In case you missed the news, Orioles don’t just love grape jelly; they adore it. In the old times, before we made this discovery, we tried to attract Orioles with oranges and those hummingbird feeder orange knockoffs. We had no success. A steady stream of years passed with only fleeting glimpses of Orioles moving past at high speed on their way to somewhere else. But then a customer came in the store and brought with her the Light. “The way to attract Orioles,” she said,”is to put grape jelly directly under their flight path.” She was right. We did it and you could practically hear the screech of the air brakes being slammed on when the Orioles sighted the grape jelly. You can see the grape jelly in the lower right of the photo. After trying many feeders we have discovered the favorite to be flat bottomed hummingbird look-alike basin feeders with four indentations to place the jelly. We also tried oranges — as you can see from the photo — and we put syrup in the basin. The Orioles could have cared less. They never touched either the orange or the syrup.
This week brought the babies to the feeder for the first time. The favored method of feeding them their grape jelly was for them to perch on a limb nearby squawking and flapping their wings while Dad got the jelly and brought it back to them. Yesterday one of the babies lit on the feeder but was deterred by a House Finch who was sampling the wares. Dad immediately showed up and chased the finch off. Today, both babies are feeding themselves and ignoring the finches.
Don’t waste time with other kinds of jelly. It is grape jelly they want and they accept no substitutes.
Here is a picture of the kind of feeder with which we’ve had the most success.
UPDATE – We’ve added a video about oriole feeders and grape jelly.