Yesterday I decided to put out the last of the mealworms I had left over from back in the spring... there weren't many in the pouch, so I soaked them for a bit and put them out in the tray along with their morning ration of seeds and suet pellets.
You'd have thought I was trying to poison them- the sparrows wouldn't touch a thing, (which is unusual for them!) and neither would anyone else. After they all came and had a look at the feeder they avoided it for the rest of the day. The entire lot was still there this morning, so I tipped it all out, cleaned it and gave them fresh seeds. It was all gone by lunchtime.
I had to wonder... the birds wouldn't be seeing worms naturally at this time of the year, so did they simply refuse to eat something that was 'unnatural', or are they just being extremely fussy?
Mealworms aren't worms but beetle larvae, but it' still mild + I'm seeing plenty of earthworms at the moment, so would be naturally available. My mealworms go out daily + disappear quickly with Starlings, robin + Magpie the birds I see take them from an elevated feeder.
For some reason my suet pellets no longer get eaten. The Starlings used to go for them quickly at dawn but they got left back in the early spring so I stopped putting them out. Recently I put some fresh ones out + nothing took them despite lots of birds in the garden + everything else being consumed. No idea why they no longer take them?
Only birds using our feeders here are the pigeons and a lonesome robin, as always I can rely on the squirrel to empty the peanuts round the back gardens there's a good increase in blackbird numbers feeding on the berry trees and odd apple I put out most birds seem to be in the woods over the road it's fair buzzin ian
I do not think it is a case of being fussy but rather a case of wild food preference, but I never had much take up from meal worms even through the breeding season, mix seed was taken freely enough but the most successful being fat balls. At the moment the birds are still taking wild fruit and berries as these are still plentiful, the corvids are in the meadow each day probing for worms and grubs as the weather is still fairly mild for this time of year while dunnock and wrens are hunting around the bottom of the hedgerows looking for insects.
Wood pigeon have not returned to the garden for some time as expected but I expected this to change as soon as the frosts appear, at the moment fat balls are still being eaten by house sparrows which are collecting nesting material being fooled by the mild weather, also heard a great spotted woodpecker drumming the other day. If theses mild weather conditions carry on I expect the blackbirds to start egg laying early, maybe at the end of December when they normally lay in March.
Also noticed our swallows did not arrive until the end of April about a mouth late this year being low in number so it does appear something is going on, but time will tell as I like to say.
The local birds here stopped eating my peanuts a while ago, as they preferred the suet pellets. Now I put out mealworms when it's wet and suet when it's dry. The suet is more popular but it dissolves. My cages keep out pigeons and magpies but the system seems to work with everything else now. But at at least one close neighbour is a keen feeder so the birds are a bit spoilt for choice I think