How to Attract Orioles to Your Yard: 11 Effective Ways

How to Attract Orioles to Your Yard: 11 Effective Ways

If you want to know how to attract orioles for 2023, you’re in the right place. Orioles have a beautiful song and a signature black and yellow or black and orange color, which makes them a popular sight in the backyard. The only problem is that the habits of orioles can make them hard to spot. Because of that, we want to offer some tricks and tips for attracting these beautiful birds into your yard.

Here’s How to Attract Orioles to Your Yard:

1. Make Sure You’re Attracting Orioles as Early as Possible

When you want to attract orioles into your yard, having the right timing is crucial. Once orioles are migrating into your area, they’re going to be tired, cold, and even hungry from the migration process. That means once they find a reliable place to grab a meal, they are likely to stick with it over the long term.

If you want to be sure the birds head to your property, you should have out bird feeders one to two weeks before they migrate into your area. It’s going to be hard to get the birds to head to your feeders if they don’t see them immediately once they get to your location.

Not sure when orioles make it to your area? If you are in one of the southern states, they can start to show up as early as March or April. Those who are a little further north likely won’t see orioles until May. If you want to get these birds in your view, make sure you set out feeders early and the orioles could keep coming for years to come.

2. Add a Touch of Orange to Your Landscape

You might already know that hummingbirds can be attracted to your yard by bright, vibrant colors. The same is true when you’re looking for how to attract orioles to your yard. The most important color to focus on to bring in this species of bird is orange. While hummingbirds go crazy over red, orange is what will bring orioles into your yard.

There are several ways to add orange to your backyard to attract orioles into your domain. Take a look at your yard and find a few trees, bushes, or branches that could use a pop of color. Tie on strips of fabric, orange ribbons, or surveyors’ tape to attract orioles.

Beyond the greenery, you can also add these items to high railings and other locations up in the air. Since orioles are a fan of high canopies, a flash of orange in the sky can be enough to bring in the birds, so that they can focus in on your feeders.

3. Create Homemade Nectar for the Orioles

Hummingbirds might have a higher metabolism, but orioles are also huge fans of enjoying nectar or sugar water for a quick burst of energy. The quick and easy way to provide that is by purchasing a commercial solution of nectar, but there are other options that you can make and keep on hand without spending any money.

Oriole drinking nectar

The good news is that if you already feed hummingbirds, the recipe for their sugar water is precisely the same. For either type of bird, you can mix together one part sugar and four parts hot water. Make sure you stir until all of the sugar is dissolved before letting the mixture cool down to room temperature.

That’s all it takes. There is no need for honey or additional sweeteners. While hot water tends to work well to dissolve sugar, boiled water is the best option. The mixture will last a week as long as you store it in your refrigerator. Keep in mind that the nectar should be fresh and adding food coloring isn’t a good idea.

4. Hang Up Feeders Made Specifically for Orioles

You might think that attracting orioles is as simple as using a hummingbird feeder, but that isn’t the case. While orioles can try to drink from the same feeders as hummingbirds, they have larger tongues and can’t hover like the smaller birds. This can lead to the feeders knocking them down.

Feeder for orioles

This is precisely why having feeders made for orioles in your yard is so important. When choosing a feeder for these birds, make sure that it has enough drinking ports and substantial enough perches for the birds you want to grace your lawn.

Since orioles tend to enjoy bright colors, particularly orange, many feeders made for them will come in a bright orange or yellow color. In many cases, these feeders will also have bonus features. For instance, some of them include areas where you can stow away fresh fruit or other delicacies for the birds to enjoy.

5. Bring in the Birds Using Grape Jelly

When orioles are migrating, it takes up tons of energy. By offering invigorating food such as grape jelly, you have a better chance of attracting orioles to your yard. In contrast to many other birds that enjoy fruit, orioles prefer dark-colored, ripe fruit. Adding a dab of grape jelly to their feeding area is just the thing to bring them to your home.

Golden Oreole diet

The best way to provide grape jelly is in a thin dish or cup, but be sure to keep the container clean. As with any food that contains sugar, the jelly can quickly mold or bring in unwanted visitors. A plastic lid or a small tin may also work but will need to be fastened onto something or the birds can knock it down to the ground. The jelly will last even longer if you mix it one to one with water using a blender. The result should be the same consistency as a thick juice.

6. Find Ways to Encourage Bird Nesting in Your Yard

Orioles coming to nest are going to look for the tallest deciduous trees to construct their beautiful, innovative nests. Unlike some birds, orioles aren’t interested in birdhouses. However, they may create their nests in your lawn if you have trees like elms, poplars, willows, oaks, or cottonwoods.

