The Bottom Line
Bluebirds bring color and joy to a birder’s backyard, and the Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder from Duncraft can help backyard birders invite these attractive thrushes to their buffet. Constructed of durable recycled plastic with a simple, elegant design, this feeder can offer many types of decadent treats to visiting bluebirds, but is also versatile enough to be used for feeding a wide range of birds.
- Simple, attractive design is suitable for any backyard or garden.
- Durable materials and construction will withstand years of frequent use.
- Ridged dish adds a bit of sparkle to catch birds’ eyes and more easily attract new birds to the feeder.
- Relatively small capacity but refilling is very easy and convenient.
- Name: Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder (Item #4265)
- Manufacturer / Retailer: Duncraft
- Feeder Type: Dish
- Height: 8" (20.3 cm), not including hanging wire
- Width: 9" (22.9 cm) x 5.3" (13.5 cm)
- Capacity: Approximately 1/2 cup (4 ounces) depending on food offered
- Construction: Recycled plastic, coated wire hanger
- Price: $39.95 (via Duncraft; prices from other retailers may vary)
Review - Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder
Bluebirds can be temperamental about backyard feeding and often prefer an isolated feeding station away from busy seed feeders, but small dishes with their preferred mealworms can be lost in backyard landscaping. Now, birders can provide a larger, more effective feeding station with the Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder from Duncraft.
The feeder’s open design includes 3.5” (8.9 cm) diameter entrances on each end, plus fully open sides to allow easy access to the central dish where the fresh or dried mealworms, suet shreds or nuggets or other treats can be offered. Birds can easily perch in the end openings while waiting their turn, but the base of the feeder is wide enough to accommodate more than one mealworm-loving guest. The clear plastic roof shelters the feeding dish without obstructing the view of the feeding birds, and the coated hanging wire is attached on opposite sides of the roof to minimize twisting no matter how busy the feeder gets.
The half-cup (4 ounce) central dish is inset into the feeder’s base but is easily removed (no screws) for fast refilling and convenient cleaning, though it is heavy enough not to be knocked about by feeding birds. The ridged exterior of the dish will sparkle in the sunlight and will help catch a bird’s eye with reflections, possibly even making the worms seem more active and enticing birds to the feeder, but it is still clear so the food level is easy to see with just a glance. There is no drainage in the feeder base or in the cup, but neither is essential with this design – the roof helps keep the dish and surrounding area dry in case of rain or snow, and drainage holes could provide an unwanted escape route for live mealworms.
The body of the feeder is constructed of durable, .5” (1.3 cm) thick recycled plastic with a rich blue color that won’t fade or stain over time. The thickness of the frame and the rounded edges help deter squirrel damage or any scratches from bird talons, and this feeder will easily last for years. The smoothness of the plastic also helps keep live mealworms in place in the dish.
While this feeder, with its deep blue color and relatively small feeding dish, is designed to offer mealworms to bluebirds, other birds will readily visit for mealworms as well, including wrens, chickadees, grosbeaks and buntings. The feeder can also be used for other foods and other birds, such as grape or apple jelly for feeding orioles or whole or shelled peanuts for feeding jays, nuthatches or titmice. It could also be used for more expensive seeds, such as hulled sunflower seeds, in order to offer premium foods in small amounts and save money on birdseed.
A hook is necessary to hang the Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder, but the overall height of the feeder is small enough that it can be hung in many areas. Hanging the feeder near perches can make the feeding station more attractive to bluebirds, but it should be placed away from hectic seed feeders so local bluebirds do not feel threatened or crowded. The coated wire hanger is durable, will resist rust and is secured to the feeder’s roof with two sturdy screws.
Attracting bluebirds requires patience and diligence, but they can be more easily attracted with the right food offered in the right way. The Eco Fly-Thru Mealworm Feeder can help backyard birders provide a bluebird-friendly feeding station ideal for these highly desirable thrushes, and because it is a sturdy and well-designed feeder, birders will enjoy the company of the bluebirds that discover it for many years.