Attracking Orioles


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 their habitat and when they are here in our area.

Adult male Baltimore Oriole click to enlarge!Where they live
Orioles prefer open woodlands, river groves and tall shade trees with shrubby undergrowth. Although, they have adapted well to yards, parks and avenues of trees along streets. They like to nest in tall trees like poplars, willows and cottonwoods. They are also often found near lakes.

What they like to eat & drink
As with attracting any bird, start with a good fresh water supply. Audubon Oriole nectar feeder click to enlarge!Birdbaths are an inexpensive way to enjoy birds. To attract Orioles there are 4 foods that you can offer … nectar, jelly, oranges/fruit and mealworms. Orioles love nectar. They will often drink from hummingbird feeders, but an Oriole nectar feeder is a better design for them. The feeding ports and perches will be the appropriate size. Oriole nectar is typically a little less sweet than hummingbird nectar. Orioles also love grape jelly, and they will eat a bunch of it! The Audubon Oriole feeder, (Pictured left)Woodlink Going Green Oriole Feeder click to enlarge!feeds nectar and jelly. It also has a built in ant guard. Oranges are another favorite of Orioles (Woodpeckers love them too!). The Woodlink Going Green Oriole feeder (pictured right) works with both oranges and jelly. You can also use it to offer mealworms. There are a wide variety of fruit feeders availble, but I find a suet cage works well for orange halves.

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7 Responses to Attracking Orioles

  1. jim dietz says:

    I want to put out nesting material for the orioles and plan to use baling twine. Is it best to put it on the ground or is it better to put in in a wire suet basket and attach it to a tree. What is the best way to offer them the twine? Thanks

    • Administrator says:

      Jim, we like to use a suet cage to put the material in and hang it from a tree branch near the trunk.


  2. jim dietz says:

    What is the best way to give orioles nesting material. Should it be toosed on the ground or in a wire suet feeder? Any suggestions? Thanks

  3. Administrator says:

    A suet cage in a tree is a great way to offer it.


  4. Mary Menninger-Corder says:

    Is there a cetain time orioles migrate through Kansas or do they over winter?

    • Chuck says:

      They migrate to our area around the 1st of May, that is when we start putting out grape jelly and orange slices. There will be a lull in there activity around the middle of June as they start nesting and raising their young. Once the young are able to fly the adults bring them to the feeders and they start their migration back south in August.

  5. Chip says:

    We have had Orioles since we moved into our house in 2009. The first year I noticed this black and orange bird at the Hummingbird feeder, it was around Mother’s Day. That summer we had so many that our backyard looked like an aviary. We put up a chain from 2 poles and put out 4 jelly feeders. They would sit on the chain and wait their turn. After the babies are able to fly the parents will bring them to the jelly feeders and feed them jelly. It is so fun to watch them. The babies are so inpatient and chirp till they are fed. Then sometime in late August or early September they will be there during the day and then they are gone. They leave during the night and you won’t see them again till the next Spring. I always start listening for their song late April early May. It is so distinct and beautiful. Love these birds.

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