The 13 Best Bluebird Feeders For Your Yard: A Complete Guide

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The sight of a backyard bluebird excites nearly every bird watcher, but visits from these birds can be few and far between for many people.

Most areas of North America have at least one bluebird species in their region. The Eastern bluebird is by far the most familiar, with a range that begins at the Atlantic Coast and reaches as far as parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico.

Western birdwatchers may see either the Western bluebird or the Mountain bluebird. The Western bluebird’s range stretches from the southwestern United States and Mexico up through Washington and western Montana during the breeding season. The Mountain bluebird has a more extensive range covering much of the west for at least part of the year.

If you’re looking to attract any kind of bluebird to your yard, you need to know how to provide them with adequate food sources. This starts with mealworms.

Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle. Mealworm beetles were originally native to the Mediterranean, but they’ve long since spread across the globe. They’re a popular feed for pet reptiles and birds, along with many wild birds, and the birds they’re most commonly associated with are bluebirds.

Product Name
Top Dome Feeder
Droll Yankees Adjustable Platform Feeder
Top Jail Feeder
Erva Bluebird Feeder
Top Birdhouse-Style Feeder
JCs Wildlife Hanging Bird Feeder
Image
Droll Yankees Seed Saver Platform Feeder, Birdseed, Fruit, Suet, or Mealworms, 10-Inch Dome
Erva Bluebird Feeder - Includes Meal Worm Cup - Designed to Keep Squirrels Out - Made in The USA
JCs Wildlife Poly Lumber and Acrylic Hanging Bird Feeder with Roof - Holds 3 Cups of Bird Seed - Great for Your Backyard Bird Feeding Garden (Blue)
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Polycarbonate
Made From Metal
Made From Plastic
Weight
Weight: 15.2 Ounces
Weight: 3.79 Pounds
Weight: 1.5 Pounds
Size
11 x 10 x 4 Inches
14 x 14 x 9 Inches
5 x 7 x 9 Inches
Top Dome Feeder
Product Name
Droll Yankees Adjustable Platform Feeder
Image
Droll Yankees Seed Saver Platform Feeder, Birdseed, Fruit, Suet, or Mealworms, 10-Inch Dome
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Polycarbonate
Weight
Weight: 15.2 Ounces
Size
11 x 10 x 4 Inches
Top Jail Feeder
Product Name
Erva Bluebird Feeder
Image
Erva Bluebird Feeder - Includes Meal Worm Cup - Designed to Keep Squirrels Out - Made in The USA
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Metal
Weight
Weight: 3.79 Pounds
Size
14 x 14 x 9 Inches
Top Birdhouse-Style Feeder
Product Name
JCs Wildlife Hanging Bird Feeder
Image
JCs Wildlife Poly Lumber and Acrylic Hanging Bird Feeder with Roof - Holds 3 Cups of Bird Seed - Great for Your Backyard Bird Feeding Garden (Blue)
Customer Rating
Material
Made From Plastic
Weight
Weight: 1.5 Pounds
Size
5 x 7 x 9 Inches

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Kind of Mealworms Should I Buy?

You can either purchase live or freeze-dried mealworms. Handling hundreds of live beetle larvae might seem gross, but it’s likely the best food to provide for your backyard bluebirds.

Freeze-dried mealworms are convenient, easy to store, and usually not too expensive, but live insect larvae will often be more enticing to birds than a freeze-dried option, despite being perhaps less enticing to you.

The North American Bluebird Society states that freeze-dried mealworms may be ignored if better food options are available. The group also suggests that if you buy freeze-dried mealworms, a little water or oil can help rehydrate them.

Additionally, the North American Bluebird Society also recommends against feeding freeze-dried mealworms during the nesting season, as food items are the only water source that nestlings receive, and freeze-dried mealworms contain little to no moisture.

However, freeze-dried mealworms may get the job done as other favorite food sources dwindle during the colder months of fall and winter.

Using dried mealworms may require an adjustment for the birds, so you may want to start by mixing live and dried mealworms. As birds warm to the freeze-dried version, you can phase out the live mealworms from the mix.

What Else Do Bluebirds Eat?

