Really Wild Birdfood Co
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homemade bird food

Making your own DIY bird food can be a fun and rewarding activity, you can even get the kids involved! It's a great way to give your garden birds a little extra treat, and most recipes include ingredients that you already have laying around the house.

So, if you're ready to make your own bird food, let's dive right in. More...

nature, coronavirus recovery

We've all felt the effects of the coronavirus over the past few months, but things are finally starting to look promising. With vaccines being rolled out, we're hoping to see things return to normality during 2021. With regards to the Government's coronavirus recovery strategy, there are lots of people across the UK that think nature should play a prominent part. More...

older people

As the years wear on, buying Christmas presents for elderly relatives can be a tough task. After all, how many pairs of slippers and festive jigsaws can one person have?

Luckily, with Really Wild Bird Food, you don’t have to resign yourself to rehashed ideas from years gone by.

When Werther’s Originals won’t cut it and there’s no room left in the whisky cabinet for a new addition, a bird-friendly gift from RWBF can be just the ticket. More...

As the summer begins to drift further and further away in the rear-view mirror, the days begin to get shorter and the temperature predictably drops with seasonal regularity. There’s no escaping it: the autumn has undoubtedly arrived and winter is once again well on its way.

With that being said, now is the perfect time to begin thinking about how you plan on feeding your feathery garden visitors over the coming months. 

As the winter draws near, the colder weather makes life tough for many garden birds, particularly when it comes to sourcing food. Give your colourful companions a helping hand this year by providing them with a winter bird feeder to see them through the season. More...

The UK Farmland Bird Indicator is made up of 19 different species of birds that are dependent on British farmland. This means that these birds they are predominantly reliant on farmland environments, unable to thrive outside of this habitat.

Of these 19 different species, a number of them are in stark decline. While the woodpigeon and the jackdaw have seen a widespread increase over the years, there are several species of farmland birds that have seen a dramatic decrease. More...

Bird feeding in garden

Would you like to attract more birds into your garden? Perhaps your garden has been looking a little lifeless and in need of some feathered friends?

Wild birds are appreciative of food, water and space to shelter, particularly if you live in a built-up residential area where greenery is sparse.

That's why we want to inspire you to turn your garden into a haven for birds! Adding some simple features to your garden can make all the difference. More...

bird bathing in water

Arguably more important than providing food for our garden birds is ensuring they have access to fresh, clean water for bathing and drinking.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that their need for water is met elsewhere, particularly if you live near a river or lake, but these large bodies of water don't always suit smaller birds.

Providing a bird bath is a great way to attract birds into your garden. If you have a water feature or running water, they will thank you all the more! More...

Are you a bird lover who’s trying to attract more unusual and wild bird species into your garden?

Having a good understanding of the best wild bird food to offer in your garden will dramatically improve your chances of drawing a wide range of wild birds into your garden.

For many wild birds, the only food available to them is whatever can be scavenged from the local shrubs, bushes and, of course, the ground. So, as you can imagine - it's slim pickings. More...

A much-loved garden-dweller across the globe, the songful sparrow is a welcome addition to any garden, providing a cheery sight and a wholesome ambience.

However, a decline in numbers has led to concern over the humble sparrow’s ability to survive in the UK. 

In fact, certain areas of the UK (such as Yorkshire and London) have seen the population of House Sparrows in particular drop by a staggering 70% between 1995 and 2017, according to the Breeding Bird Survey 2018.

More...

feeding birds mealworms

The breeding season (April to July) is a great time to feed mealworms, wax worms and other live foods to your garden birds if you don't already do so!

Of the many varieties of garden bird whose numbers are in decline in the UK, it is the insectivores who have been the worst hit. The lack of mature, native trees in our gardens and ever-decreasing areas of natural woodland means that wild birds cannot find the insects they need to feed their young, resulting in fewer eggs and fewer fledgelings. This makes live foods a more conscientious choice, particularly during periods of colder weather (when insects will hide away in warm places) and especially when you consider that the birds' activity rate during the breeding season can be 100 times greater than during the winter months.

Live mealworms and wax worms are easily digestible with a high moisture content - essential for fledgelings who cannot leave the nest to drink. Other sources of moisture for them include unripe seeds, earthworms and caterpillars, but there is growing evidence to show that the peak time for earthworms and caterpillars is possibly earlier than the peak fledgeling explosion, so live mealworms and wax worms are a great option to bridge that gap.

