Home | Bird diet | Freeze Dried Mealworms – a Healthy, Convenient Food for Wild and Pet Birds

Freeze Dried Mealworms – a Healthy, Convenient Food for Wild and Pet Birds

As I write this from NYC it is not yet officially winter, but I’m looking out over waist-high snow drifts.  So I’m inspired to consider a special treat for the visitors to my bird feeders, and one which finches, softbills and other pets relish as well – mealworms.

The Importance of Insects

A bag of Freeze Dried Mealworms is a very useful item for both pet keepers and wild bird enthusiasts to have on hand.  Providing both calcium and much-needed protein, insects continue to figure in the diets of many birds even during the coldest months.  Although not visible to us, insects are always about – some species hibernate, while others pass the winter as eggs or pupae.  These are avidly sought by many typical feeder visitors, but especially Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Blue Jays and Juncos.  Insects become especially important in late winter, when female birds need to increase their calcium stores in preparation for egg-laying.

Mealworms and other insects are also taken by almost all commonly-kept finches, as well as by softbills such as Peking Robins, Shama Thrushes and Bulbuls, and they are a must for parents raising chicks.

All too often the hassle of maintaining live insect colonies gets in the way of providing our birds with the best diets possible – especially where those species that can “get by” without them (most non-breeding finches) are concerned.  Freeze dried mealworms offer a great alternative, being easy to store for long periods of time and containing the same nutritional value as live mealworms.

Hand-taming Wild Birds

Habituating wild birds to feed from the hand is a wonderful and challenging hobby (please see article referenced below).  Nothing overcomes the fears of wild birds like a succulent mealworm – especially if offered in winter, when insects are hard to come by.

Further Reading

Please see my article Hand Taming Wild Birds for tips on this most enjoyable undertaking.

Canned grasshoppers, silkworms and other insects, marketed for pet reptiles, are very useful foods for birds as well. Please see my article Collecting and Using Live and Processed Insects for Birds for more information.


About Frank Indiviglio

Read other posts by

I believe that I was born with an intense interest in animals, as neither I nor any of my family can recall a time when I was not fascinated by creatures large and small. One might imagine this to be an unfortunate set of circumstances for a person born and raised in the Bronx, but, in actuality, quite the opposite was true. Most importantly, my family encouraged both my interest and the extensive menagerie that sprung from it. My mother and grandmother somehow found ways to cope with the skunks, flying squirrels, octopus, caimans and countless other odd creatures that routinely arrived un-announced at our front door. Assisting in hand-feeding hatchling praying mantises and in eradicating hoards of mosquitoes (I once thought I had discovered “fresh-water brine shrimp” and stocked my tanks with thousands of mosquito larvae!) became second nature to them. My mother went on to become a serious naturalist, and has helped thousands learn about wildlife in her 16 years as a volunteer at the Bronx Zoo. My grandfather actively conspired in my zoo-buildings efforts, regularly appearing with chipmunks, boa constrictors, turtles rescued from the Fulton Fish Market and, especially, unusual marine creatures. It was his passion for seahorses that led me to write a book about them years later. Thank you very much, for a complete biography of my experience click here.
Scroll To Top