Updated at: 29-07-2022 - By: Jane Brody

In the same vein as other common backyard birds, orioles eat suet, but they also enjoy fruit offerings ranging from oranges to jelly.

In what do you put what Keep a big supply of homemade nectar on hand for Orioles and put it in a feeder that is out in the open where the birds can easily get it. You may offer orange slices or halves, but you could also offer pineapple chunks, peach slices, or nectarine chunks. Suet and grape jelly in containers, with protein-rich dry mealworms, is one option.

What To Feed Orioles-3

Orioles need a steady supply of nectar, which may be created by adding one part sugar to four parts water and setting out a dish.

Orioles can only be fed nectar in a specially designed feeder, where they may perch on the rim and drink directly from the port feeding wells. Even though it’s a tight fit, orioles will utilize hummingbird feeders, too.

Since orioles prefer nectar-filled feeders, luring them to your yard is as easy as putting out a dish of orange slices or some actual grape jelly on top of the feeder.

Orioles can be attracted to a nectar feeder by impaling orange halves or quarters on the branch of a tree where they are commonly found.

Orioles love grape-flavored jelly, so it’s possible that some of that will be added to the nectar feeder or to containers on a different kind of oriole feeding station.

Although nectar is a liquid that must be confined, fruit and jelly can simply be fed to a dish placed on a flat surface, thus an oriole feeder isn’t always necessary.

All of this gives orioles a jolt of energy, while dried mealworms provide the protein they need.

What you wouldn’t anticipate orioles eating is suet, so make sure to offer fruit or insect-based suet outside of suet bird feeders, which a large oriole may have trouble accessing.

In late March or early April, following a long journey north, orioles will arrive at your feeders in search of a nourishing meal.

Sugar-water in Oriole feeder

If you want to attract orioles, you should provide them with sugar water, commonly known as nectar, just like the nectar that hummingbirds drink from feeders filled with nectar.

Orioles are familiar with the appearance of an oriole feeder, its normal placement in the yard, and the fact that oriole feeders are often orange.

You may find nectar in bottles, but making your own at home is a breeze.

Using a 1:4 ratio is the secret to making nectar for orioles. Making nectar is easy; just combine one cup of sugar with four cups of water (or anything else you’d want to use, depending on the size of your batch), and stir.

Orioles require a certain amount of sugar to function, but giving them too much can make them sick.

To prevent the sweet sugary water from spilling on the ground and attracting ants or bees, carefully pour your nectar-mix into the proper oriole nectar feeder.

Orange slices are a sweet treat

What To Feed Orioles-2

Orioles have a refined sense of smell, and the sweetness of sugar or fruit will attract them.

Juicy slices of fresh oranges can also be impaled on a feeder or tree branch, or placed on top of a platform or railing, and enjoyed by orioles.

Orioles get their energy from fruit once more, specifically oranges, which they consume by either drinking the juice or eating the meat.

It’s vital to remember that orioles can’t consume whole oranges because their beaks are too small to penetrate the tough leathery skin. You can cut an orange in a number of ways, including slicing, slicing into wedges, or cutting it in half.

The purpose of cutting an orange in half or making a wedge out of it is to provide a stable platform for the orange to eat from while still being close by.

It’s fine to serve orange slices to orioles if you have them, as they clearly have a taste for them, but it’s safer to impale the orange on a limb to prevent it from falling to the ground.

Manufacturers now offer versions of their nectar-filled oriole feeders with spikes, as well as a variety of speciality orange feeders designed to hold individual orange slices.

Mix exotic fruits in open

You may feed orioles a variety of exotic fruits, not just oranges, including strawberries, peaches, nectarines, bananas, and berries.

Orioles also enjoy peanut butter, which can be blended with the fruit they eat.

Nectarines and pears, like oranges, will require slicing or wedge cutting, while the banana will require peeling.

In order to prevent wasted food, orioles should never be offered fruit in feeders or on the ground. Place a dish of mixed fruit on the railing of a porch or deck, or attach it to a piece of garden furniture or a wall to attract birds.

If you want to attract orioles, who spend much of their time foraging in trees and shrubs, hanging fruit from the branches is a good idea.

Since fruit left out in the direct summer sunlight will quickly rot when eaten by orioles, it’s important to provide them with plenty of shade in a well-lit area.

