10 Birds that Love Eating Mealworms (With Photos)

Mealworms are an often overlooked superfood for bird feeding. If you haven’t added any to your feeding station, it’s time to start! A lot of birds primarily eat insects or include them in their diet. Adding mealworms to your feeders is an easy way to draw in more birds!

According to the Cornell Bird Lab, mealworms are the larva of mealworm beetles. They’re also a good source of protein and calcium, which is especially important for birds during the spring mating season. You can feed bids mealworms from a tray, hopper or specialized bird feeder.

You can either buy live mealworms from a local bird store near you, or you can buy dried mealworms at any bird store or on Amazon:

Kaytee Mealworm Food Pouch

A bag of Kaytee dried mealworms that are available for sale on Amazon. Mealworms are great food for a ton of birds.
Click the link above or the picture to buy mealworms straight from Amazon. I usually do this for convenience.

Mealworms are also often incorporated into bird feeder cylinders (you can use my discount code DEBAUNDAN for 10% off orders from ForTheBirds.com). Bird seed cylinders last a long time and appeal to a ton of different species ranging from Woodpeckers to Cardinals.

I love putting out mealworms for my birds. They quickly become a favorite snack for the Chickadees and Nuthatches at my feeding station.

Related Content: The Ultimate Bird Seed and Bird Food Guide

Birds That Eat Mealworms

American Robin (Prefer live mealworms)

Robins will eat live mealworms on occasion.
American Robins will happily eat live mealworms from a tray or ground feeder. Try putting them out near trees. Robins don’t visit feeding stations with regularity.

Black Capped Chickadees

Back-Capped Chickadees love eating mealworms - dried or alive!
Mealworms are like crack for my neighborhood Chickadees. They fly over and devour them on the spot, which is always fun to watch.

Downy Woodpeckers

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Downy Woodpeckers are regular visitors to bird feeders. They love eating mealworms!

Eastern Bluebirds (Prefer live mealworms)

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This is the holy grail of using mealworms for bird feeding. The North American Bluebird Society recommends buying only live mealworms for Bluebirds and using a specialized Bluebird mealworm feeder.

Hairy Woodpeckers

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Hairy Woodpeckers will snatch up mealworms at a bird feeding station. They also love suet and black oil sunflower seed.

Northern Cardinals

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Yes! Cardinals will happily eat mealworms, especially during the spring mating season. However, make sure to have sunflower seed out in some capacity for the greatest chance of alluring a neighborhood Cardinal.

Related Content: 5 Proven Ways to Attract Cardinals to a Feeder

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

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Nuthatches are fun, acrobatic visitors to bird feeders. Offering mealworms along with sunflower seed and suet is a great way to give them a buffet of options!

Tufted Titmice

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Titmice will eat a lot of what’s offered at bird feeding stations, mealworms included!

White-Breasted Nuthatch

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I love the White Breasted Nuthatches that visit my bird feeding station. They scale walls with ease and often eat upside down. Much like chickadees, mealworms get a rave responses from Nuthatches at my feeders.


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Wren’s primarily eat insects. So, mealworms are your best bet to get them visiting a feeding station. Try offering live mealworms during the spring nesting season. Good luck!

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