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What is the best way to attract bluebirds? I've been trying to attract them for years and this year I've finally seen ONE who's been making an appearance in the past week. It was going in and out of the bluebird house, but there's no nest. I haven't seen it again for the past two days. I use mealworms, seed that has fruits and nuts, and "bluebird pellets" that I buy at the pet store. Now that I've finally got at least one coming around I don't want to lose it and I'm hoping to attract more. I get lots of other bird activity, but having trouble getting the bluebirds to come around. What's the trick to getting these beauties?

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When you say mealworms, I wonder if you mean live or dried.  I haven't ever had luck getting them to eat the dried, but I know others that do.  Mine are picky and will only eat the live worms.  As far as seeds, my Bluebirds seem to only be interested in shelled sunflower.  I do make a homemade suet that they also like.  We fledge three broods from our yard each year, so we have quite a few Bluebirds.  They will gather here for the winter, and then spread out for breeding.  During the summer we only have our nesting pair and the current babies.  Bluebirds are quite territorial.  I too have tried the bluebird pellets and ended up throwing them away.  Do you have a birdbath?  If you don't, and can add one, I would definitely do that.

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I do have a bird bath. I use dried mealworms because I haven't been able to find the live ones. I'll have to look a little harder... What is the homemade suet recipe that you make?

 

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If you don't already have one, you could try a bluebird feeder, especially a caged one if you have a lot of bullies. Mine love the dried mealworms and suet/raisin nuggets in the fall and winter. They don't visit the feeders much during the warmer months because of the available bug supply. Good luck!

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Thank you... I didn't know there were special bluebird feeders. I just checked them out on Amazon.com. There's one with really good reviews but it's somewhat pricey. I have a bear that occasionally comes around to destroy my feeders so I'm not sure I want to invest that much. I'm going to see if I can get my husband to make one. If not I may buy the one from Amazon but I'll just have to get creative with placement to try to keep it protected. There's only been one bear visit this year so I'm hoping he's given up on me. I no longer fill my feeders all the way. Each morning I add a little bit so by the end of the day there's just a small amount left over, and I bring my suet feeders in every night. 

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On 6/3/2017 at 9:38 PM, Lasco said:

 

If you have a bird store, or even a good pet store around you, they should carry live mealworms.  I order mine online because I go through at least 30,000 a week.  I make 2-3 batches of suet a week, so I quit measuring a long time ago, but here is my best estimate:

1 cup peanut butter and I cup shortening or lard.  Melt in microwave for 2 minutes and stir.  Add 1 cup sugar, I cup corn meal, i cup oats, 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs.  Mix well and then I add in 1/4 cup dried mealworms, 1/2 cup ground sunflower kernels, and about 2 tablespoons of each flour and water.  Pour it into a container, and then I freeze mine.  Once I take it out and start using it, I keep it refrigerated.  It's not a no-melt, but if you keep it refrigerated before putting it out, it seems to do okay unless it's extremely hot outside.  I feed mine in a hanging log with holes drilled in it, and crumble some into a hanging dish.  Everyone loves this stuff, not just the bluebirds.  Let me know if you make some and how it goes!

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30,000 a week!!!??? Holy cow...you must be feeding a lot of birds!! I've learned I can order live mealworms from Amazon.com so I may try that. And I'm thinking of trying your suet recipe this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

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I made the suet and the birds seem to like it, but sadly my bluebird hasn't been around at all. I'm finding the suet is especially popular with the gray catbirds and I now seem to have a lot of them around. 

I found a nearby pet store nearby that sells live mealworms but I had to order them. They did have 100 available at the time, but when I put them out they were devoured in less than 2 hours - mostly by the catbirds. I ordered one of the bluebird feeders but it hasn't yet arrived.

How do you store your live mealworms? I don't want to put them all out at once - at least not when they're in an open dish that every bird in the neighborhood can easily get to. I'm trying to attract bluebirds but until my feeder arrives I don't think they'll stand a chance at getting any with all the competition out there. 

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You definitely need to store your mealworms in a refrigerator.  I have a large one in the garage that is strictly for bird stuff.  Excess seed that I won't use for a while goes in the freezer and the worms in the refrigerator.  Just so you know, mealworms are actually a larvae stage of a beetle.  If you don't keep them refrigerated so they go dormant, and let them stay warm, they will eventually turn into beetles, and you don't want that.  I also keep my suet in there.  I wish I had a lot of Catbirds!  I have one nesting pair, and then whatever young they have each year.  If they are really going for your suet, you could always add raisins to it for them.  Just cut back a little on something else you are putting in.  I have 6 mealworm feeders.  Two get dried worms, one gets a combo of dried and live (they can pick out what they want) and three get live.  Two of those are caged, so nothing larger than a Bluebird can get to them.  Just can't afford to feed everyone all the worms they want!

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