Orioles' nest

Some of the materials these cunning birds use to build their homes include strips of bark, strings, plant fibers, vines, and grass. The result is a hanging nest with tightly woven parts. When attracting orioles to nest near your home, consider providing items like hair, pet fur, and small pieces of yarn for the birds to add to their hanging nests.

While nests tend to be found high up in trees, the orioles that come back the next year will often re-use the items found in them. That means there’s no reason to worry about the tearing down the old nests since they can be used over and over again when orioles come into town.

7. Switch Up What Food You Offer When Summer Comes

Fruit and jelly are fantastic sources of energy for orioles migrating in the fall and spring. However, during the summer months, the birds will appreciate having foods that are rich in protein. When it’s this time of year, orioles tend to focus on a diet of insects which offers extra protein, so the birds can breed and then raise baby birds.

When orioles start to nest, make sure the birds get the nutrition they need by adding a sprinkle of mealworms on top of your jelly containers. After the birds stop needing jelly, you can keep them coming back to your yard by putting dried mealworms in a separate tray or cup.

Orioles are also known to spend time at suet feeders, in particular, if the suet is broken down into tiny chunks that are easy for the birds to eat. However, suet may or may not be appropriate in your location if the temperatures tend to get quite high.

8. Ensure the Orioles Have a Source of Moving Water

No matter what kind of birds you have in your backyard, all of them require water to prevent dehydration and stay healthy. This applies to orioles, as well. However, birds are especially interested in shifting water in shallow dishes. Having a birdbath (or several) in the yard is a great way to entice orioles to come down into your yard to explore and find your feeders or even build a nest.

Since orioles are attracted to the sound and sight of moving water, a birdbath that has a mister, a dripper, or a bubbler will be even more useful. However, you want to be sure the basins are only about two to three inches deep, so the birds can properly drink and bathe themselves.

As with the feeders you use, the birdbaths should be kept uncontaminated and debris should be removed regularly for the wellbeing of the orioles.

9. Place the Oriole Bird Feeders in the Best Locations

Since orioles like to hang out in the treetops, this is an important thing to be aware of when hanging up their feeders. Try to put yourself into the mind of a bird and put the feeders in open areas where they can easily be seen when the birds are flying in the air or sitting atop high perches.

Orioles' feeder

Orioles are known for being bashful birds, so they may not come into busy locations until they’re accustomed to the area. This is why their feeders must be separated from any human activity or other animal feeding areas. It will make the birds feel safe and sound and let them enjoy a meal in peace.

The most important thing to remember is that you are going to need to be patient. In some cases, it can take seasons to get started with attracting Baltimore orioles into your yard. It might take even longer than that to ensure the birds keep coming year after year.

10. Plant the Best Flowers and Plants to Attract Orioles

Native flowers and plants provide the right nutrition to bring orioles into your yard and gardens. While having nectar feeders is an excellent way to supplement the birds’ diets, they also want to enjoy the real thing. Having a yard full of flowers that produce nectar or come in bright orange colors will increase your chance of attracting orioles.

Oriole on sunflower

If you’re just starting to attract these gorgeous birds, daisies are an excellent place to start. Other plants that work well will depend on your location and what grows the best there. A quick online search will give you an idea of what other plants and flowers you might want to include.

Beyond offering nectar to birds, plants that are traditional to your area also bring in many kinds of insects that birds enjoy munching on. Some of the other items you can add to the yard to boost the possibility of bringing in orioles include gazing balls, garden flags, painted benches, and other items in orange.

11. Avoid Allowing Insects Into the Bird Feeders

While orioles are a fan of sugary snacks, that also means that insects are also going to be interested in the bird feeders. Bees, ants, and other pests enjoy getting into the nectar provided for the birds. The same applies to any fruit you put out as treats for the orioles.

Insects in orioles' feeder

If you’re using orange halves or undiluted jelly, these have an immense amount of sugar. That means these items are the most likely to bring out bugs, so the food has to be changed out regularly. This is the only way to avoid adulteration and keep the feeders clean and healthy for the orioles.

You can add a straightforward ant moat to help keep insects from clogging up the holes in the feeder. If the feeder doesn’t include a guard for bees and ants, putting a tiny amount of vegetable oil near the holes can prevent insects from getting inside.

Putting Everything Together

Orioles are colorful, fun birds that are a great addition to your yard and there are numerous ways to attract them there. The more of these tips you put into place, the better the chance that you can experience these birds flitting around your property. So get started and you might be the lucky house that gets to enjoy these birds after their spring migration!

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