Bluebirds are part of the thrush family and are great birds to encourage into your garden as they are attractive, with a sweet birdsong, they also eat insects and so are helpful to pest control.
Finding the best bird seed for bluebirds is going to be difficult. They aren’t easily tempted into the garden because they simply don’t eat the kind of bird food commercially available. Their natural food sources are insects and fruit, and so aren’t usually convinced by bird seed.
There are opportunities to persuade them into your garden however. Although there may not be any single best bird seed for bluebirds, when their usual food sources are scarce there are a few alternatives.
Many gardeners have tried a variety of commercially available food sources or homemade varieties such as fresh or dried fruit mixes, sunflower hearts or cornmeal muffins. A suet mixture and meal worms are also a popular choice.
Best Bird Seed for Bluebirds – Must Haves
If you are seeking to encourage bluebirds into your garden it is important to understand there is no single best bird seed. For bluebirds to be attracted into your garden you need to offer foods that are similar to their usual food sources such as insects and fruit.
If the weather is particularly poor and their usual food sources are scarce, they may be persuaded to eat nuts and some seeds such as peanuts and sunflower kernels
Please note any bird seed or other food would be a supplement to their diet, and could never offer a complete diet. Encouraging bluebirds to become dependent upon food sources which can’t meet their full nutritional requirements can be detrimental to their health.
If you are seeking to attract bluebirds it’s important to understand that feeding them too much may make them lazy, encourage them to overfeed and interrupt their feeding patterns or cause nutrition deficiency.
Feeding bluebirds bird seed or other food that is not a natural food source should only be a short term measure when their natural food sources are scarce. They are most likely to need to supplement their diet as winter starts to fall.
Best Bird Seed for Bluebirds
You can buy meal worms dried, fresh or canned. As larvae they are a close substitute for the bluebird’s core diet and a great way to start attracting bluebirds into the garden, they are more effective than any manufactured product which claims to be the best bird seed for bluebirds.
If you are comfortable handling them, they should be placed in an open tray feeder, but be aware they attract other birds also and so there may be few left for the shy bluebird.
Remembering there is no best bird seed for bluebirds, the meal worms have many attributes which make them great alternatives:
They are similar to the bluebirds natural food sources, insects, and they provide many of the nutrients they need to survive harsh winters.
They are not a perfect replacement however, and bluebirds continue to need insects and their usual fruit and berries for a healthy diet.
Homeowners and nature experts have reported success at ‘training’ bluebirds to feed off meal worms.
Mixed dried or fresh fruit
In the wild, bluebirds supplement their diet with fruits and berries found in their natural habitat.
They are known to eat cherries, blueberries, cranberries and raisins from flat tray feeders put out by homeowners.
Bluebirds are often shy and so it’s often recommended you attract them with meal worms, and then start mixing the meal worms with fresh or dried fruit to encourage them to take the fruit as this will help round out their diet and give them more beneficial nutrition.
Again, remember this food is intended to supplement their diet, and encouraging them to stop foraging for food, and rely only on the food you put out, isn’t good for their health.
Although there is no best bird seed for bluebirds dried and fresh fruit can offer an alternative as they represent some of the bluebirds’ natural food sources. Trying to offer fruit that is similar to the ones they may find in the wild will help by keeping them healthy.
If you are putting out dried fruit, like raisins etc, try to make sure they aren’t loaded with additives and remember, though
fruit, they aren’t part of the birds’ usual diet.
Gardeners and nature experts have noted some success with training bluebirds to eat sunflower hearts. Sunflower hearts are probably the best bird seed for bluebirds, as they’re pretty much the only bird seed people report having any success with.
However, they are not good for the bird in terms of nutrients and should only be used as a supplement to their diet when their natural food sources are scarce, such as in winter.
Sunflower hearts are good for bluebirds because they can be trained to feed sunflower hearts in order to supplement their diets. It’s recommended you use an open tray feeder as they won’t use other types of feeder. Also, when you begin to use sunflower hearts, mix them up with meal worms to encourage them to your bird table. Over time they can be persuaded to feed off the sunflower hearts.
Sunflower hearts are preferred to kernels as they are easier to eat. As they are not naturally attracted to bird seed, they won’t make the effort to get beyond the sunflower kernel.
Why there is no Best Bird Seed for Bluebirds
There is no single best bird seed for bluebirds because seed is simply not their core diet. In the wild they forage for insects and fruits or berries, so training them to eat bird seed can only be achieved under certain conditions and on the understanding it is only as a supplement to their normal diet.
If we were to recommend any seed as the best bird seed for bluebirds that would be sunflower hearts. Some nature experts have reported being able to train bluebirds to feed off them. However, more success has been reported at attracting bluebirds into gardens when feeding them meal worms and fresh or dried fruit.
That’s maybe what makes the bluebird so exciting, it’s not always around and when you get a chance to see one it’s always a special occasion.