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Baltimore Orioles Have a Taste for Sugar

Baltimore oriole photo featuring words: I Heart Sweets

Baltimore orioles feed mainly on insects, but in the spring and fall these birds have a serious sweet tooth… or beak.

diagram showing how to make an orange slice feeder with a clothes hanger for Baltimore orioles

Orioles are often heard and not seen because they forage high in trees for flower nectar, fruit and insects. But you can bring them to your backyard by appealing to their love of sweets:

  • Oranges: Cut an orange in half and hang the slices from a tree.
  • Jelly: Place a small amount of jelly in a dish or specially designed feeder.
  • Sugar water: Use a specially designed feeder and make your own “nectar.”

The sugars from these feeders (and naturally occurring fruits and nectar) help the orioles build fat reserves for spring and fall migration. Make sure to change these feeder foods daily.

Support for Bird the Preserves was generously provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through Chicago Wilderness.