Friday, November 20, 2009

Insects for Birds

I had a bucket of mealworms (larvae of the tenebrio molitar beetle) taking up space in my mud room recently.   They were leftovers from my bluebird project.  I didn't want to just toss them.  

So, I decided now is the time for my backyard birds to learn to eat them.  I'd tried before, but got no takers.

When I put the mealworms in a dish feeder with sunflower seeds, the goldfinches tossed them out to get to the black seeds.  When I put them in a dish of suet, the Downy Woodpeckers ate around them.  Then this morning, I noticed a Black-capped Chickadee tossing the oatmeal bedding and flying off with an insect.  Success!

Apparently the other birds were watching too.  I've caught the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers and the White-breasted Nuthatch picking at the oatmeal and scarfing down a mealworm.

I haven't been quick enough to get my camera up and focused.  The best I'd been able to get (and I've had to sort through several blurry images) is this fanny view of the chickadee with a mealworm in its mouth.

With a little luck, I will get a beak-view soon.

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