Most of a bluebird’s diet consists of insects, so it’s no surprise that they’re fond of mealworms. 

According to Penn State University, up to 68 percent of a bluebird’s diet consists of insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, and caterpillars. The remaining 32 percent is fruit, another option for backyard bird watchers looking to feed the bluebirds.

Some pre-packaged bluebird foods you’ll find at the store contain dried bugs and fruits. For example, the Wild Delight Bugs N’ Berries Block contains dried mealworms, beetles, soldier fly larvae, dried cherries, raisins, and cranberries.

Mealworms are the most common food provided to bluebirds at backyard feeders, but they have also been known to eat suet. It’s also not impossible to see bluebirds at a traditional seed bird feeder if feeding conditions have been poor, but it’s unlikely.

Another food that you can provide for bluebirds is scrambled eggs. It’s not the food they would eat naturally in the wild, of course, but when food is scarce or they need extra food to feed their young, bluebirds have been known to eat scrambled eggs.

If you pursue this option, cook the scrambled eggs without added salt or pepper, let them cool, and then place them in a tray feeder. If birds don’t eat them within a day, throw them away, so they don’t start to go bad.

What is the Best Type of Feeder for Bluebirds?

There are a couple of different feeder options for bluebirds. Some people opt to mix mealworms into their regular tray feeder along with seeds, but that’s usually not preferred because of competition.

Bluebirds are pretty low on the pecking order regarding the backyard bird dominance hierarchy.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the average bluebird weighs just about an ounce. Other types of birds like blackbirds and jays easily out-rank bluebirds, and even robins and cardinals dwarf the bluebird.

Putting mealworms in a separate bluebird mealworm feeder gives bluebirds a potential chance to feed without as much competition, although they’re certainly not the only birds that like mealworms. Woodpeckers, robins, and chickadees are among the variety of birds that will also make a meal of a feeder full of mealworms. 

If you don’t already have bluebirds in your yard, the other birds will likely have already cleared out your offerings by the time they find the feeder. There’s nothing wrong with feeding all these different birds, but just know that putting out mealworms isn’t going to automatically entice bluebirds to your yard.

Among the options for bluebird feeders, most limit the size of birds that can access the food inside.

Dome feeder

Dome feeders usually have a dish made of glass or plastic material because live mealworms can crawl out of feeders made of materials like wood, which has a rough texture that allows for better grip. 

The dome atop the feeder shades birds from the sun and keeps larger birds out.

Kingsyard Adjustable Platform Feeder

Kingsyard Adjustable Platform Wild Bird Feeder for Fruit, Seed or Mealworms, Dome Top Seed and Bluebird Feeder
  • ADJUSTABLE DESIGN & DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Smart design to adjust the height to control the size of visiting birds. The rust-proof...
  • THE SQUIRRELS WILL HATE IT: The special system in the top will keep spinning if squirrels sit on it, which helps to keep them...
  • FUNCTIONAL COMPARTMENTS: Built-in drainage holes keep seeds fresh. Fill your feeder with different types of seeds, to attract an...

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The polycarbonate dome on this feeder is adjustable, whether you want to narrow it down just enough to avoid feeding the squirrels or keep it tight and limit the size of hungry birds that can access it. Including the hanging hook, it is 12 inches tall but can be shortened to just a few inches.

Droll Yankees Adjustable Platform Feeder

Droll Yankees Seed Saver Platform Feeder, Birdseed, Fruit, Suet, or Mealworms, 10-Inch Dome
  • ADJUSTABLE: Protective dome is height adjustable to selectively screen out certain sizes of birds. Leave the cover open to invite...
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Dome cover is 10-inches in diameter. Platform tray holds up to 1 pound of bird feed
  • OUTDOOR USE: UV-Stabilized clear polycarbonate feeder tray and cover won't yellow from sunlight exposure and are dependably...

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another adjustable dome feeder, the Droll Yankee dome feeder tray, comes in a couple of different sizes, including 7, 10, 13, and 15 inches, based on what model you buy.

Jail feeder

Bluebirds that nest in cavities are used to small spaces and won’t be deterred by a narrow opening in a feeder. That’s especially important when it comes to jail feeders. 