Buy Live Mealworms & Wax Worms for Birds >

 

Feeding birds wax worms and mealworms 

It has been proven that feeding live foods can have a significant positive effect on the number of chicks reared by their parents. Wax worms and mealworms are also rich in essential protein (50.4%), very safe to feed due to their vegetarian diet (no spread of nasty diseases), and much easier to store and use than you might think.

If the wax worms come supplied in a tub, it should already have a ventilated lid and some bran inside to keep them going, so you can just keep them cool until you're ready to use them (ideal storage temperature: 8 to 10 °C). Wax worms and mealworms can go in the fridge, but this can make them a bit dormant and less wriggly - and it's the wriggling that attracts the bird's keen eye. Temperatures below 5 °C will kill the mealworms and wax worms, while temperatures above 22 degrees will make them pupate very quickly.

They do not need light - in fact, dark is good - and if you notice their food has depleted, you can add a bit of carrot, apple, oats or potato peelings. Wax worms and mealworms can be kept this way for several months at the correct temperature.

Bulk bags of live worms are more economical but need to be unpacked on arrival. They can be stored in a large open plastic container such as a cat litter tray or similar, at a maximum depth of 1 inch. There is no need for a lid as long as the sides are deep and clean and the container is placed somewhere where it won't be knocked over!

Mealworms

Want to know more about how to feed live mealworms and wax worms to birds? Here is a very informative Q&A with our founder and resident vet, Lesley:

Q. Which birds eat live worms?

A. The insect and invertebrate eaters: robins, sparrows, tits, starlings, blackbirds, wrens and thrushes.

Q. What are mealworms?

A. They are the larvae of the flour beetle (Tenebrio Molitor), a native British insect that eats flour, meal, grain and other related crops. They are vegetarian, which is important because when fresh, they don't smell!

Q. Where do your live mealworms come from?

A. Our live mealworms are grown in the UK for us and are British bred! There are many companies importing mealworms from Europe; ours will be fresher as they won't have travelled far.

Q. If I order live worms, what can I expect to receive?

A. Live mealworms are delivered by Royal Mail. They will arrive in a cardboard box, and within the box will be either some plastic tubs or larger quantities within a white polypropylene bag with a cable-tied top. Please don't worry if the plastic tubs don't have air holes punched in them - the lids are made of breathable material so the mealworms will be fine.

Q. Do the mealworms smell?

A. No! There is no smell given off by mealworms or wax worms if they are kept in the correct conditions. There will be some bran or clean newspaper in with them when they arrive. For those that are in tubs, you don't need to do anything. If you have bought a larger sack of them, we would suggest transferring them into a shallow, smooth-sided tray or tub.

Q. How long will the worms last?

A. Being larvae, their longevity is dependent on the conditions and temperature they are stored at. The cooler they are, the longer they will last. If you find that there is a lot of black poo appearing, the chances are it is too warm for them or they are too deep in their container.

Q. If I order them today, when will I receive them?

A. All live foods are sent by Royal Mail. They, therefore, take 3-5 working days and will arrive separately from the rest of your Really Wild Bird Food order (which should arrive on the next working day). Orders received before 12.00 on Monday to Thursday will be dispatched on the same day. Orders received on a Friday to Sunday will be dispatched on the following Monday. We are ultra-careful around bank holidays (especially during the warm summer months) in case they get held up in a warm sorting office somewhere, speeding up their metamorphosis. Please order a few days earlier around a bank holiday.

Q. I would like to receive a regular weekly order - can you do this?

A. Of course! We have many customers who request scheduled live mealworm deliveries, either on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Please contact us with your request.

Q. What sort of feeder should I offer live mealworms in?

A. Wax worms and mealworms need to be contained in a smooth steep-sided container (otherwise you will find they wriggle up and out and will be gone in a flash!) - ideally something with a roof or overhang to protect them from the rain and sun, and drainage holes if there is no roof. Windows feeders lend themselves to mealworms, and it's fab to get a really close-up view of your robin and other smalls birds visiting. Caged feeders are also useful since they limit access to the bigger birds which can devour a whole pot in an instant!

Would you like to purchase some live or dried mealworms for your feathered friends? Here at Really Wild Bird Food, we offer a variety of mealworms and wax worms for you to choose from! Click the link below to shop:

Live wax worms and live/dried mealworms for birds