What Do Bluebirds Eat – Bird Feeding Tips

what do bluebirds eat

All three types of Bluebirds found in the United States are mostly insectivorous, which means their favorite food is insects. This, however, is not all that these beautiful birds feed on. In this guide, I’ll teach you a little bit more about what these birds eat at different times of the year so that you can attract more bluebirds to your backyard. 

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What Do Bluebirds Eat – Bird Feeding Tips

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What Are Bluebirds?

Bluebirds are small thrushes of the Turdidae family that measure up to about 8 inches long and weigh around an ounce. There are 3 different types of Bluebirds found in North America and one or more species of these pretty birds can be found nearby just about wherever you are in the United States. 

There are three species of bluebirds that you can find in the United States. The most widespread type is the Eastern Bluebird which occurs throughout the eastern half of the country and most of the central area. The Western Bluebird is found along the west coast, and the Mountain Bluebird occurs in the central and western parts of the United States.   

What Do Baby Bluebirds Eat?

bluebirds foods

Baby Bluebirds, while being raised in the nest, rely completely on their parents to bring them all the food they need to live and grow. Bluebird parents mostly feed their chicks a high protein diet of beetles, grasshoppers, and other insects. 

What Do Bluebirds Eat In Summer?

During the long, warm days of summer, Bluebirds feed almost completely on insects. These birds eat a whole lot of different types of insects, and some of the most important types in the blue bird diet are listed below.  

  • Caterpillars 
  • Crickets 
  • Bees
  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers 
  • Spiders

To catch these bugs, Bluebirds usually hunt from a perch, watching out for movement. They will then fly out to capture their prey on the ground, on plants, or in the air. Mountain Bluebirds can be a little more acrobatic in their hunting style, and can sometimes be seen hovering over open areas before diving down onto their prey like tiny hawks. 

What Do Bluebirds Eat In Winter?

blue bird seed

In winter, Bluebirds continue to hunt and eat insects, but finding them becomes more difficult as the temperatures drop. Bugs are a lot more difficult to find in the colder months and so these birds begin to include more fruits and berries into their diets to make up for the lack of available insect prey. 

Depending on the type of Bluebird, and the number of insects and fruits available, fruits and berries may even become the birds’ main food source in the winter. Below is a list of some of the fruits and berries that Bluebirds feed on. Growing one or more of these plants is a great idea to help attract and support the Bluebirds in your area.

Fruits and berries for Bluebirds:

  • Elderberries
  • Grapes
  • Mistletoe
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Serviceberry
  • Sumac
  • Chokecherries
  • Juniper
  • Poison oak
  • Black cherry 
  • Tupelo
  • Currents
  • Wild Holly
  • Dogwood berries
  • Hackberries
  • Honeysuckle
  • Pokeweed 
  • Cedar berries

Top Picks For What To Feed Bluebirds

Being insect eaters, Bluebirds are usually not very interested in visiting backyard bird feeders full of birdseed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t attract and feed these wonderful creatures at home. The best Bluebird feeders are designed to hold foods like mealworms, suet and fruits that these birds enjoy so much.  They will also eat things like peanut and sunflower hearts so setting some of those out is a great idea too. 

Let’s take a look at a few of the best and most convenient Bluebird food products that you can buy to feed these birds. 

1. Mealworms

Mealworms are about the best food for bluebirds that you can easily set out. You can breed your own mealworms or buy them live from pet stores. The easiest way to offer this high-protein natural food is probably to buy them freeze-dried and packaged. 

Mann-Lake Wonder Grubs

A good quality pack of dried mealworms is an ideal food for attracting bluebirds to your backyard feeders. This kind of food will be eaten all year round if Bluebirds are residents in your area. Being insect larvae, mealworms are a great natural choice that bluebirds can feed to their hungry growing chicks, taking a lot of hard work off their shoulders, especially in periods of bad weather. 

2.Mixed bird food 

So what do Bluebirds eat besides mealworms? Mixed bird food that includes insects, fruits, and seeds will not only be enjoyed by Bluebirds but just about any other songbird that is likely to visit a birdfeeder. If you want to attract and feed Bluebirds in your yard, but don’t mind attracting a variety of other visitors as well, mixed bird food is a great option. 

Wild Delight Bugs n’ Berries

A mixed bird food like this mix by wild delight which contains dried insects, fruits, and seeds, is very easy to use in many types of bird feeders and will be loved by bluebirds. What I like about this sort of bird food is that it will attract all sorts of different songbirds while saving you the time and effort needed to make up your own mix.

3. Suet 

Suet is another great food type for feeding Bluebirds. Suet is actually animal fat, mostly sourced from beef cattle and sheep, which is often processed and mixed with birdseed and other food items. Ideally, you want to use a good quality suet feeder when putting out this sort of food. 

C&S Mealworm Suet Dough 

Suet dough is a great food source for Bluebirds. As a high-energy bird food for a variety of birds, suet is hard to beat, and what I really like about this one is that the manufacturers have included mealworms in the mix, to make this an even better food for bluebirds. 

C&S Bluebird Suet Nuggets

Suet nuggets are an interesting form of this bird food that Bluebirds are sure to love. This product by C&S contains not only suet but also dried fruit and nuts, which are all great sources of energy and nutrition for Bluebirds. 

How to Attract Bluebirds

feeding bluebirds

Providing the right food is a great way to attract Bluebirds to your yard. The food sources above are the best foods for attracting these birds but feeding them is not the only way. Another very effective way to attract Bluebirds is to put up one or more nest boxes. 

By providing a safe nesting site, it is possible to support a pair of Bluebirds and their chicks over an entire breeding season, bringing you great views of these fascinating creatures and giving them a better chance of raising strong and healthy chicks. 

A good quality nest box like this cedar birdhouse from Whitehorse is the ideal way to help Bluebirds nest around your home, although there are many more birdhouse options for you to choose from. Lastly, planting a few native fruiting plants from the list in this article is yet another great way of providing a food source and attraction for these birds. 

FAQs

How do I attract Bluebirds to my feeder?

The best way to attract Bluebirds to your feeder is to set it up in a quiet area and put out good Bluebird foods like mealworms, fruit, and suet. 

Where is the best place to put a Bluebird feeder?

Put your bluebird feeder on a good quality bird feeder pole in a quiet area of your yard. Set your feeder in a shady spot to keep the food from spoiling in the sun, and away from dense cover so that the birds can’t be too easily stalked by cats and other predators. 

Can you feed Bluebirds too many mealworms? 

It is best for bluebirds to have a varied diet, and not become too dependent on your offerings at the bird feeder. For these reasons, I would suggest limiting the number of mealworms you put out each day. 

Final Words

Bluebirds are some of the coolest little birds out there- that is if you ask me anyway. Armed with these bluebird feeding tips and the knowledge of how to attract them, I hope you have great success in bringing in and watching these wonderful feathered friends at your home. Happy birdwatching!

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