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Orioles and Oriole Feeders

Bird watching can become a little addictive, especially when you have such unique birds coming to your house for a visit.  Here in Canada, we have 3 species of Orioles.  Only 2 of them live in Ontario – Baltimore Oriole and Orchard Oriole.  The two birds have similar markings and are a little smaller than a Robin – about 9” from bill to tail tip.  And we all know the males are always the more brightly coloured of the pair.

Female Orchard and female Baltimore orioles look quite a lot alike. They share a warm-hued chest, head and tail feathers, but the female Baltimore has touches of tangerine orange while the orchard’s color runs closer to greenish yellow. The male Baltimore oriole has a bright pop of orange, the orchard oriole sports a darker chestnut color. And the similarities continue with their diets which is very close to that of a Hummingbird.

Orioles are omnivores that eat both plants and animals.  It is somewhat similar to a Hummingbirds diet.  Orioles will migrate long distances to ensure they have a rich source of these foods all year round. The volume of plants or animals will vary depending on the season.

At about 90% of their diet, insects would be their main food source.  Some of their favourite insects are Grasshoppers, Moths, Beetles, Bees, Crickets, Spiders, Wasps and Caterpillars.

Orioles also have an incredible sweet tooth.  They love to indulge in berries, fruits, and nectar. These sweet treats provide the calories needed to sustain their busy schedules.  Besides a rich source of energy, berries, fruits and nectar also provide important nutrients, fiber and water necessary for a healthy bird.  Orioles enjoy many parts of the plant including the fruit, blossoms, and berries, but they go crazy over oranges and grape jelly.  Some of the other fruits they enjoy would be bananas, crab apples, grapes, cherries, mulberries, blackberries and figs.

Baltimore Orioles have a special feeding technique known as ‘gaping’ they use when eating fruit. First, this involves them piercing the fruit with their mouth closed. They then open their mouth to create a gap in the fruit. This allows them to use their tongues to brush and scoop the flesh out of the fruit.

Of course, nectar is another sweet food source for Orioles.  Unlike the Hummingbird that can hover over a flower to gather nectar, Orioles must rely on the sturdy flower stems or a nearby perch.  Providing an Oriole feeder will ensure these nectar loving birds don’t go hungry.  The Oriole feeders are coloured orange, which is the favourite colour of Orioles and does a great job of attracting them.  They also have wider perches, making it possible for the Orioles to rest and feed comfortably.  With the Oriole feeder, both Hummingbirds and Orioles can feast on the birdseeds, nectar mix, jellies you prepare, yet the ports are small enough to keep out the bees. The most bees can do is to stick their heads into the port, but they won’t be able to fit in at all.

Orchard Orioles may be a little harder to attract than their Baltimore cousins as they like to stay at the top of the trees, however, they can be enticed with a brightly coloured Oriole feeder full of nectar.  Here are some options for you:

Striped Glass Oriole Feeder

Add a little art deco in your life in the form of a vibrant orange Oriole feeder. This feeder will have your orange feathered friends flocking to your outdoor space looking for refreshments. Easy to clean with water and vinegar mixture. Rinse and air dry. 28 oz. capacity #88039

Dots Oriole Feeder

Attractive hand painted thick glass reservoir with wide feeding stations to accommodate the Orioles bill. Sturdy perches allow the Oriole a resting spot. Dome on top provides protection. Disassembles for easy care – should be cleaned regularly. 17 oz. capacity #88040

Hive Oriole Feeder

Art glass shaped in what resembles a Bee Hive with brightly coloured orange rings that is sure to entice the Orioles down from the trees. Metal cable hanger. Weather resistant finish. Clean feeder regularly with a hot water and vinegar mixture. Rinse and air dry. 24 oz. capacity #88042

Glass & Copper Oriole Feeder

Art glass – infused with colour. Vibrant orange colour to attract orioles. Copper plated base comes apart for easy cleaning. Metal cable hanger. Weather resistant finish. Clean feeder regularly with a hot water and vinegar mixture. Rinse and air dry. 32 oz capacity #88044

Lantern Oriole Feeder

Vibrant orange color to attract orioles to this lantern style feeder. Has a weather resistant finish for longer lasting feeding. Base comes apart for easy cleaning and filling. Includes 4 separate feedings ports that orioles can all use simultaneously. 28 oz capacity #88047

3-in-1 Saucer Oriole Feeder

Watch orioles stay and feed in your backyard. This saucer feeder offers the three snacks preferred by orioles: oranges, grape jelly and nectar. Features built-in perches with easy access to every snack. Skewer for orange halves or fill with jelly -with nectar in the basin. Includes metal hanger with ant moat in the center. Made from vibrant orange plastic. #88048

Circles Glass Oriole Feeder

This bestselling oriole feeder holds a sizable amount of nectar to satisfy your orioles. The hand-painted circles add a colorful accent to the glass reservoir while offering easy viewing of the nectar levels. Decorative feeder with orange plastic top and bottom and three flower feeding stations. 17 oz. Capacity #88050

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