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Video Transcript: Attracting Orioles

(Description: Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop appears top right corner and is static throughout the video. John sits at a table in his backyard with oriole feeders and food.

[John:] Hi! I’m John Schaust, Chief Naturalist for Wild Birds Unlimited and welcome to my backyard! It’s about time for, if you don’t already have them you’re gonna have them fairly soon, and that’s orioles. They will be returning any day now and what a cool thing that’s happened in the world of backyard bird feeding. Not many folks were lucky enough years ago to catch an oriole at their feeders or to be able to attract them on a regular basis, but we’ve learned how to do that and we’ve got lots of different things we want to show you to kind of help you do that too.

(Description: John shows and demonstrates feeder and filling it.)

[John:] So, one of the things that you have to understand about orioles is that they winter in basically, Central America and while they’re in Central America they are feeding on nectar from flowering plants and trees and they’re feeding on fruit. So when they migrate back from Central America and come back to our backyards, they are still in the habit of feeding on things that are sweet: nectar and then fruit and that type of thing. So if you have it waiting for them, and that is the key, you need to have it out before they get back, the foods that you’re going to try to attract them with, you might have a chance of attracting them to your yard for the entire summer.

So what are those foods? Well, let’s take a look: oranges are definitely number one on the Hit Parade. Very simple to use. You just want to halve an orange, to cut it in half, and we’ll show you what to do with it in a second. Now, it took me years to get orioles to come to my backyard and I used to litter my backyard on every fence post, that I could, I put an orange on every tree branch and it took a long time. This is one of the things you need to be aware of: it may not happen the first year. It may not happen in the second year. But, if you keep at it and keep trying, you’ve got a good shot, eventually, of getting these birds to spend the summer with you. So oranges are a good start. Grape jelly is another great start. They love grape jelly and this is…it actually, it seems like as the summer progresses, this becomes their their food of choice…their bird food of choice at your feeders. So, grape jelly is definitely something you want to put on the menu. And of course, nectar, and the nectar is exactly the same ratio that we make for our hummingbirds. Four parts water to one part sugar.

So, we have our WBU Oriole Feeder here and it’s made to do all three of these foods on one feeder. So I’m just gonna demonstrate here, real quick: I’m going to fill it up with some nectar and I’m going to put the top back on. You’ll notice how simple this is. It’s really just a top, bottom, and the hanger, and that’s all there is. So it’s very easy to keep clean and very easy to fill. Alright. Take some grape jelly and you want to fill that up on each of these little spots, so, just put a little grape jelly in these little divots that are here. There we go. I’m just going to do a couple, for time’s sake, but you get the idea.

So you want to put the little grape jelly out there for them and they’ll find that and use that and then the coolest thing about this hanger is, it’s actually kind of pointed on the end so you literally can just poke it right through an orange and put it back into the base of the feeder, spin it on down and now you have an oriole feeder that has nectar, grape jelly, and oranges. With this feeder, your odds of attracting orioles to spend the summer with you, have gone up quite a bit. So, give it a try, and again, thanks for joining me in my backyard.

(Description: Oriole is shown on a branch. Wild Birds Unlimited logo appears and fades.)