These feeders put a dish inside a cage that requires smaller birds to sneak in to access the food. That’s easy for bluebirds but not so easy for larger birds like cardinals. Some other smaller birds like chickadees and wrens won’t have a problem either, but it will at least narrow down the list of what birds can access the food.

Erva Bluebird Feeder

Erva Bluebird Feeder - Includes Meal Worm Cup - Designed to Keep Squirrels Out - Made in The USA
  • VERSATILE FEEDER – Mealworm dish can also be used to feed smaller fruit-eating birds such as Orioles, Robins, Cardinals, and...
  • INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING – Bluebird feeder, quick release thumb nut for quick disassembly, and removable blue glass mealworm dish
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE – If you’re not satisfied with Erva’s 5 Piece Feeder Pole Set, you can return it within 30 days...

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This Erva bluebird feeder is a classic jail feeder model. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but it is a sturdy feeder, coming in at 14 x 14 x 9 inches, that gets the job done. 

Amish Toy Box Block House Feeder

AmishToyBox.com Bluebird Feeder - Poly-Wood - Hanging Block House Blue Bird Feeder for Mealworms (Gray and Blue)
  • Bluebird Mealworm Feeder Made by Amish Folks in Shipshewana, Indiana.
  • Eco-Friendly Design; The Poly Lumber is Made from Recycled Milk Jugs.
  • Features "Block House" Design for Detering Starlings.

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

According to the company, the block house design is intended to deter starlings. It’s a bit smaller than the Erva jail style, at 11.5 x 11.5 x 5 inches. The poly-wood sides are made from recycled milk jugs.

Birdhouse-style feeders

Birdhouse-style feeders are a classic look. For bluebirds, these feeders come in a couple of different styles.

Kettle Moraine Recycled Bluebird Feeder

Kettle Moraine Recycled Bluebird Mealworm Feeder Hang or Mount (Blue, Blue)
  • Made from Recycled Milk Jugs
  • Guaranteed to Never Crack, Split, Peal or Fade
  • Heavy Acrylic Viewing Windows

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

With its windowed sides and small holes, this feeder limits which birds can access the food inside. It’s good that bluebirds aren’t claustrophobic because it’s a tight squeeze. The windowed sides also allow for a good view of what’s in the feeder. This feeder is also made from recycled materials and comes in all-blue or with cedar sides. 

Amish Toy Box Bluebird Feeder

Sale
AmishToyBox.com Bluebird Feeder - Poly Lumber - Hanging Blue Bird Feeder for Mealworms (Blue and Weathered Wood)
  • Poly Lumber Bluebird Feeder Made by Amish Folks in Shipshewana, Indiana.
  • Eco-Friendly; The Poly Lumber is Made from Recycled Milk Jugs.
  • Features Removable Sides and Top for Ease of Filling and Cleaning.

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Here’s another eco-friendly feeder. The poly-wood used in this feeder, which also comes with blue, gray, or cedar-colored sides, is made from plastic jugs, like two of the options listed earlier. 

It’s a similar design to the Kettle Moraine model at a similar price point. It’s only slightly larger with slightly larger entry holes. Unlike the Kettle Moraine option, it does have a small perch for birds on the end caps, so that’s a potential bonus if you want to see birds perched outside the feeder.

JCs Wildlife Hanging Bird Feeder

JCs Wildlife Poly Lumber and Acrylic Hanging Bird Feeder with Roof - Holds 3 Cups of Bird Seed - Great for Your Backyard Bird Feeding Garden (Blue)
  • BIRDS LOVE THIS FEEDER: accommodates Cardinals, Bluebirds, Downy Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Finches, Goldfinches, Nuthatches,...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL: Made using recycled poly lumber
  • ATTRACTIVE DESIGN: Bright, vibrant color attracts many birds, allowing for up to 3 cups of seed to be placed inside. Feeder...

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you don’t mind feeding birds a bit larger in size, the JCs Wildlife feeder is a bit more accommodating, with recycled lumber sides and a plastic bottom that doesn’t go all the way to the roof. 

This allows access to birds like cardinals that small windows would otherwise leave out. It’s also more on the budget-friendly side than some of the other options on the list, although the tradeoff could be more money spent on mealworms over time as larger birds consistently eat them up.

