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TUCKED into a mixed commercial and residential neighborhood near downtown Pharr, Texas, Allen Williams’ backyard demonstrates that you can attract orioles just about anywhere. Williams, who also sees hooded orioles on his property, believes the profuse native vegetation that now blankets the once nearly bare yard is the secret to his success. Almost anywhere you live in the lower 48 states, at least one species of oriole spends part of the year near you.
Planting fruiting trees or shrubs is a good way to get started attracting these colorful birds.
The eastern serviceberry, also called shadbush or juneberry, is a common understory tree in many hardwood forests that adapts well to gardens and yards. Wild cherries, including a widespread shrub called chokecherry, are recommended by Nancy Coverstone, an associate professor at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service. You can also appeal to an oriole’s sweet tooth by putting out commercial sugar-water feeders. This nice little oriole bird jelly feeder is sure to attract many orioles as well as other birds. Orioles are also big insect eaters, will eat live mealworms and will even eat spiny or hairy caterpillars. I recently conducted a class for the Master Gardener chapter that I'm a member of on making bird-feeders utilizing natural sources, recycled materials and re-purposed items. But - this class was all about creating bird-feeders and I came up with a few originals and I experimented with several I found on the Internet.
My DIY feeder basically consists of a chick feeder (found at any farm supply store - $3.00) and a small jelly jar. His lush garden is a long way from the nearest woods, but on a sweltering, early-spring morning, a female Baltimore oriole is splashing in his birdbath.

Both migrating orioles and residents seek out his habitat, which has more than 20 species of trees, 40 types of shrubs and a thick layer of ground cover. But by planning ahead and adding the right plants to their yards—plus a few other enticements—most homeowners should be able to convince some of the birds to stop by once warmer weather sets in. For instance, says Nancy Flood, an oriole expert and lecturer at The University College of the Cariboo in British Colombia, “Serviceberries attract orioles.” About a dozen of these small trees or shrubs are native to the United States and southern Canada. Western, or Saskatoon, serviceberry, native from the Great Plains to the Pacific Coast, is another good option; so are downy and Utah serviceberries. She also suggests pin cherry, primarily a northern tree, and black cherry, which grows from Nova Scotia west to Minnesota and south to Florida, and in parts of New Mexico and Arizona.
Make the sweet syrup by boiling a half cup of white sugar in 2 cups of water until it dissolves. Every spring, Coverstone cuts twine into four-inch lengths, unravels them and drapes the fibers across the bushes not far from her deck. The bright orange color makes you think of orioles and makes it easy to spot in your backyard. I've never actually attracted Orioles to my property (until this year!), but I came up with a DIY Oriole feeder that utilizes a chick feeder as the base. But the bigger birds cannot hover, so they need plants that will support their weight while they drink. Over the next few weeks, she watches female orioles fly off with the strands in their bills.
This spring I caught a glimpse of the Baltimore Orioles passing through my Southwest Missouri property and I had an opportunity to give the feeder a test. Special oriole feeders filled with sugar water supplement the flower nectar that Baltimore Orioles gather.

Once spraying is stopped, the number of beneficial insects (those that prey on other bugs) will also build up in your garden. Many orioles can perch on the perimeter of this flashy bird feeder for orioles and other birds. You can even put out small amounts of jelly to attract these nectar-eaters (just don't put out so much that it risks soiling their feathers).
Two other species, Altamira and Audubon’s, sometimes cross the border from Mexico into the Rio Grande Valley. Elsewhere, select flowering vines, including native honeysuckles, cross vines or trumpet creepers. In fact, bringing your backyard habitat into balance with the natural world may be the best thing you can do to welcome orioles as neighbors. Planting bright fruits and nectar-bearing flowers, such as raspberries, crab apples, and trumpet vines, can attract Baltimore Orioles year after year. In the past, Baltimore orioles raised their young mostly in elms, but today they may also use the more common maples, sycamores and willows. Scott’s orioles, another Southwest species, frequently use the fibers of yucca and agave, as well as dogbane stems, to build their nests.

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