Friday, March 13, 2009

Attracting Orioles to Backyard Bird Feeders

Orioles beautiful garden songbirds and a favorite of backyard bird watchers. Their colors are a spirited blend of brilliant orange, yellow and black feathers. Orioles favor woodland habitats, orchards, and urban gardens which have shade trees. These birds range throughout the Eastern US and Canada, while most migrate during winter to Central and South America.

There are nine species of orioles in the United States. The most frequent is the Baltimore Oriole, which hybridizes extensively with the Bullock's Oriole and is found generally in the eastern United States. Another regularly seen species is the Bullock's Oriole which occurs primarily in the western United States. Both species ranges do convergence.

The food source of orioles are flower nectar, several types of fruit and berries, a few nuts, along with insects. Attracting orioles to a backyard ordinarily entails putting up a special an oriole feeder in the yard or garden. Numerous people have attracted orioles by providing Fruit and Jelly Bird Feeders and using fruits such as orange slices, grapes, cherries, assorted berries, nuts and jellies. Fruit for bird food may be provided on a tray or platform feeder, or chopped up in a bowl or dish, while jelly - grape flavor is the favorite - can be placed in a small bowl or a dish. For jelly, try grape, apple jelly or orange marmalade.

Meal worms are another food these birds will eat. Meal worms are an insects, not actually a worm., but instead they are larval form of a beetle. Meal worms are great food for orioles along with other birds such as bluebirds. Small straight edged bowls at least 2-3 inches tall may be used to place the meal worms in so that they will not crawl out. A container may be set on a platform feeder which also contains the fruit. Additionally, Orioles like sugar water and nectar solution left out. Such a mix resembles flower nectar. Pre-made or Concentrate Nectar Mixes are available formulated just for orioles. Nectar bird feeders for orioles are like to hummingbird feeders except with larger drinking ports and perches, and could be positioned close to a tray feeder. An oriole nectar feeder typically is orange in color. Orange appears to be better choice for attracting orioles.

Don't forget a bird bath! All creatures need water, and orioles are highly attracted to bird baths.