Updated at: 06-06-2023 - By: Jane Brody

Similarly to other insectivorous birds, orioles can be fed dried or live mealworms, though care must be taken due to their large size and broad wingspan.

Place dried mealworms on top of the nectar-filled feeder, or place live mealworms in a pot or dish and balance it on top of the feeder to feed Orioles in your yard. The oriole jelly pot is perfect for housing mealworms, but you may also use any other dish.

Do Orioles Eat Mealworms-2

Since most summertime visitors to a garden would likely want to feast on a bounty of mealworms, it’s crucial to provide this protein-rich food for less able feeder orioles.

You can attract orioles to your yard by distributing mealworms on any prominently displayed elevated surface, as these birds will search for insects among foliage in trees.

Even though orioles prefer jelly or nectar, they will eat dried or live mealworms from special bird feeders.

Placement on a tree branch or other natural foliage is ideal for feeding mealworms to orioles; however, only by placing the mealworms on top of a nectar-filled feeder outside will you be able to ensure that the mealworms are actually consumed.

If you’ve been feeding wild birds grape jelly in disposable cups or containers, try switching it out for mealworms to keep the birds from wriggling out of their food.

Safe locations in the garden for bowls or dishes include the deck railing or a tray attached to a bird feeder pole.

There is no scarcity of bird species that enjoy snacking on dried mealworms, and the live variety is just as, if not more, popular.

Birds can be attracted to the sight of mealworms in your yard thus its crucial orioles can access it when they do – as a larger birds like orioles will struggle too perch to dine from a mesh feeder storing mealworms behind wire.

Site Mealworms on nectar-filled feeder

Orioles may be birds who feed higher up at heart but you can also see them foraging lower down, especially on the ever popular nectar-filled feeder erected in the yard.

With all orioles going to a nectar feeder like that of the Baltimore, Altamira, Bullocks, Hooded, and Scott’s oriole – dry mealworms in particular would be an excellent alternative to add to the feeder.

Not adjacent to or close by, but to actually lay a handful of dried mealworms on top of the disc form nectar feeder, will assure they are located at dinner time.

The ideal place to keep dried mealworms so that they are easily accessible for orioles is in their own nectar-filled feeder.

Because the feeder is not made to keep mealworms in place, you can’t use it with live mealworms; they’d just wriggle off. Instead, you’ll use dried mealworms.

Place dried mealworms on top of a nectar-filled oriole feeder in the open, but in a way that prevents them from rolling off.

Stick food container to feeder

Do Orioles Eat Mealworms-2

Live mealworms can be fed to orioles in the same way as dry ones are fed to them: by placing them on top of a nectar feeder and letting them fall off during the day.

You can avoid this problem by placing a shallow but easily accessible cup on top of the plastic disc-shaped nectar feeder and adding the live mealworms that way. Does not need to be adhered, but double-sided tape would make that option available.

If you want to improve upon this, you can drill a hole right in the middle of the bottom and then thread the shallow plastic container or dish through the metal rod that will be used to suspend the nectar-filled feeder from a bracket.

Orioles like sugar water, but other feeder foods, such as orange slices, jelly, and mealworms, can be supplied in a clean, organized container.

Because orioles will be coming to feed from it, any plastic dish will need to be stuck or secured in place to prevent it from toppling over and hurting the birds.

If you don’t have a nectar-filled oriole feeder, you can still attract the birds to your garden by placing this wide dish on a wall or fence for stability. However, for maximum effect, it is recommended that this dish be placed in a more elevated location.

You can put the cup with the dried or live mealworms on a limb or two and wedge it onto a deck or porch railing, or you can put it on the patio set.

Mealworms for orioles should be kept in a bright area where they may be exposed to direct sunlight; nectar feeders, on the other hand, should be hung in the shadow so that the sweet water within does not evaporate.

Replace Jelly with Mealworms

You may have came across or heard of an oriole jelly feeder in your search for a bird feeder suitable for orioles.

Oriole feeders are straightforward contraptions consisting of a transparent or coloured plastic cup with a roof to protect the sticky jelly from direct sunlight.

A pole with a jelly cup or dish on the end of it can be impaled into the ground [as shown] or the jelly pots can come attached to the nectar dispenser.

There’s no rule that says we have to use jelly when we can use mealworms instead, and we can use any of these containers.

There’s no reason to let them go to waste now that we know we can use them to provide the summertime protein-rich bird food that the orioles love—mealworms—in the jelly pots.

Orioles don’t need specific jelly feeders; you may use any old ceramic dish you happen to have on hand. Dried mealworms, in particular, are fine, but live, wriggling ones are best.

Hang feeder dish near Oriole feeder

Do Orioles Eat Mealworms

If you want to attract orioles using mealworms, you should put them in a separate open-top bird feeder and position it near the oriole feeders you already have, such as one loaded with nectar.

Although I wouldn’t recommend it, dry mealworms can be added to a bird feeder if it is of the open dish variety and can be reached by large orioles.

The ideal place to hang oriole feeders is on the bird feeder pole, which is also the best position to hang the feeders themselves (they’re just clear plastic dishes).

This plastic feeder dish is shallow enough to accommodate everything from live to dried mealworms and provides ample space for orioles to feed whenever they like.

Due to the fact that these feeders often have a dome-like roof to protect them from the elements, they need to be placed at a high enough height that orioles won’t be able to reach them to feed.

Orioles may easily find their favorite mealworms when a feeder filled with jelly or nectar is hung nearby.


Feeding live or dried mealworms to orioles is as easy as placing a handful on top of the nectar-filled feeder.

Since most people who want to attract orioles to their yards will put out an orange nectar feeder, there is no need for any other feeders to ensure the orioles find their mealworms.

Mealworms are a favorite food of orioles, and while they can get them off the ground, it’s safer to put them on a platform in your yard.

Feeding mealworms to orioles in the open is ideal, and the same nectar-filled feeder’s top can be used for this purpose.

Dried mealworms can be kept in a tiny pot or dish that is set on top of the nectar feeder to keep them contained.

Since you’ll be keeping the mealworms in a container, you can safely utilize live mealworms without worrying about them escaping.

You may put live or dried mealworms in any old bowl and place it wherever in the yard, as long as there is some form of light shining on it.

If you use a jelly feeder for orioles, save one of the pots (or use them all) for storing dried or live mealworms to replace the grape jelly when you run out.

Mealworms should be placed in an open dish and hung near an oriole nectar feeder, which can be mounted on a pole or bracket at a bird feeding station.

Rate this post