Robin feeding on mealworms

18 Backyard Birds That Love To Eat Mealworms (Detailed)

If you have been looking for a way to attract birds into your backyard, then mealworms are the answer. Mealworms are nutritious and loved by many types of birds. Whether fresh or dried, these insects will be appreciated by summer birds with hungry nestlings to feed.

In this article we’ll discuss how easy it is to offer mealworms as an additional food source in your bird feeding station and what types of birds they will attract. 

Pine Warbler

pine warbler
Image by Mickey Estes from Pixabay

The Pine Warbler is a small bird that can be found in many parts of the world. These birds typically live in deciduous forests and eat mostly insects, such as caterpillars and spiders. However, there are other types of food that they like to eat too.

Pine Warblers also eat mealworms regularly because these worms contain nutrients and protein that help keep their bodies healthy and strong. Mealworms are low in fat but high in protein, which helps with their energy levels.

Related Post: How to Attract Warblers to your yard

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

Tufted Titmice are small songbirds that live in North America. They can be found throughout the continent, except for parts of the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin. These birds eat mostly insects such as beetles, caterpillars, and spiders.

However, these little creatures also enjoy a nice mealworm now and then, which is why they often find them near bird feeders. They will even search through grasses for them when looking for food because they’re attracted to the movement that worms make.

Related Post: How to Attract Tufted Titmouse to your yard?

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren
Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

The Carolina Wren is a small songbird native to the eastern United States. They have been introduced in western states and Canada. Carolina Wrens are typically found east of the Rocky Mountains in America, and range north into Canada and south into Mexico.

This bird species typically eats insects such as caterpillars, spiders, crickets, flies and other invertebrates, but they also enjoy eating mealworms from time to time.

Related Post: How to Attract Wrens to your backyard?

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird
Image by Jack Bulmer from Pixabay

The Eastern Bluebird is a type of bird that is common in North America. Eastern bluebirds are found from southeastern Canada to Florida, as well as north into southern parts of Quebec and Maine. 

Eastern Bluebirds mainly eat insects, spiders, snails and other invertebrates found on the ground or vegetation around them. However, they also feed on seeds and berries, as well as other items such as fruits and sap from trees. The Eastern Bluebird will eat mealworms but not as often as other birds.

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Black-capped Chickadee

Image by lldd11 from Pixabay

The Black-Capped Chickadee is a small black and white bird with a black cap on its head. This bird has one of the widest ranges of any other chickadees, and it can be found all over Canada and the United States except for Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Hawaii.

In the winter they migrate to central and southern regions where they can find a more favorable climate. Chickadees have been observed eating live mealworms, which some people might think is unusual behavior for a bird. However, these small songbirds prefer live prey to seeds because it’s more nutritious and will provide them with better energy to fly around during their migration period.


The towhee is a species of bird that ranges from the eastern United States to Alaska. They are primarily found in woodland and brushy areas, but also inhabit some other habitats such as suburbs and even parks. Mealworms are a favorite food for many birds, and this includes towhees.

The Eastern Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Abert’s Towhee, and Rufous-sided Towhee all enjoy eating mealworms as well as grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, ants, snails and crickets.  These birds will eat about any kind of live prey they can find, including crickets, flies, ants, and beetles.

Related Post: How to Attract Towhee to your Backyard


Woodpeckers are small cavity nesters, the females are bigger than the males. They like to live in the woods and deciduous evergreen shrubs like maples, elms, oaks, redwoods and sycamore trees. However, they are very happy birds and make wonderful show birds in your backyard if you have the space.

If you’re looking for a way to attract woodpeckers to your yard, one of the best ways is by feeding them mealworms. Woodpeckers are known for eating tree bark and bugs that live in trees, but they also enjoy eating insects like mealworms because it’s their preferred food source. They can be purchased at most pet stores or feed stores and come either in a bag or an enclosed container. 

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Image by bluebudgie from Pixabay

Feeding Robins is a tricky subject for most bird owners. There are several things to consider when you’re trying to decide what food source will work best for your feathered friend. Some feeders offer mealworms and crickets, but which one should you choose? The answer is both! Mealworms have more protein than crickets, so if you can’t find any of the worms in the wild then it’s worth investing in some from the store. 

In recent years, it has been observed that robins are switching from eating crickets to mealworms. Robins usually eat a diet of bugs and worms, but now they’re starting to turn away from the traditional cricket in favor of the more nutritious mealworm. 

Related Post: How to Attract Robins to your yard?


Image by Deb Nyman from Pixabay

The Gray Catbird is among the most beautiful song birds in the world. These small, delicate songbirds are also very difficult to study and identify because they are shy and their numbers have been dwindling for decades. Although Gray Catbirds only live in a few regions of North America, these states include Maine, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.

You can find them living at altitudes between 700-2000 meters above sea level; mostly near trees or shrubs with dense. The catbirds are typically all gray with a small black cap, blackish tail, and a rich rufous-brown patch under the tail. They feed on mealworms, seeds, nectar, and insects and were probably introduced to the country through European immigrants.


Image by ray jennings from Pixabay

The nuthatches are a small, subfamily, of the woodpecker genus Passiflora, of eastern North America. They live in forests, and mixed woodlands across much of Eastern Canada and the United States east of the Great Plains. The nuthatches, considered by many ornithologists to be the most beautiful of all birds, are also one of the most widely distributed of all North American species.

These birds love food, and will often travel far distances for their next meal. Nuthatches eat mealworms in order to store up fat reserves that will last them through periods when food is scarce. 

Related Post: How to Attract Nuthatches to your yard?