It’s also possible to try other fruits, such pineapple or melons, as long as the fruit is sliced open or cut in half so orioles may quickly and easily feed on it.

Grape jelly scooped in container

What To Feed Orioles

You may feed orioles jelly, the same kind you find in jars, for minimal effort and cost.

For the benefit of the orioles, grape-flavored jelly can be spooned straight from the jar and placed in a ceramic dish, where it can be steadied by the bird’s weight as the birds perch on the edge to eat.

Orioles can always count on jelly for sustenance, so it’s best to keep some in a feeder alongside the nectar and, ideally, to offer an orange impaled on a spike so the birds can get at it easily.

Oriole nectar feeders can be purchased with jelly-filled bowls for the birds to enjoy. A feeding station for orioles, on the other hand, would have plastic cups in which the bird food could be stored, as well as two spikes on which orange slices might be impaled.

Hanging jelly in a feeder ensures that it won’t go unnoticed by orioles, unlike leaving it out in the yard.

After all, purple grape jelly would only be available in limited quantities, making it possible to go unnoticed if the store moved to a less obvious location.

Place a dish or bowl of grape jelly in a well-lit area on a tabletop, wall, or fence post, or use a specialized oriole jelly feeder hanging from a tree branch or bird feeder pole.

Dried mealworms

Remarkably, the oriole family will eat insects that they find in trees and shrubs in their native habitat.

Orioles eat a wide variety of insects, including spiders, snails, and the extremely hairy insects that most typical backyard birds avoid (and you can’t blame them for doing so).

Consequently, since insects make up the bulk of an oriole’s food in the summer, providing a steady supply of dried – or live – mealworms is a great way to enhance the bird’s diet.

If the thought of eating live mealworms makes you queasy, simply toss a handful of dried mealworms into an open dish and place it somewhere in your yard.

Oriole feeders often consist of pots filled with sugar water, oranges impaled on sticks, and scoops of jelly.

Since there is no porcelain bowl specifically designed to hold dry mealworms in an oriole feeder, this will have to suffice.

Due to orioles’ preference for perching, dry mealworms should not be scattered on the ground as would be done for birds that eat on the ground.

Fruit or insect-based suet

Orioles, a seemingly out-of-place exotic bird, often end themselves at the suet cake bird feeder in search of its delectable contents.

Orioles, like any other backyard bird, can benefit from a fattening meal of suet; in this case, the suet used would be the insect or fruit sort that orioles will try to eat after a possible long flight north.

Orioles can be fed suet in the form of cakes, fat balls, or pellets, but suet bird feeders should be avoided since the birds may not be able to reach the food.

Once you’ve located a stable surface or the top of the platform bird feeder, you may unhook the suet cake or fat ball feeder and set up the cage there.

Any type of suet bird feeder, whether it be wedged into a cluster of branches or mounted on the bird feeding station pole, can be used to attract orioles for feeding.

I wouldn’t count on orioles to make regular visits to the suet bird feeder, but if it’s stocked with food for other birds, they might show up eventually.


Orioles prefer homemade nectar, which is essentially sugary-water, to anything else you can provide in your yard.

If you want to attract orioles, you’ll need to hang a feeder in a well-lit part of your yard, preferably out of direct sunlight so the nectar doesn’t go bad too quickly.

Orioles can be kept content with sugary snacks and a nectar-filled feeder.

Orioles rely on their keen eyesight to locate food, but their limited sense of smell helps them find the fruits you’ve put out.

Start by slicing or splitting an orange in half, then impaling it on a pole or limb, or using the spikes on an oriole nectar feeder.

Orioles will also enjoy dishes containing exotic fruits such as strawberries, nectarines, peaches, melons, and pineapple.

Oriole nectar feeders of the modern variety may come equipped with little cups into which the user can drop spoonfuls of jelly—ideally of the grape variety.

Jelly can be put to oriole feeders, or you can use a dedicated oriole feeding station, which has holders for small plastic cups.

Since nectar or a fruit mixture is such a fantastic source of energy food for orioles, dried mealworms can be provided to them instead.

If you want to attract orioles to your yard, provide them with dried mealworms just as you would any other common bird, but put them in a dish or on top of your platform bird feeder.

Feeding fruit-flavored suet or mealworms to orioles is an excellent way to help them gain weight and provide them with a ton of energy.

5/5 - (1 vote)