintertime will be more than what insects you can put out for them?
Bluebirds prefer to feed on wild insects and berries. But what if they are forced into an environment with humans? No problem as they are omnivorous animals. So they will adapt their diet for what is available. They don’t care what is unavailable. No matter it is a mountain Bluebird or a northern Bluebird.
Is Bluebirds Winter Birds?
Bluebirds are not true “winter birds”. But they can survive winter temperatures. They will migrate to warmer climates when it gets cold. Because they have the option. But some Bluebird species are found in places that are cold year round. That is why some people thoughts Bluebird is a winter bird or a year round bird. But that is not true.
So we can say Bluebirds are not true winter bird.
How Do Bluebirds Survive The Winter?
As we know, the Bluebird is not a winter bird. So what is the way that they survive in the wintertime?
Okay, let me explain it for you.
The way of Bluebird survive in the winter time is by migrating to warmer habitats. They usually go to the Southern States or Mexico. There they can find all kinds of bugs. Also they can meet other birds like them.
Some Bluebirds even live in covered areas. Such as barns and houses (for bird house) with open front porches. But during wintertime, these types of bluebirds migrate south too. The good part about these particular Bluebirds is that unlike other bird species. They don’t mate for life and you can often see several female Bluebirds in one male’s territory.
This way it’s easier for the female Bluebird to lay her eggs in another male’s nest. Especially when the current male Bluebird dies or leaves his own mark on a new place. There are even accounts of Bluebird parents abandoning their when food gets short due to snowfall. Bluebirds will usually return to their nests in the springtime. That time the snow starts melting.
But some Bluebirds do stay behind if they can find food and shelter. By doing this, they are putting themselves at risk of predators. But they don’t seem to mind that too much. But is must be said though. Not all humans are nice enough to let them live in their homes until spring comes!
What Do Baby Bluebirds Tipped Starlings Eat?
The answer is somewhat complex. Did you purchase a “starter bird” box (Bluebird Box) from your local wildlife organization? Then it will probably have a variety of different seeds in it. You may wish to put out a small dish of just safflower seed for the fledglings at this point. Safflower is white and about the size of millet seed heads. It is very popular with many birds. Especially with Bluebirds.
Baby Bluebirds is the nestlings bluebird. So female bluebird house look like baby. That means baby bluebirds tipped starlings eat what it is need.
Again, Safflower seeds are easy to find at most quality pet shops or feed stores. Make sure they do not add other seeds or any additives when you purchase them.
In nature, baby Bluebirds might also be fed by parents tearing up larger food items. Such as grasshoppers, beetles or other insects for the young. They may also feed them earthworms, snails. And also they eat even mice if these are available to them.
Baby Starlings would be fed mostly on insects in nature. But will eat seeds too if that is all that is available to them. Some people have reported feeding baby starlings meal worms with good results. These are the larvae of the Darkling Beetle. It can be purchased at most pet shops which sell fish.
Feeding wild fledglings can be tricky. Because you may not know exactly what they need when they need it if you are away during the day. This is where a “birdie-jig” comes in handy! It has been patented by James Humphrey Jr. The person who lives in Kentucky, USA.
How To Feed A Baby Bluebird?
To make one yourself, drill a 1/4″ hole in the cap of an old spice jar (or other small screw top plastic container). Cut the bottom off of a pop-top drink bottle and push it inside the jar then seal using epoxy or hot melt glue. Fill the feeder with safflower seed then place it near where you have your fledglings. This way you don’t even need to be home to feed them! Bluebird is okay to feed from that feed bird box.
If you live where there are Starlings, they may mob any feeder that dispenses seed. So use care when placing these around your yard.
As always, if your fledglings disappear or leave their nest before they can fly, please try to find out what has become of them. If you don’t, they may die from exposure or predation. Good luck and perhaps we will see your new Bluebirds next spring!
Do Bluebirds Eat Mealworms In The Winter?
The answer is no, bluebirds do not eat mealworms in the winter. Even winter Bluebirds are actually more likely to feed on other food sources than meal worms when they are available. Moreover, feeding Bluebirds is not so hard task if you know the right way.
Do Bluebirds Store Food For The Winter?
No, they do not store food for the winter. Bluebirds will migrate if the temperatures fall below fifty degrees Fahrenheit. And go to another place where their food supply is more abundant.
So, the answer is Bluebird don’t store food for the winter. Even no matter if it is their nesting season or breeding season.
Is The Bluebird An Endangered Bird?
Bluebirds (genus Sialia) of North America are one species of a group of about 25 all “blue” species in two genera worldwide. Native throughout North America, the western United States, and Mexico. So they have been introduced to many parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Let’s find out what is an endangered Bluebird?
The answer is not really! The IUCN considers them as Least Concern due to their large range and numbers estimated at about 150 million individuals worldwide. Five subspecies are listed as threatened in some states. However these are Mexican (S. s. cumin), Arizona (S. s. Superba), and Eastern Bluebird (S. s. Cialis) in the southwestern United States, and Interior West Mexican (S. s. Audubon) and Western Bluebird Mexican (S. s. hypoplasia) in Mexico’s northwest coastal states. Such as Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, and Baja California Sur.
How Do Bluebirds Catch Their Food?
Now you know what does an endangered Bluebird looks like! They are small birds to medium-sized passerine birds that live throughout most of North America, from Canada to Mexico. You can find them almost anywhere there are open areas with suitable habitat. So think forests or woods. But also grasslands and deserts! Now let’s find out how do Bluebirds catch their food.
Bluebirds catch their food in two ways. These are:
They use their bills to capture insects. That is already obvious if you have ever seen a bluebird flying around with something wriggling in its mouth. Some people confuse this for the male Bluebird feeding the female Bluebird during breeding season or after hatching.
But that’s not it! Bluebirds are actually catching food for themselves! Often times. Because of hunger. They tend to act like robbers and steal other small birds’ food by carrying what another bird has caught (like an insect) back to its own territory. Bluebirds do not store any food for later intake.
Bluebirds also eat fruits and seeds. They especially love berries and grapes. Maybe even your Grape jelly snacks. Yum! They open the fruits with their strong bills and eat them. What they can’t eat, they store in tree bark crevices for later intake. But most of the time it goes bad before they can get to it. That is why usually they don’t store any food in their nest.
So most of their food is insects like beetles, caterpillars, aphids (plant lice), grasshoppers, etc.. Not fruit or seed based like grapes or berries. Their diet consists of approximately 80% insects and 20% wild fruits and berries.
How Much Do Bluebirds Eat?
Bluebirds will consume about 1/4 cup of food a day. The amount is when raising young birds. And it is up to 5/8 cup per day when they are finished raising their chicks for the season. These amounts should be offered spread out throughout the day to ensure even consumption by all members of a family. Although wild birds can best care for themselves during difficult conditions. But if you can provide some extra food that is really helps them.
So now I am hoping you know what do Bluebirds eat in the winter time. And as well as in the other seasons too.
Did you get your answer from the article? If yes, that is really cool. If not, then let us know your question regarding Bluebirds’ food habits in the comments section. We will try to reach you with an answer as soon as possible!