About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why Wild Birds Unlimited has the best mealworms

I’ve had customers come in and tell me that the mealworms they buy at Wild Birds Unlimited - East Lansing, Michigan are far better than anywhere else and I just read a study that may explain why the birds prefer our worms.

Birds choose food with highest nutrition. Such “nutritional wisdom” allows animals to make a diet choice that satisfies their physiological needs. For example, carotenoids are immuno-stimulants and also help with feather pigmentation. Therefore, colorful species will seek out food with high levels of carotenoids.

Mealworms left to feed just on the bran in their container don’t contain as many carotenoids as my mealworms which are fed a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every 2 weeks. Although there is no specific information on the how the birds can tell which mealworms are cartenoid-rich, it’s thought that the preference may be based on smell or taste.

You can help your birds out too by feeding your mealworms right before they are presented to the birds. Some good foods to feed mealworms are bananas, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, broccoli or cantaloupe.

Source: Specific Appetite for Carotenoids in a Colorful Bird - http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0010716

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1 comment:

Aviaries for birds said...

Great and very interesting post! I was really amazed that the birds have those "nutritional wisdom".