Not only do we tell you about our birding adventures on this blog, but we also use it from time to time as a platform for public service announcements. So here it is – if you want to see orioles in your yard, get your oranges and grape jelly out NOW! Don’t worry about taking down those Christmas lights – I know I didn’t.
It’s very simple to get started: cut an orange or two in half and set them out on a deck railing, tree branch, etc. Then put out a bowl of grape jelly. YOU DO NOT NEED FANCY FEEDERS. Don’t wory about it. The orioles don’t.
I saw radar maps of migrating birds that showed today would be a banner day. So before I turned in for the night last night, I followed my own advice and put out the oranges and grape jelly. And right away this morning I was rewarded with two Baltimore Orioles.
I might be out chasing birds, but Melissa makes sure the ones here on the ranch are taken care of. She bought lots of jars of cheap grape jelly and this cool, mess-free feeder. I know, I said you don’t need a fancy feeder. It’s true, you don’t. Welch’s will not like the following statement either: you don’t even need name-brand jelly.
If you have kids I firmly think you should have a bird feeder of some sort. They are pretty exciting for everyone to watch. As Evan is in Cub Scouts and into birding, I’ve often thought that a great Eagle Scout project would be to erect and maintain bird feeders at a nursing home. If he’s still into both those activites in 10 years, I’ll suggest it.
If you want a LOT more birds than just orioles, throw out some black-oiled sunflower seeds on a feeder or your lawn and watch the magic happen. Our yard list is getting closer and closer to the century mark for number of bird species. Right now, the sparrows are ruling the roost. The White-throated are the most abundant, and their song always reminds us of our home in northern Minnesota.
Today the sparrows were falling out of the sky. Our first-of-the-year Harris’s Sparrows showed up as well. Such an odd-looking bird.
It was quite the sparrow-fest in the yard today.
We even had a brief drop-in from a Clay-colored Sparrow.
And, of course, Chipping Sparrows are all over right now trilling from treetops and just chilling out at the local watering hole.
So what are you waiting for? Get the jelly, oranges, and seed out there to get the party started in your own yard.