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Orioles are brilliantly colored birds that range from the nearly metallic rust and black of the Orchard Oriole to the glorious citrus orange and black of the Baltimore Oriole. Other orioles like the Scott’s and the Audubon’s are bright lemon-yellow and black. Their plumage is breath-taking and their clear, flute-like whistles and songs are frequent and beautiful.
Orioles are migratory birds. Depending on where you live, various kinds of orioles will pass through your area or stay to breed. For example, the iconic Baltimore Oriole breeds in most of the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Eastern United States. To see what type of orioles nest in your area, visit Audubon.org.
Even if orioles do not breed in your area, you can be an important waystation for the bright birds as they migrate. Migration requires a large expenditure of energy so orioles are eager to find rich new food sources. Late spring/early summer is the time to keep your feeder full and enjoy many orioles feeding at once. Once orioles know your feeder is a good place to find food, they will return year after year.
Orioles do not eat seed. Their diet consists of nectar, fruit and insects. They will drink nectar and sugar water, much like hummingbirds, but need a feeder with wider openings and sturdier perches than that of a hummingbird feeder. Oriole feeders are available with the right sized openings and generous perches to accommodate their larger bodies.
Many oriole feeders have basins for jelly. Orioles are attracted to orange and dark-colored fruit – grape being a favorite. Make sure that you buy special oriole jelly or organic jelly which is free of dyes and artificial sugars. This ensures the healthiest food supply for your orioles. You can also supplement your offering with orange halves and other nutritious fruit such as peaches and apples. Some oriole feeders have a combination of fruit, jelly, and sugar water feeding stations.
Some excellent feeders for orioles are the Ultimate Oriole Bird Feeder, the Apple Anchor Oriole Feeder or the SkyCafe Oriole Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder. To view the rest of our selection of oriole feeders click here.
To learn more about attracting orioles to your yard, watch this video here.