About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Baltimore orioles birds baby food

So Sarah...The Oriole babies must be in the nest...Question: Do the adults carry the jelly back to the nest and feed direct, or regurgitate? I understand that they usually feed their babies insects, but around our house they seem to be carrying jelly away? We are putting out 4 heaping tbsp, 3 times per day, more than 32 ounces a week. We also have 3 Serviceberry trees by the house and as soon as they are flying, the parents (both) bring the babies and feed / teach them. - Jack in Milford

Baltimore Orioles are primarily insect eaters in the spring and summer. When their babies hatch they know instinctively to start out with tiny bugs for their young. They start with tiny, fresh, soft, small, larvae and spiders. As the chicks grow, they gradually increase the size and toughness of the insects they offer.

My oriole parents must be feeding week old nestlings because that is when mealworms are the perfect size. I watch her line up a rows of mealworms and fly off to her nest. Yesterday we were watching outside the Wild Birds Unlimited window when one oriole arrive with a black caterpillar tucked in the back of her bill, she continued to load up her bill with BirdBerry Jelly and then topped it off with a mealworm. The customer with me thought she was preparing a bug berry sandwich for her kids. So ripe fruit, and jelly can be brought back to the nest. And once the parents bring the fledglings up it's hard to tear them away from the jelly feeder.

Thanks for the response Sarah…We’ve just been birding for about 8 years and together with our own observations and your responses to our queries, we are truly loving it.

Our Oriole feeder is on the window of our sun porch in the umbrella of an airy Serviceberry Tree (the berries are not quite ready). For the first time yesterday we saw a fledgling in the tree with the adult male feeding it JELLY…On Fathers Day.

Speaking of Serviceberry trees…we just saw a Cedar Waxwing in our tree in the front (we have three), the flock will be here in the neighborhood (there are many Serviceberries) until they clean the berries gone…about 2 or 3 weeks. I think that they are the most beautiful bird that we host…Don’t hesitate to advise your customers to consider these trees, they are native to Michigan, very hardy, clean, airy and beautiful in the fall…and, of course, provide food for a wide variety of birds for the fledgling season.

Yes, Serviceberry is the favorite of cedar waxwings, catbirds, rose breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles, brown thrashers and over 30 other species of birds.

The Kroger across the street from the Wild Birds Unlimited store has them in the parking lot and when the berries are perfect for picking, cedar waxwings descend in huge numbers right next to oblivious customers. It usually takes a couple days for them to eat all the trees’ fruit. 

Related Articles:
What's the Best Way to Attract Orioles http://bit.ly/IGsyWp
Fun Facts about Orioles http://bit.ly/IGsJB4
Where are the orioles? http://bit.ly/IGuqOJ
Where do orioles winter? http://bit.ly/GAeWv5
Close-up of Baltimore Oriole http://bit.ly/GAf6T7
Favorite Oriole feeders http://t.co/OjG4Lz4

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