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Charlie Spencer

Jelly for orioles - any tips?

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I've read about it but never tried it.  Any hints or tips?  I assume it's best to start with a small amount, far enough from the house that any attracted insects won't be a nuisance.

Thanks.

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We have pretty good luck with the jelly here in Ontario. All we do is use a plastic lid, usually from a plastic peanut butter jar, as a dish and secure it to our fruit table with a small screw. We use grape jelly and it's often just the cheap no name stuff. It does attract ants, squirrels, chipmunks, etc., so don't set it up right at your front door. :classic_wink: The orioles are probably attracted as much by the orange halves we put out but they dive right into the jelly when they find it. The adults have fed the young ones jelly but the young are usually feeding themselves by the time we see them on the fruit table. Not only do the orioles here love the grape jelly but the cardinals, catbirds, and grosbeaks enjoy it too. I highly recommend a fruit table/station with any combination of grape jelly and assorted fruits, orange halves and watermelon slices work great for us. The orioles also like the sugar water mix we feed the hummers, we don't have an actual oriole feeder but they get their fill easy enough from the hummingbird feeders. I'm not sure if this link will work, but page 13 of my flickr photo stream has some pics of orioles at the fruit table from our old place. https://www.flickr.com/photos/27232701@N04/with/20420995539/

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I think my problem is that the orioles don't notice the jelly before it has to be thrown out and refilled.  Do I just have to expect to waste a lot of jelly at the beginning?

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Hmmm, I'm not sure ours has ever lasted long enough to have to throw it away. As I said, the squirrels and chipmunks like the jelly too and they do a good job to make sure there's no waste. :classic_laugh:  We only put out a big tablespoon or two at a time, which becomes a daily thing later in the season when the young start showing up. We don't see much of the orioles during nesting season though, they must be eating the same insects they're feeding their young and ignoring the fruit table.

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I'm in SC and am hoping to attract migrants.  I don't think there are any orioles that breed here.  I'm not sure if they'll be here long enough to find it. 

Nestings need a lot of protein, so parents of many species will increase their intake of insects while they have young.

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Well, so much for that.  Jelly for a month, replacing every five or six days.  Zippo, nada, zilch, nyet, nothing.  If anything, even squirrels, have touched it, I can't tell.  Guess I'll re-purpose the feeder for peanuts or mealworms.

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We tried a commercial jelly jar feeder (either Walmart or Tractor Supply. It came with a despenser into which one screwed an upside jar of jelly. Problem was the jelly got very runny (maybe due to heat/sun and then dripped onto ground. Also, like orange halves spiked onto long finishing nails driven into cut limb. Woodpeckers including red-bellied enjoyed the fruit was well.

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I'm new here and wanted to share my bird experiences from the last few weeks. 

Two weeks ago on a Saturday evening I put the hummingbird and oriole feeders.  I cut several oranges in half and put them out with grape jelly.  The next morning I woke up to the sound of a male Baltimore Oriole at the feeder.  Not long after some females arrived.  After about three days I stopped counting the number orioles I had in our backyard.  They eat up the grape jelly and oranges in a few days and so I make sure to keep the feeders full.  The last week I noticed purple finches and gray catbirds going to the oriole feeder as well.  The funniest thing I noticed are the orioles avoid the orange skins at all cost and eat around them.  

I hope to post some better images soon but they absolutely love this feeder. 

Baltimore Oriole 02 (6).JPG

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I do both jelly and oranges till the wasps notice the jelly, and then I just do oranges.  Nothing fancy feeder wise here, I took an older hummingbird feeder that I don't use, removed the top, and just plop a spoonful of jelly in the base, and then add orange halves.  They do enjoy the jelly, picking it over the oranges.

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