Oriole Attraction: How To Lure Colorful Baltimore Orioles Into Your Yard This Spring

Posted on: 15 January 2015

Baltimore Orioles are one of the most attractive species of birds. Their bright orange and black plumage makes them a favorite among birders. If you live in the eastern half of the United States, you may occasionally see the bright orange birds near open spaces such as parks, roads, or gardens.

By learning a few things about their behavior, you will have a better chance of attracting them to your yard. Providing a few basic items may result in hours of birdwatching bliss for you this spring.

Think orange

Baltimore Orioles are attracted to the color orange. You can purchase orange bird feeders specifically designed to attract the birds. These feeders are available at most department or garden stores. They are not expensive and you can often find discount bird feeders by shopping online.

Orioles like fresh oranges. You can place orange halves on a platform feeder or deck railing to attract the birds. Orioles seem to enjoy oranges when they first return from their winter migration spots. You can fill the orange halves with grape jelly for an additional treat they will love.

They also eat insects, other fruits, and flower nectar. Mealworms are another favorite food source, and the birds often feed the mealworms to their young while they are in the nest. You can purchase mealworms online or at a bird or pet store to place in a small container on a platform feeder.

Baltimore Orioles like sugar water solutions. You can purchase ready-to-mix solutions that are tinted orange to use in your oriole feeder. You can also make your own sugar water. Mix one cup of sugar with four cups of water and boil for a few minutes on the stove. Allow the solution to cool and fill your feeder. You should replace the sugar solution every two days, as it can become rancid in warm weather.

Perching preferences

Baltimore Orioles love feeders with perches. Nearly all feeders designed for orioles are manufactured to include perches. It's not uncommon to find orioles perched on your hummingbird feeders drinking the sweet sugar water. You can pound a few long nails around a platform-type wooden feeder to serve as perches.

Nesting necessities

Baltimore Orioles build their nests out of plant fibers. The nests are built in a hanging fashion and are suspended from a tree branch. They nest May through June. You can entice nest building by cutting pieces of string about a foot long and draping them over bushes in the yard or placing them in an empty suet basket outdoors.

Timing is everything

A common mistake birders make is not getting feeders set up soon enough to attract Baltimore Orioles. If you live in the Southern part of the country, you should have your feeders set up no later than April 1. If you reside in the Northern part of the country, you should aim to have them set up no later than April 15.

You will want to attract the birds as soon as they arrive in the spring. Missing their arrival means they will nest elsewhere, so be sure to mark your calendar to prepare for their arrival.

Provide what orioles love to eat. Know their nesting needs. Be prepared for their arrival. If you have everything in place, and the timing is right, you may just look out your window and see a beautiful splash of orange and black plumage arriving in your yard this spring.