Amongst the most striking songbirds to admire and support in your backyard is the Oriole.
There are nine species of Oriole in North America, most sporting orange, yellow and black plumage, and a melodious call. The Baltimore Oriole is the most common species in the East, and the Bullocks Oriole is the most common in the West.
While Orioles typically feed for insects and fruit in trees and shrubs, creating an Oriole feeder in your backyard is simple! Below are a few Oriole feeder ideas, to attract these beautiful birds to your backyard. Orioles migrate outside the US in the winter, returning in the spring to mate and nest. Early spring, March to April, is a great time of year to put out your Oriole bird feeders, to catch the eye of these magnificent songbirds, as well as late fall, as they begin their migration.
- Fruit feeder: Orioles love oranges!
As perching birds, they will feed most accessibly from a feeder or branch on which they can perch. For the simplest feeder style, cut a fresh orange in half. Use a skewer or knife to pierce a hole through the center, and hang the orange half on a perching feeder, in a suet cage feeder securing mounted to a tree or feeder post, or simply through a narrow tree branch for the easiest assembly!
- Orioles have a sweet tooth!
In addition to fresh oranges, they will be readily attracted to a jelly feeder. Fill any shallow container, such as a glass dish or saucer, with grape jelly, and mount it to a feeder or secure it to a deck railing. Be sure to wash the feeder frequently.
Orioles also enjoy mealworms. To provide a full smorgasbord, supplement the sweet dessert with a shallow cup of protein-rich mealworms!
- Like hummingbirds, Orioles drink nectar.
A 6 parts water to 1-part sugar solution in a nectar feeder will be sure to attract these beautiful songbirds. Boil the water and stir in the sugar. Allow it to cool before filling the feeder. Only use table sugar, and never any colored dye. Replace the nectar every few days and thoroughly clean the feeder weekly to prevent disease.
Where to Place Your Oriole Bird Feeder
Regarding placement, avoid direct sun. Consider a shady spot, as the sun will cause the fruit and jelly to spoil quickly. Place the feeders in the open, where they will be easily seen and accessed. Orioles can be aggressive in their territories, especially during breeding season. As a rule of thumb, place at least 10’ away from other feeders. Avoid proximity to windows, to prevent potential collisions. Consider also providing a water source. Orioles love running water. A bubbling birdbath adjacent to an Oriole bird feeder will surely bring the songbirds to your backyard!