How to Attract Orioles to Your Garden
By Jane Lake
If you are lucky enough to have willows, poplars, elms or cherry trees in your yard, you already have a favorable environment to attract orioles. If you don’t, however, there are still several simple ways to attract orioles to your garden.
What Orioles Like to Eat
Orioles feed on insects and caterpillars, but also like nuts, suet, and fruit such as oranges, cherries, apples, pears or bananas.
In addition to offering the oriole nectar from the recipe below, consider offering chopped fruit on a feeding platform, or nailing half an orange to a tree (simply hammer in the nail, then force the nail through the skin of the orange). Replace fruit daily to ensure the food is fresh and doesn’t go moldy.
You could also leave various nesting materials nearby, to encourage the orioles to nest near your home. Good choices include cat or dog fur, natural fibre dryer lint, or short pieces (3-4 inches) of natural fiber twine and yarn.
There’s no need to buy expensive Oriole nectar – make your own, from this simple recipe:
Oriole Food Recipe
You Will Need:
1 part sugar/6 parts water
Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/3 cup of sugar to 2 cups of water.
Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.
Although commercial oriole food is usually orange colored, do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener to your homemade recipe.
You will need to clean your feeder every few days, with hot water and a mild (10%) bleach solution to inhibit mold. Rinse thoroughly before refilling with your homemade nectar.