Suet feeders

Erva Squirrel-Proof Double Oversize Suet Cake Feeder

Erva Squirrel Proof Double Oversize Suet Cake Feeder-Copper Tint - Made in The USA
  • Caged bird feeder with copper colored, metal top and base
  • Center holds 2 standard seed or suet cakes
  • 1.5" square grid allows small to medium birds to enter the reservoir

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Erva Squirrel-Proof Double Oversize Suet Cake Feeder is almost identical to the Erva bluebird feeder listed above, but this one is intended for suet cakes. The holes keep squirrels out, but they also limit some larger songbirds. Regardless, bluebirds won’t have any trouble.

More Birds Squirrel-X Double Suet Feeder

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Similar to the Erva model listed above, this feeder is significantly cheaper and holds two suet cakes. 

More Birds Suet Cage Bird Feeder

Sale
More Birds Suet Cage Bird Feeder, Fruit and Suet Feeder, Single Cake Capacity ,Black
  • SUET CAKE FEEDER: Holds a single suet cake to provide food and energy to birds during cold months when food is scarce
  • CLINGING BIRDS: Cage grid designed with clinging birds in mind – feed woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, and more
  • NOT JUST FOR SUET: Great for small seed cakes, nesting materials in spring, and oranges in summer

Last update on 2022-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you don’t want to break the bank, you can feed birds suet with a classic suet feeder like this one coming in at $5 or less.

It won’t reserve the suet for smaller birds like bluebirds, but suet is relatively inexpensive and is an enjoyable way to watch a multitude of birds throughout the winter months.

One quick tip on suet: suet, made from animal fat, can quickly go bad in hot summer months. If you find yours is going bad quickly, save it for colder weather. You can also try to buy no-melt suet or make it from a recipe found online.

Where should I hang a bluebird feeder?

Put your bluebird feeder where birds are often seen looking for food. If you know there’s a bluebird nest nearby, put the feeder near it. To give the nesting birds a little space, don’t put it immediately next to the nest. Place your feeder 75 to 100 feet away.

Also, don’t put the feeder too close to other feeders. As mentioned before, bluebirds are rather small birds that can be out-competed easily by larger birds.

If you don’t already have bluebirds in your yard regularly, but you’re hoping to attract them, place the feeder out in the open where bluebirds can easily see it. There’s no guarantee that you’ll attract a backyard full of bluebirds, but it’ll give you the best possible chance.

How else can I create a suitable bluebird habitat?

Since bluebirds generally feed on insects, designing a backyard full of life is the first step to creating a habitat suitable for bluebirds. 

Start by planting native plants and trees that provide birds, insects, and other animals with places to nest and live. Bluebirds like open areas with trees scattered around for nesting and cover. 

They nest in cavities, so you’ll need some trees that can provide nesting opportunities. Bluebirds don’t create their own nest cavities, instead relying on decaying trees or holes made by other animals, such as woodpeckers. That dead tree in your backyard may not be the prettiest, but if a bluebird is using it, make sure you don’t remove it if you want to keep the bluebirds around.

Bluebirds may also use nest boxes built by humans. Plenty of do-it-yourself kits or pre-built bluebird boxes can be purchased online.

Providing a fresh water source is another overlooked component of a bird’s habitat. A birdbath with fresh, cool water in the summer and unfrozen water in the winter is always appreciated. Make sure to wash your bird baths regularly to avoid bacteria buildup and reduce disease spread.

The National Audubon Society recommends washing your bird bath with a solution that’s nine parts water and one part vinegar. To clean bird feeders, use a solution that’s nine parts water to one part bleach, then rinse thoroughly and allow your feeder plenty of time to dry.

Once you’ve done everything you can do, it can be a waiting game, but hopefully, you’ll eventually see bluebirds frequenting your garden.

Good luck and happy birding!

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Jacob Swanson

Jacob Swanson is a writer and wildlife photographer born and raised in Wisconsin and currently based in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his work has appeared in over a dozen different web and print outlets. In his free time, he’s on a personal quest to visit every U.S. national park and see as many wildlife species as possible. His favorite birds are whooping and sandhill cranes.