My New Bird Feeder For Orioles

I have more bird feeders than I can actually use at any one time. That’s OK, though, because I like to change feeders and types of food as the seasons progress. For instance, I stop feeding peanuts once the warm weather is established.

Male Baltimore Oriole at our old feeder. Help yourself to some grape jelly!
Male Baltimore Oriole at our old feeder. Help yourself to some grape jelly!

These changes keep the birds on their toes (or would if they had toes) – they never know what I’ll do next.

But I want to  state something  here for the record. It is not true, as certain persons claim, that I buy everything the nice salespeople at the Wild Birds Unlimited store try to sell me.

I admit that the Wild Birds Unlimited store is one of my favorite places. Their prices are not necessarily the cheapest, but the quality and variety of their goods are excellent. More important, the staff are real bird people, so to speak. Meaning they will talk knowledgeably and enthusiastically about birds for as long as you care to pursue a conversation.

Oriole feeder.
My new Oriole feeder. Took this with my phone when the light was kind of bad.

Now, I added the new feeder because I wanted to make sure I would be able to accommodate all the Baltimore Orioles that might arrive with the spring migration. Yes, I already have one Oriole feeder, but what if some of the Orioles had to go away hungry? The new feeder has two glass bowls that can each hold a larger quantity of grape jelly (the favorite food of Orioles) than my current feeder (or, alternatively, orange halves).

What’s more, the salesperson pointed out the value of the plastic orange roof (sold separately). Not only does this roof prevent watery grape jelly, it also serves as an orange beacon that flying Orioles can see from above. Apparently the color orange makes Orioles think of grape jelly.

But you can put more than just orange halves or grape jelly in this new feeder. It can also hold freeze dried mealworms. The salesperson says that Orioles love freeze dried mealworms, as do warblers and other migrating songbirds.

Freeze dried mealworms
A bag of freeze dried mealworms.

I did hesitate when I saw the price of the freeze dried mealworms. You would think that demand for such a product would be pretty limited and so the price would be quite modest. This is not the case, however. We live in a strange world.

Anyhow, I threw caution to the winds and bought one bag of mealworms, at least as an experiment for the spring migration. Judy says it’s OK as long as I never take them out in her presence.

The salesperson suggested mixing the mealworms into the jelly for a carb-  and protein-rich snack no Oriole can resist. This, however, I refuse to do. There are limits, after all.

In the meantime, Judy is talking to a lawyer about obtaining a restraining order that would keep me at least 100′ from any Wild Birds Unlimited store.

Have you made any purchases for your garden recently that an ill-informed person might regard as not absolutely essential?

34 Comments on “My New Bird Feeder For Orioles

  1. ahem..ahem..I sweet talk my hubby and make very helpless, sad (you know the cute-types which usually melts a man’s heart) faces 😉 to get everything I want. Did you try that with your wife 🙂 — something which melts a woman’s heart :-)? Give it a try.

    do you have any suggestion for online store where I can get good stuff at a reasonable price?

    • Sorry no, I’ve never bought bird feeding supplies online. I’ll think about what might be effective for heart melting.

  2. When we were in Virginia I used to keep live mealworms in the fridge. creeped my husband out a bit when scanning the ‘pickin’s’ for a midnight snack.
    Wish we had a Wild Birds Unlimited close by….love that jelly feeder.
    Wonder what birds I could attract with grape jelly?

    • I’ve seen the rose breasted grosbeak also indulging in the grape jelly. Woodpeckers and house finches are also supposed to like it.

      • I recently read that catbirds also like grape jelly.

  3. That orange roof makes it look like a birdie cocktail bar! LOL! I’m afraid I spend far too much on plants…

  4. You may have a little bit of an addiction there my friend. It’s sad really that your wife is seeking assistance from the court system. If you find yourslef in a large group of friends and family saying things like, ” We’re all here because we care for you,” you’ll know that you’ve perhaps spent a little too much on bird supplies.

  5. We don’t see a lot of orioles here but every once in a while I’ll get a glimpse of one which is always such a treat. Taking the time to stop and see the birds in your garden is such a critical step in gardening and realizing it more than just planting for beauty, it’s also important to plant for wildlife.

  6. I don’t think I have ever seen a bird feeder like that before. Hopefully those birds will appreciate how much time and money you have spent on them, and reward you with some great shots. Have a great weekend.

  7. She must have a weakness, too. Exploit it if you must. My husband’s is bass fishing and since he just bought a bass boat, I’m in the clear for several years.
    Love the orioles! I had them one spring and since then, I have put out oranges and jelly. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen them since.

  8. I have never ever heard of feeding birds grape jelly but it sure did put a smile on my face. You’re right that Wild Birds Unlimited is a fantastic store, nice to see a place that actually knows what they’re selling and has knowledgable staff.

  9. I’ve made several half hearted attempts to attract orioles but I never see any and think I need a feeder as cool as yours. Plus, I can never get a straight answer on when to expect them in our area. Very frustrating! I would say many of my garden purchases could be viewed by a non-gardener as nonessential, but, seriously, so what? The line between need and want is very blurry at the Casa and that’s how I like it. 🙂

    • Here the orioles arrive right around May 1. I’d suggest putting out jelly around April 15 where you are and keep it cleaned and stocked until mid-May.

  10. Jason, I would feel sorry that you are having problems with your wife …
    Garden, birds, flowers, trees are real friends.
    We bloggers always offer advice.
    I send many greetings.
    Lucia

  11. It took me a while to realise what that orange thing was….I guess my bird feeders are on a seriously more modest scale! I haven’t gone to town when it comes to bird feeding but I can spend quite a lot on plants and everything that goes with them. Fortunately I live alone and have no one to answer to, if I make a stupid or extravagant purchase it is entirely up to myself 🙂

  12. We have a shop just like “Wild Birds Unlimited” near us (it’s called “The Urban Nature Store”) and I’m a complete sucker for all of the wonderful things they sell. After rereading your post I think I’ll have to plan another trip… I’m pretty sure I can’t live without an oriole feeder…

  13. We have to be careful here with our bird feeders because of the black bears. In fact, some townships around us have banned the use of backyard feeders except in the winter for that very reason. I feed the birds on my front porch, where, so far anyway, a bear has never ventured! A possum did find it this winter, though. : (

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