8 Tips to Attract Orioles to Your Yard


There's a good reason why I just hastily stuck clementine halves on branches in our yard!
It's been pretty cold this week, and I wasn't planning to get my oriole feeders cleaned up and ready to hang until next week...but yesterday, I swear I saw an oriole air-bounce across the yard and land in a tree.
It was WAY too orange to be a robin. So, it may be a tad early, but I'd rather reload now than miss the opportunity.
Photo via Audubon.org
Orioles are not uncommon in our area, but I'd never seen one until a few years ago when a neighbor kindly clued me in to her "Oriole Secrets." Here's a speedy summary:
- Orioles seek out a "friendly area" to nest and are then fairly loyal to it. If you're not ready when they're scoping, they seem to move on for the rest of the season (at least that's true where we live). But keep trying! Even if the orioles pass you by like a mean girl, the other birds are sure to appreciate your snacks.
- They're attracted to the color orange, so select your feeders accordingly. Hang them in very visible areas so the birds can see them from overhead.
- Orioles appreciate the same nectar mix as hummingbirds...four parts water to one part sugar (and skip the food coloring, say the experts).
- Hang a feeder near a birdbath. They like to dine and shine.
- Put out yarn and string they can use in their nests...I use an old suet cage for easy access (a fellow Hometalker posted about this a week or so ago, but I couldn't find the link).
- In addition to nectar, they're very fond of orange slices, clementines, and grape or fruit jelly. They'll eat apples and melon, too!
- No feeder? Cut a few oranges in half and stick them on branches in your yard.
- Place your feeder high enough to protect your Oriole visitors from predators or pets (I'm looking at YOU, Kelly!)
There are so many easy DIY feeders to make if you're feeling crafty. Several are posted here on Hometalk...just search for Oriole Feeders.
This is one I made a few years ago (it's a little worn from yard use):
It features the bottom of a water bottle for the nectar cup. The orange holder is just twisted wire, drilled and glued into the wood.
There are directions for this and links to a couple other very simple feeders on the full post that's linked below.
But whether it's fancy or homespun, it's pretty easy to get your " orange on" and watch these orioles decorate your yard!

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EmDirr @ DustandDoghair.com

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 7 questions
  • Mary Howell
    on Apr 11, 2016

    How about issues with wasps and the nectar?

    • EmDirr @ DustandDoghair.com
      on Apr 12, 2016

      Great answer, Dorlis. We do have wasps...they seem to show up and make their huge hives in our maple trees (regardless of the oranges or nectar). We watch those trees very closely ... had a few scary close calls while lawn mowing when we first started cutting our grass here.

  • Charlann Kable
    on Apr 11, 2016

    Can you use dryer lint to put out for nesting even if you use a fabric softener?

  • Sharon Gidcumb
    on Apr 11, 2016

    I live on a wooded lot in northwest Indiana. I have many variety of birds in my yard. I have bird houses & feed them all. I have never seen an Oriole. Do we have them here or am I just not doing the right thing?

    • EmDirr @ DustandDoghair.com
      on Apr 12, 2016

      Per Learner.org: The summer range is in Canada and central U.S, and also east of the Mississippi River. Are any of your feeders orange in color? That might help, too.

Join the conversation

2 of 21 comments
  • Debbie Williams
    on Apr 12, 2016

    i love these birds i see them on our country rd but they never seem to come into my yard i think i'm going to try some of these tips thanks for sharing

  • Marilyn Corbett
    on May 10, 2016

    I'm in western Pennsylvania, and our orioles are Baltimore Orioles. My bird guide shows that Arizona should have a Bullock's Oriole. Google the bird.

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