There are few backyard birds that people are more excited to see than bluebirds. In fact, they are often thought of as one of the most well-liked birds in North America. So in this article I thought we’d show you some of the best bird feeders for bluebirds to help you attract them to your yard.
Perhaps it is their cheerful little songs. Maybe it is because they eat a lot of insects and even farmers love having them on their property. (I once visited a vineyard that used bluebirds and swallows as their main method of insect control). Or maybe it’s just because they are so darn cute, and there aren’t many other backyard birds so brightly colored. Whatever the reason, we love our bluebirds!
Best Bird Feeders for Bluebirds (5 good options)
Let’s look at 5 feeders that would be great for feeding bluebirds.
1. Droll Yankees Clear 10 Inch Dome Feeder
This Dome Feeder from Droll Yankees would be one of my number one choices. Bluebirds really like to feed from this design. The dish can hold any type of bluebird food you want to try, mealworms, suet balls, fruits, etc. It can certainly hold regular bird seed as well so if you strike out with the bluebirds, it won’t go to waste as many other birds enjoy this design.
The dome will keep a certain amount of rain and snow off the food, but isn’t completely weatherproof by any means. The dish has drainage holes to help when it does get wet. The height that the dome sits at is easily adjustable. This is handy for trying to thwart bigger birds from being able to fit under the dome and perch. I personally have seen a few of the larger birds get in there if they are really persistent, but it takes a lot of struggle and effort so if there is easier food elsewhere they may give up after some time.
The central post screws into the dish very securely. Also, Droll Yankees is a great company and if you have any questions or problems with your feeder they will be happy to talk to you and often offer replacement parts. I had good luck with this style feeding bluebirds in my yard.
2. Kettle Moraine Cedar Hanging Bluebird Mealworm Feeder
This Kettle Moraine Hanging Bluebird Feeder sports a popular design for bluebirds. A small contained “house” with two side holes the birds can enter. Great for holding mealworms. Sometimes, the bluebirds have a bit of a hard time warming up to this style of feeder. What I like about this Kettle Moraine model is one of the sides is removable. This way you can start with an open side the bluebirds can easily reach the mealworms with, then once they are hooked on the food, you can put the side back on and they will figure out how to get inside. Once they have identified the feeder as a good food source, they will be pretty motivated to learn how to get inside. This design also keeps out larger birds like Starlings and Grackles, making your bluebirds feel more secure and saving you from the larger birds pigging out.
3. JC’s Wildlife Blue Recycled Poly Lumber Hanging Bird Feeder
The JC’s Wildlife Poly-Lumber Feeder uses the same idea as the Kettle Moraine feeder I mentioned above, however the sides are completely open. The roof and sides give it a little bit of weather protection, and gives the birds lots of spots to perch and feel somewhat protected. The birds will have no trouble figuring this feeder out. The tray is great for mealworms, suet balls or really any type of food. Fully made of plastic it is easy to clean and should hold up to the elements and last a long time. The con, of course, is the open sides leave it open to large birds and even squirrels. You might just have to experiment with it in your yard and see if it works for you.
4. Mosaic Birds Hummble Basic Bird Feeder
Prefer something small and decorative? Or maybe you don’t have a lot of space to work with. This Mosaic Birds Basic Bird Feeder is a great choice the bluebirds are sure to love. The metal ring holds a removable glass dish that easily holds mealworms. It can be hung individually or link multiple together in a chain. The glass dish is available in many colors for a few more dollars. This won’t hold much food so you may be filling it up fairly often. However you can control how often you fill, and the food likely won’t last long enough to spoil, saving you wasted worms. You can also use it to feed fruits or jelly for orioles or other birds. The glass dish can be easily hand washed or popped right in the dishwasher.
5. Nature Anywhere Clear Window Bird Feeder
No place to hang a feeder? Live in an apartment or condo with no yard space? Try a window feeder! This Nature Anywhere window feeder isn’t made specifically for bluebirds, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it for that purpose. It has a nice perch and trough that you can fill with mealworms, suet balls, seeds, fruit or any mix you choose. Strong suction cups will hold it to the window no problem, and the clear plastic will allow you to see the birds up close and easily see when the feeder needs a refill.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best bird feeders for bluebirds, let’s talk food.
Best food for Bluebirds
Without a doubt, the number one food for bluebirds is mealworms. Bluebirds are not heavy seed eaters like other backyard birds, they mainly eat insects. With the popularity of feeding bluebirds increasing, many bird seed distributors also sell dried mealworms. The Kaytee brand mealworms are what I have personal experience using and they have worked well for me, the bluebirds loved them. If you plan on going through a lot of mealworms, this large 11 lb bag by NaturesPeck gets good reviews.
Live mealworms are the absolute best – however not many people want to deal with that! But if you want to give it a shot, check out this Wikihow article on how to raise your own mealworms.
Bluebirds will also readily eat suet. However they will not land on woodpecker suet feeders and peck on suet cakes. You have to offer the suet in small pieces. These bluebird nuggets by C&S work really well. I have had great success with them, and even better, many other birds really enjoy these too! I’ve seen titmice and nuthatches happily grabbing a ball and flying off with it. I like to mix them in with the mealworms to offer a bit of variety.
If you are trying to feed bluebirds and many other birds out of one feeder, try a mix that includes mealworms and fruit with the seeds. Something like the Wild Delight Bugs n Berries mix should please many different types of hungry birdies all at once.
Melanie is an environmental scientist, birdwatcher, and amateur photographer. She’s been a birding hobbyist for years and loves feeding and learning about birds of all types. Over the years, Melanie has identified more than 250 bird species, with sightings of the Atlantic Puffin, Hawaiian Goose, and Arctic Tern among her most cherished.