A Meal of Mealworms
Our farm is something of a bluebird factory. In fact, when people ask us what we grow on our farm, we often answer "Well, last year we fledged more than 50 bluebirds!"
Some folks understand while others merely shake their large heads in a confused way.
We offer a few mealworms all winter long, but normally do not offer this squirmy, high-protein food during the naturally buggy-enough summer months. But these past few weeks Julie has been soft-releasing a pair of eastern phoebes, so we've kept a dish of mealworms out for them.
It did not take the other birds in our yard very long to find the mealworms and make short work of them. The front year pair of eastern bluebirds was first on the scene. Nobody can cram their gob full of mealworms quite as fast as a bluebird. Our front yard male was being urged on this morning by two hungry fledglings sitting on the wire above the mealworm dish.
They were insatiable. Every time their dad would come back with a billful of worms, the youngsters would make the most pitiful sounds (nee-nuu, nee-nuu) and wave their wings, begging for another delivery.
We let the bluebirds finish off the dish of worms, then we cut them off. Mealworms are not cheap. And we're already dipping into the kids' college fund...