DIY Oriole Bird Feeder Project - Oranges For Birds

With all the stay-at-home time on our hands, I've begun to work through some of my to-do list in terms of projects.  The first up was a bird feeder.  I've seen Oriole bird feeders at the store, but have never pulled the trigger.  They're expensive and I'm not sure that I've ever seen an oriole in our yard. (Could be...because...um...we don't have an oriole feeder?!?)

But, I recently came across these plans for what is billed as an "Easy DIY Oriole Feeder" and I had all the lumber on hand.  (Just a small piece of 2x4, a cedar fence board and a dowel.)

What is different about oriole feeders?  They don't use seed.  You have to use specific foods to attract Orioles.  This story on BirdWatchingHQ lays out what you need: use oranges and/or jelly.  And you'll have the best luck during their migration in the Spring. 

According to this map, we're in the Baltimore Oriole territory and this Oriole page on JourneyNorth.org lays out when we should be seeing our orange and black feathered friends. 

From Journey North:

AprilThe peak of oriole migration, for Bullock's and Baltimore orioles both, occurs from mid-April through mid-May.
  • The first Baltimore orioles are reaching Texas, and by month's end, a few are reaching the central states.
May
  • Baltimore orioles reach the northern states and provinces. May is the peak month for nest-building.

I also found this Illinois-specific guide to Orioles that confirms the April/May arrival

Knowing that...the time is right for a feeder, right?  I brought the kids down to my shop and we got to work.  An hour or so later we had a feeder:


It holds four orange halves and has four long perches for the birds to stand while enjoying their sweet treat.  

We put this feeder out a few days ago and just this morning, I went out to look and there's been some action on this orange already.  Not an oriole, I'm guessing...but someone has found the orange.  I'll be keeping an eye on it as the migration continues.  


We're less than a week into Spring and I'm already able to cross one of the items off my list:  #10 - "Build something".  Done and done.

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