Create sweet treats for nectar-loving birds

Attract hummingbirds and orioles with nectars, jellies and fruits.

 Striking orange and black orioles and jeweled hummingbirds are colorful additions to any backyard bird display. Cater to their sweet-tooth and they can become a regular addition to yours. Try these tips:

To attract orioles:

  • Cut oranges in half. Place them on platform feeders, railings, a spiked feeder or set them in a dish feeder.
  • Spoon jelly into a dish or saucer, or into special ports in an oriole feeder. Grape jelly is a particular favorite with some.
  • Place mealworms in a dish feeder. They tend to switch to an insect diet soon after returning from winter migration.
  • Fill orange colored oriole feeders with sugar water.

To attract hummingbirds:

  • Plant a variety of trumpet-shaped flowers and bold-colored blooms.
  • Red-colored concentrates and mixes contain safe colorings, but don’t add food coloring to hummingbird nectar. it can be harmful.
  • Hang feeders in a shady spot, about 4 feet from the ground, out of the reach of predators.
  • Space a few feeders around the yard. Hummingbirds can be territorial.
  • Keep nectar fresh. Change it every 4-5 days. Every 2-3 days in hot weather.
  • Clean the feeder at least once a month. Use a cleaner made for hummingbird feeders, or a solution of 1 part bleach with 9 parts water. Rinse well.
  • Concentrated or powdered nectar dissolves easily in water right in the feeder. Look for a variety that prevents lumping.
  • If you make your own nectar, use pure white cane sugar only. Dissolve 1 part sugar in 4 parts boiling water. Refrigerate up to two weeks. Don’t add food coloring, honey, brown sugar, unrefined sugar or synthetic sugar. They can harm hummingbirds.
  • Choose a feeder with an ant cup or moat on the top of the feeder. Ants are reluctant to cross the water to get to the nectar.