Not many birds catch your eye the way Oriole’s do. Their vibrant orange and black colors are almost surreal. To go along with their striking appearance, Orioles have a beautiful song. Which they like to sing in the early morning.For those of us that are lucky enough to have them, we certainly want to keep them. And for those who don’t have them, I’m always asked how to attract them. There are many things you can do to attract them, but first you should understand what they want and when they are here in our area.
What they want
Orioles prefer tall tree lines near water. Although, they have adapted well to yards, parks and avenues of trees along streets. They like to nest in tall trees but they will travel quite a distance for food.
What they like to eat & drink
For food their favorite is grape jelly and mealworms, followed by oranges (cut in half) and nectar. Feeding live mealworms helps keep them coming to the feeder during nesting.
When they are here
In the Midwest, Orioles arrive the end of April. A good strategy for attracting them is to have your feeders out no later than the third week of April. They are here until mid September, but the most activity at the feeder is in the month of May. When they start nesting in June feeder activity declines. Feeding live mealworms will help you keep them coming in June. After the babies fledge, there is an increase at the feeder, usually in July. Although it is never as good as the month of May.