Image by Miles Moody from Pixabay

Among the most common birds found around the United States is the Thrasher. This medium-sized bird is commonly found in parks, backyards, near ponds, water sources, and even abandoned mines. The Thrasher’s diet consists of insects and small mammals. If these are not available, then they will eat seeds or other plants.

The two types of food that this bird likes to eat most are grasshoppers and mealworms which they usually find while foraging. Some members of its genus, have a bright bill and a thick beak with a sharp hook on each end.


Kinglets are small birds that inhabit North America. They’re one of the smallest members of their genus, and like most members of their genus, they’re scavengers.  Kinglets, will eat a variety of foods, including plant matter, seeds, insects, worms, millipedes, aphids, as well as small vertebrates. 

When it comes to eating mealworms, Kinglets will eat them in great numbers, as they are one of the best foods for them. If you want to feed your bird’s an abundant supply of mealworms, then go for the Kinglet. You’ll be glad you did!​​​​​​​


Grosbeaks are small birds, often mistaken for finches or cardinals. They can be found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Greenland, but their habitat is limited to regions where the climate is cool or cold. Grosbeaks prefer to eat seeds from wild plants, berries and insects during the summer months when they can find them.

During winter, grosbeaks eat what’s available at bird feeders or on bird tables, including mealworms. These birds are highly territorial, so it’s important to keep an eye on them if you’re considering introducing one into your backyard.

Related Post: How to Attract Rose-breasted Grosbeaks to your yard?


Indigo Bunting
Image by Israel Alapag from Pixabay

The Indigo Bunting,  is a medium-sized bird that lives in forests and thick brush in the southern part of North America. They are very active during the spring and summer seasons, but only for a short time. Because of this short time activity, they are rarely seen by humans, making it difficult to learn much about them. 

One of the most interesting facts about buntings is that they eat mealworms. It may be difficult to understand how a bird can eat mealworms, but it is a very healthy snack for the bird. The fact that the buntings are not picky about what they are eating is also a plus. 

Related Post: How to Attract Indigo Bunting to your yard?


Pied Flycatcher
Image by jggrz from Pixabay

The insect-eating birds, called flycatchers, are native to North America. Flycatchers are a very fun-loving bird to have around your backyard. Their beautiful colors and patterns are sure to captivate anyone who sees them. They eat insects such as the mealworm for protein and fat sources.

Mealworms can be found in different habitats such as gardens, compost piles, and yards. Flycatchers will often watch their prey from a branch or shrub before swooping down and capturing it with their feet and bill. They then swallow the worm whole or tear off chunks of it to feed themselves and their chicks later on.

Northern Mockingbirds

The Northern Mockingbird can be found from southern Canada and the northern United States, south through Mexico into northern Brazil and Argentina. Year-round the Northern Mockingbird can be found throughout most of North America, with the western United States having the most Mockingbirds in the winter. During the summer months the bird returns to its more southern destination, generally across the southern states, although some Mockingbirds may make their way east for the winter. 

Since the Northern Mockingbird primarily eats insects, you might expect that this small and cute bird would not have much interest in eating mealworms. This is simply not the case. In fact, the diet of the Northern Mockingbird includes large numbers of mealworms, which it feeds on throughout the year.

Related Post: How to Attract Northern Mockingbirds to your yard?

Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles
Image by diapicard from Pixabay

Orioles are a type of bird that can be found in North America. These birds are typically known for their ability to sing. One of the most interesting facts about Orioles is that they occasionally eat mealworms. The reason why these animals do this is that they’re looking for protein and fat to provide them with energy during long flights. 

Orioles typically prefer grubs and other insect larvae that dwell in rotting logs and decomposing plant matter; however, when these sources of food are scarce or hard to find, they will turn to other insects for sustenance. Mealworms make an easy snack for orioles.


Tanagers are a type of bird. They can be found in the United States, South America, and Africa. Tanagers are a type of bird that feed on insects and fruit. In their natural habitat, they eat primarily insect larvae, but also will consume flowers, nectar and berries. One of the favorite types of food for tanagers is mealworms.

Tanagers use these worms as a food source for their young. Mealworms can provide nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids which help to develop healthy feathers and give them enough energy to grow into adults in just weeks. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to feed birds dried mealworms?

Dried mealworms are a great option for feeding wild birds. They are an excellent source of protein and fats for hungry birds that can’t find natural food sources in the winter, while also providing enjoyment from interacting with people!

Do birds prefer live or dried mealworms?

Birds like the squirming and moving of a live mealworm because it triggers their hunting instincts. They also like the feel of the wriggling movement in their beaks or claws. The last reason is that they can taste better because when food moves around it activates more sensory receptors on their tongues than if it were dead and motionless

Can dried mealworms come back to life?

Unfortunately for the dried mealworms, no they cannot come back to life. They often go through a process called ‘drying out’ which means their water content is lowered until they become hard and dry. Dried mealworms have died, so there’s no way of bringing them back to life.

Should you soak mealworms for birds?

Birds will eat them, either dried or soaked. I find the best way to do this is by soaking mealworms in water for about a half hour. The worms will swell up and be easier for the birds to eat. There are many methods that you can use, but one of the most popular ways is by putting them in a jar with some water.

Are mealworms expensive?

Mealworms are not expensive, and are a cheap alternative to other feeders, and provide all the necessary nutrients for them to live on. Mealworms also have an earthy taste that attracts many types of birds such as cardinals, sparrows, and crows. The worms cost about $5-$10 per pound, which is cheaper than peanuts or sunflower seeds.

Can dried mealworms turn into beetles?

Dried mealworms cannot turn into beetles for two reasons: they are not alive, and there are no living cells left inside them to do so even if they were alive.