Is it time to put out the oriole feeders? Early spring (early April) is when you should be thinking about putting out our feeders.
We however don’t see the birds until the first part of May.
The very first year that I put out an oriole feeder, we had a bird in about 20 minutes. Now, I put out my oranges and grape jelly in my feeder, every year!
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When I Put my Feeder Out
Typically, if I don’t have it out too early, they are there in about 20 minutes. Baltimore Orioles usually arrive in Illinois in April or May. I track them with JourneyNorth.org. I looked today and they’re getting close so I’m going to head out to get supplies!
The best way to attract the birds is to have your feeders out early. Having a feeding area is your best chance to attract them.
Orioles love dark fruit but are attracted by the color orange. The feeder I use has two pegs for the orange halves and a cup for the grape jelly that they actually eat. The orange also attracts other birds including hummingbirds.
My Favorite Feeders
Why I Love Orioles
Orioles are beautiful birds Orioles are social birds so you will want to place your feeder somewhat close to where you hand out, outside.
Close to your deck or patio would be an ideal spot. They also like tall trees and river banks so we are ideally suited for them as they love a water source.
If you don’t live on water, you can offer them fresh water in a shallow bird bath or a water feature such as a garden fountain would also attract them.
That being said you can sure try to capture their attention. Once they find you, they continue to come back!
I feel like it’s the same birds or family because they always find us and they stick around. I have never seen any oriole nests but I’m going to pay a little bit more attention this year.
Here are a few pictures from last year when the Orioles were feasting at our feeder.
The males are the beautiful orange birds and the females have a little orange but they are mostly a grey color.
Not very attractive. I guess that is why I don’t have any pictures of a female oriole hanging out at the feeder; they weren’t picture-worthy.
One of my favorite things about these birds besides their bright colors is their sweet songlike chirping. I just love hearing them singing around the yard.
Orioles are long-migratory birds. Their wintering grounds are in Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, and the northern part of South America.
In early spring they migrate to North America to breed and that starts in Louisiana on up through the eastern and central parts of the United States and up into central Canada.
As they make their way back south for the winter, it’s important to leave your feeder up in the late summer until early fall.
You need to make sure that the Orioles have left your area before you take away the jelly feeder.
Species of Orioles
Believe it or not, there are more than 30 different species of orioles and I can say with 100% confidence that the birds I have are Baltimore orioles but they are the most common species of orioles. I would love for the other species to come and visit!
Other species that you might see are bullock’s orioles and orchard orioles.
This is also the time to get your hummingbird feeders out too.
You can buy hummingbird nectar but you can also make homemade nectar which is just sugar water. It is one part sugar and four parts water. Both work equally as well to attract these sweet little fluttering birds.
We Have All Kinds of Backyard Birds
Because we live on the water we are home to some amazing birds. We have herons, egrets, and sandhill cranes.
Cardinals, Blue Jays, Hummingbirds, Purple Martin, and Robins are often around. We occasionally see Swans and American White Pelicans.
Every once in a while we spot an owl. We have Bald Eagles who nest very close to our house so we have to be vigilant with our chickens. Of course, we are home to ducks and geese who just leave a big mess in our yard.
I’m sure there are a ton more species that inhabit our area but those are the ones that I know and see hanging around this small house!
I think that another reason that we have so many birds is my gardens are natural food sources for birds. I also have backyard feeders for all the birds.
Because we have chickens there are also suet feeders, mealworms, and chicken feed always around that our chickens are happy to share with the birds.
Our backyard is a bird watcher’s delight.
This year I put my oriole feeder out on Saturday (May 6th) and within an hour I had an oriole feeding.
I just love the orioles who visit me every year and I hope you can enjoy them too!
Peace and Love,
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