Unpave the Way for Orioles
When Your Habitat is Complete, Put Your Site on the Map!

Three Ways YOU Can Help Orioles

  1. Set Out Oriole Feeders
  2. Set Out Nesting Materials
  3. Plant Oriole-Friendly Trees
  4. Make Your Yard Safe for All

Set Out Oriole Feeders
Migrating takes a LOT of energy! When birds flap their wings for many hours during the night, they are burning enormous numbers of calories, and need food as soon as they come down in the morning. Orioles are particular about the habitat where they nest, but not about where they come down after a long night's flight. They recognize the color orange from afar, probably because both their own plumage and many of their favorite foods are orange, and if one is passing over and spies the bright orange color of an oriole feeder, it usually drops down to investigate, often even in a big city or schoolyard!

Prepare to Track Spring Oriole Migration
Plan ahead so you'll to have your nectar feeder ready and waiting when the orioles return from their tropical winter vacation. Imagine the fun when an oriole lands outside your window after its long trip from Central America--and you report its arrival.

Where to find an oriole feeder
Check your local bird feeding store, feed store, or science museum. Or contact Perky Pet directly:

Perky-Pet Products Co.
2201 S. Wabash Street
Denver, CO 80231
Phone: (303)751-9000
Fax: (303) 368-9616

Lunar Landing

The feeder this oriole is perched on looks a little like Nasa's lunar lander from the Apollo mission. It is specially recommended by Julie Brophy at Journey North, guaranteed (well, almost) to attact any oriole visiting your neighborhood within hours.

"Would You Please Pass The Jelly?"
Orioles LOVE grape jelly. You can attract them to your school or backyard with this tasty treat, and report your first oriole next spring! In fact, hanging a grape jelly feeder like the brand pictured above, is a pretty sure way of attracting orioles to your feeding station. Once they find it, the orioles can't seem to get enough. Even into the fall when you might spot their young at the feeders too!

Julie's Recipe

  • Use one part water to one part grape jelly.
  • Mix the grape jelly with the water so that it becomes the consistancy of thick juice. Use a blender.
  • Pour it into the feeder (use a funnel if you can)
  • Store the remainder in the refrigerator.

IMPORTANT: To keep the orioles healthy and coming back for more, be sure to keep your feeder clean. Rinse it with hot water every few days and then refill your feeder with fresh juice. This is especially important in warm weather, when it can spoil quickly.

Other Oriole Treats

  • Orioles are also attracted to grape jelly right out of the jar, which you can put out in a shallow dish. (As an extra protein treat, sprinkle meal worms on top too!)

  • Orioles also enjoy oranges. Simply cut them in half and set outside.

Bee Careful!
The nectar feeder we recommend has "bee guards". If you put out plain grape jelly or orange halves, please be careful about bees that may be attracted. If bees are coming to your feeder, try rubbing a small amount of vegetable oil near the small feeder holes to discourage the bees.

Set Out Nesting Materials
If you live in an area where orioles nest, you can both encourage and help them to choose your yard by supplying them with nesting materials. All these materials can help orioles build a safe, comfortable nest:

  • Dog or cat fur (pull clumps off the brush after brushing your pet!)
  • Natural fiber yarn in neutral, natural colors, cut in lengths no longer than 6 inches
  • Binder twine or dull-colored string cut in lengths no longer than 6 inches
  • Milkweed silk (start saving it this summer to use next spring!)

You can set an assortment of nesting materials in a cage-type suet feeder, or hang it from tree-bark in a place where you can watch birds investigate! Make sure you don't set out ANY strings or yarns longer than 6 inches--parents or babies can get tangled or even strangled. And NEVER set out dryer lint for birds! It feels soft and wonderful to us and to birds, but doesn't hold up after a rain. Try this experiment: Take a clump of dryer lint. Get it thoroughly wet and let it dry. Does it crumble or hold together? Does it still feel soft?

Plant Oriole-Friendly Trees
Orioles build their pouch-like nests at the tip of a long, slender branch, where it's hard for crows, jays, squirrels, or raccoons to get a toe-hold. Their favorite nesting tree is the American Elm, but this tree has had LOTS of problems because of Dutch Elm Disease.

  • Contact local nurseries to see if you can get one of the new, disease-resistant varieties of American Elm to grow on your schoolgrounds or in teacher or student yards. Find out what what other trees are "Oriole-friendly". This won't help orioles this year, or next, but it's one way we can ensure a long future for this beautiful bird.

  • "What Tree is That?"
    These inexpensive tree identification booklets (around $3.00) from the National Arbor Day Foundation provide the opportunity to identify many of the popular trees in the United States. These fully-illustrated booklets use observation and classification skills to guide the user from general leaf characteristics to a specific tree's name. You can order the eastern/central version (72 pages) or the western version (84 pages)

Make Your Yard Safe for All
Everyone can create healthy habitats by making kinder choices. To find out how to use more native plants, less lawn, and less pesticides, download Audubon's Guide, which features "10 Commandments for a Healthy Yard." :

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