For a number of years now, each spring I “make” an Oriole Feeder. It’s really nothing complicated – just a few simple supplies and about 15 minutes of your time. Both Baltimore Orioles and Orchard Orioles are fun to watch at our house.
What you’ll need:
-A clean empty plastic jug – I’ve always used these clear juice bottles, but I’m sure there are many types that would work. I would advise only using a food/beverage bottle. Bottles from something like cleaning products might have residue that could be harmful for the birds.
-Wooden kabob sticks
-Colorful yarn or string – I have no proof that this works, but I choose bright colors to help catch the attention of the birds.
-Grape or apricot jelly (inexpensive is fine! Plan to keep a big jar on hand)
-Utility knife and small snips
1. Determine where you’ll make the cuts on the bottle for access to the jelly that will sit in the bottom of the bottle. I chose to follow grooves that were already on the bottle for where to make my cuts. If your bottle doesn’t have grooves, go ahead and draw a line with a permanent marker to cut on. The opening should be about 4″x 5″ – but some of this does depend on the size of the bottle.
2. Make the cuts with a utility knife – you’ll have 2 rectangular openings on each side.
3. Make small slits in the bottle with the utility knife, where the kabob sticks will go through the bottle. There will be a total of 6 slits – 2 on the top for the orange, 2 below the orange for the birds to perch on, and 3. Below the jelly feeder opening.
4. Push the kabob sticks through these openings. Once all three sticks are in place use a snips to trim about 1″ off the sticks. Cut the sticks where the oranges will go at a sharp angle, so they are pointy and will pierce the orange peel easily.
5. Tie your yarn in a knot making a loop. The length will depend on how low you’d like the feeder to hang off its hook/hanging location.
6. Put the yarn over the opening and tighten the cap back over the yarn.
7. Cut orange in half and place on each side of the top kabob stick
8. Fill the bottom of the feeder with about 1 cup of jelly (adjust depending on the size of your bottle).
9. You are done! Now hang outside & wait for the birds. We had noticed Orioles flying around earlier in the day, so it took only about 15 minutes before they arrived at the feeder!