How to Attract Orioles to Your Yard?

oriole feeder

Orioles are beautiful birds that many people enjoy watching when the fly around their property or perch in the trees along their yard. If you have not noticed any orioles in your yard, but they do arrive in your community, there are ways to attract them to your yard.

Remember that you will need a little persistence to go along with your efforts at getting orioles to make your yard a place they want to be. You will need a somewhat large yard with a few trees and a birdbath. But what follows are five solid tips that will help you attract more orioles to your property.

1. Patience

Probably the best piece of advice when it comes to attracting orioles to your yard is to show some patience. Do not expect to put the right food out one day and the orioles come flocking to your yard immediately. As with most living things, orioles are creatures of habit. They tend to go to the same places time and time again unless there is a reason to change.

This means that it may take a few days, a week, a few weeks, or even longer before the orioles start appearing in your yard. Depending on when you start, it may even be too late to attract them before they leave. So, the best thing to do is be patient and at some point your efforts will pay off.

2. Elm Trees

Do you have American elm trees in your yard? If not, you may want to plant one or two as they are the favorite nesting trees of the orioles. If you still have Dutch Elms, they are also the best. But after being decimated by Dutch Elm disease, there are relatively few of them left.

The American Elms have long, thin branches where orioles can create their basket-shaped nests. Although seemingly exposed, it is actually difficult for predators such as crows to get a foothold. If you do not have any American Elms or do not feel like planting them in you yard, there are a few other trees where the orioles will nest which includes the following;

  • Maples
  • Cottonwoods
  • Pecans

These trees also have the long, slender limbs that are perfect for orioles to nest. They also look beautiful in your yard as well. You only need one or two to do the job.

3. Oriole Nectar Feeders

You’ll often find hummingbirds around orioles and for good reason. Both types of birds enjoy nectar. You can purchase a feeder specifically designed for orioles or you can simply attach perches to hummingbird feeders. While hummingbirds can remain stationary in flight and do not need a perch to feed, orioles are not able to remain still. So, they will need something to land on.

Keep in mind that hummingbirds and orioles tend to get along. Although particularly aggressive hummingbirds may not always be so kind. If that is the case, you may have to purchase separate feeders to keep them apart.

4. Oranges

The first tip is that you should set out oranges cut into halves or quarters in your yard. Orioles love oranges and the color will allow them to spot the oranges from quite a distance. You will need to set them out in the open so they can be seen by passing orioles. But not too far from the trees so they have a place to retreat in case of a nearby cat or other predators.

Another tip is to put the oranges on secure lids or bowls that are properly anchored to the ground. Otherwise they will tip over due to the frenzy of orioles eating the oranges. Also, to keep the ants from consuming the oranges, put some water in the dish. You’ll have to change out the orange halves or quarters daily because they will mold, but this is a great way to attract them to your yard.

You can also have feeders that are orange in color which also attracts the orioles. Because they primarily use their sight to find the food they desire, painting the feeder orange is a good way to attract the birds.

5. Mealworms

By the time summer is in full swing, you should switch from sweet treats to something a bit heftier for the orioles to eat. Mealworms are a goo solution as they no longer need the quick energy that sugar provides. Instead, as they nest and start to have their young, a greater amount of protein is in order and this is where mealworms fit the bill.

There is no exact timing as to when to make the switch. But if you have orioles through the summer it should be when they start building nests. That is arguably the best indication that their diet is switching. You may see it also when the more sugar-based treats are not being consumed at the same rate. 

Do Orioles Migrate?

Yes, orioles do migrate much like many species of birds. During the winter, orioles tend to fly south to Mexico and Central America. This means that you will start to see them in the spring when the weather gets warmer.

In southern states, you typically see orioles around April. Although they may arrive a little sooner or later depending on the temperatures. By May, orioles can be found in much of the US. This means if you want to get started on putting out the feeders, it is best to begin at least a month ahead of time. So, for the southern US you’ll probably want to get out the feeder by the end of February. For the northern areas, by the middle of March.

There are maps available that will let you know the expected arrival dates of the orioles but remember that you want to beat those dates by several weeks to maximize your chances of success. Plus, orioles are not affected by the cold, but by the lack of food. If you can keep feeders out for the winter months, many orioles will stay.

Difference Between Oriole and a Baltimore Oriole?

This assumes that the Baltimore oriole in question is a bird and not a baseball team. There are over 30 different types of orioles found in the Western Hemisphere with the Baltimore oriole arguably being the most famous. They winter in Central America and in Florida before moving north in the spring.

The Baltimore oriole is noted for its reddish chest and body and black wings with white tips. They are certainly striking and one of the larger varieties of orioles that migrate to North America in the warmer months. Other orioles tend to be smaller and have different color schemes, such as the Hooded and the Scott’s versions which are mostly found in the southwest US. 

In addition, orioles of the Western Hemisphere should not be confused with orioles found in Europe as they are of a different species.

What is the best time of the Year to attract Orioles?

The best time of the year is when the orioles are migrating from Mexico and Central America to North America in the spring. That is when they are hungry and need to feed on their journey north. You’ll want to be prepared by having the right feeders and food in place when they arrive.

You may catch some traveling south in the fall, but for the most part the spring is the best time of the year.

Where to place Oriole Feeder in your Yard?

Arguably the best place for the feeder should be under a strong limb. That way, the oriole can feed while not having to fend off predators such as crows that may otherwise swoop down on them.

Is it okay to feed Orioles?

You can feed orioles as long as it is the right food. The same is true for any bird that you want to bring to your yard. Just like you feed hummingbirds with special feeders, so too can you attract orioles by putting out the right types of foods that they enjoy.

You will need to be consistent in providing the food when the orioles are in your community. This means putting out the food just before you expect them to arrive. And then keeping a close eye to see when they get to your yard.

Do Orioles like grape jelly?

Yes, grape jelly is one of the ways that you can attract more orioles to your yard. You’ll want to use organic grape jelly if possible or at least a brand that is mostly free of ingredients outside what is considered natural.

There are few birds that bring as much joy when seeing them fly around or perch in nearby trees like orioles. Their stunning colors and friendly nature make them a sight to see. If you have the right trees, a supply of water, and provide the right food at the right time of the year, you can have orioles in your yard as well.

Here are some Orioles enjoying a DIY feeder!


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About Us

We are avid bird-watchers who recently retired, allowing us more time to travel the world. Fortunately, we have managed to visit numerous countries around Europe, Asia, and America. Watching and photographing birds has been a passion for many years and we are making the most of the extra time on our hands!


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