Mealworms and Live Food
Finding Live Food can become difficult as the season progresses and competition for natural resources increases. So if you provide a reliable source of food near to a nest or Nest Box this will help parent birds provide fresh, nutritious protein-rich food to their young, thus helping them raise a healthy brood. Live foods will also be appreciated by insectivorous birds such as Wrens, Dunnocks, wagtails and tits.
Our wide variety of seed mixes has managed to attract over 80 different species of birds to people’s gardens, but it is worth remembering that there are some species that prefer to eat insects, and that some birds, such as the rapidly declining House Sparrow, need insects for their young to develop properly.
There are two ways in which we can increase the amount of live food available in our gardens. The most obvious is by providing mealworms, waxworms or earthworms, ideally at the same time every day so that the birds grow accustomed to them.
Mealworms and waxworms are not slimy, nor are they maggots. In common with our earthworms they are easy to store, an excellent source of animal protein, and are supplied in containers that make handling them unnecessary.
The other way we can help is by increasing the numbers of invertebrates that are naturally present in our gardens. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn your garden into a wilderness. Simple measures such as having a compost heap, allowing an area of the lawn to grow a bit longer, having a couple of log piles and, above all, reducing the use of pesticides will all help.
Remember that many soft-bodied animals feed on decaying vegetable matter, so a very tidy garden is likely to support fewer potential Robin breakfasts!
Native plants and shrubs will normally be more attractive to invertebrates as you can reap the benefits of associations made over thousands of years. This doesn’t mean that all exotics are bad, but having a proportion of plants of native provenance will certainly make a difference.