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May 07, 2013


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The Zen Birdfeeder

David, there are orioles in your area but it is probably a matter of habitat that keeps them from visiting your 7th story feeder.
I would say keep your eyes peeled for orioles and if you see them, then start offering oranges, jelly, etc. in late April.

David McKim Reich

Do orioles cross the Potomac into Virginia? I have not seen one around Falls Church. I live on the 7th floor with a nice balcony. I have attracted finches, woodpeckers, sparrows, cardinals, cowbirds, catbirds, nuthatches, chickadees, titmice and hummingbirds.

I want the orioles. Should I give up, or will they venture south and west over the river?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Barbara, the answers to both your questions are hard to pin down, and depend on the availability of natural food supplies.
An early spring feeder filled with oranges, jelly, and live mealworms may attract an oriole before their natural foods are widely available. And they may initially hit the feeder hard at the end of a migratory journey. Then they may taper off or stop completely.
But some individual orioles may like the convenience and use the feeder longer into the season, even after insects and fruits are widely available, or when they're keeping up with food for a nestful of young.
Good luck and enjoy the orioles!

Barbara Upham

how often do baltimore orioles come to a feeding station to feed? and for how long? we set out oriole nectar, grape jelly, orange and apple halves. we see them at the feeding station periodically for about two weeks and then nothing. we would like to know how often they feed so we can be sure to see more of them since it is only for a short time.

The Zen Birdfeeder

David, they are deciduous treetop birds, but hey, you never know! Give it a try and let us know.

David Linsley

Will they feed from a feeder hanging from my 2nd story gutters with no trees just bushes ?

Teresa Jones

I have a hummingbird feeder but only one hummingbird feeds because she stands guard & chases other hummingbirds away. I had 2 feeders out before but they never went to the other feeder just the one & she still chases the others away. Is there a remedy for this? We have lots of hummingbirds.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Nancy, orioles are more often seen in the treetops of deciduous trees. So I'd move the feeder to the farthest out branches of a deciduous tree so it can be more easily found. Be patient, sometimes it take awhile for them to find the feeder. Good luck!


I have my Oriole feeder oin a pine tree. Should it be in the open? We have a butterfly bush and have had the moth that looks like a hummingbird. I actually filmed his moth flying around the butterfly bush.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Steve, that is very common with offering food for the orioles. Once natural food sources become more available, they will often choose those instead and not use feeders anymore. Keep what you have out there freshened and maybe try offering live mealworms.

Steve Syring

For the past couple of years, I've been able to draw the Orioles in with nectar and oranges. I have not been successful in keeping them around for very long. Any suggestions?

Thank you,


The Zen Birdfeeder

Robin - if you can put that hanger near the end of a tree limb that won't bear the weight of a raccoon, that might do the trick.

Robin R Robinson

Nice post, very helpful. Now, if only I could keep the racoons from being attracted to the same food items!

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  • Our eyes and ears should be open and alert to the natural wonders that surround us every day. Take time to look out our windows to see the birds that visit us and open our windows to hear them. Walk around whatever space we have to enjoy the birds in nature. Every day, work on improving our powers of observation.


  • Nature happens. We cannot MAKE natural things happen (or NOT happen). We can create habitats to encourage natural things to happen around us, but there are no guarantees.


  • Birdfeeding comes with responsibilities to the birds and the environment we share with them. If you are unwilling to accept these responsibilities, you shouldn’t feed the birds. We also have a responsibility to share these natural wonders with the next generation.