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.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Save the jelly for the orioles and how to make nectar

Yes, it's time to put out the oriole and hummingbird feeders! My mom asked me to bring her some BirdBerry™ Jelly. It seems she finished off the last bottle for her breakfast! I laughed at her for eating the oriole jelly but I've actually done the same thing.

Compared to normal grocery store labels, you'll see that BirdBerry™ is an all natural product with no preservatives, no artificial sweeteners, and has low sugar levels which is better for birds. BirdBerry™ is made from Concorde grapes, and blackberries. This yummy combination attracts orioles and keeps them coming back for the unique flavor.

It's sooo good - You'll want to have "Breakfast with the birds!"

BirdBerry™ Jelly is a human grade product that emphasizes quality. But even though it is better for the birds you should still limit the amount you place out each day. No more than a teaspoon a day for each bird you see. That way you give them a little quick energy and you can keep washing the feeder to prevent the growth of bacteria. Jelly can be stored in or out of the refrigerator. 

Hummingbird and oriole nectar recipe
To make nectar that is a little bit stronger than flower nectar, use a ratio of 4:1. That would be four parts water to one part plain white sugar. You may be tempted to use honey, turbinado sugar, drink mixes or brown sugar, but this is not a good idea. These sugars contain too many minerals for the hummingbird's system and can cause illness or death.

Powdered or confectioners sugar should not be used either. Powdered sugar has cornstarch added to it and that will cause the nectar to ferment.

Color isn’t required. There have never been any scientific studies done to prove red dye harms hummingbirds, but they come to clear nectar (sugar water) so leave it clear just in case the red is bad for the birds.

Nectar (sugar water) recipe
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups water

1. Pour sugar in hot water. It's not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don't come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills.
2. Stir or shake the mixture until dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and let it cool.
4. Fill your hummingbird feeder and refrigerate any unused nectar for up to 2 weeks.
5. If the hummingbirds do not come to the feeder within a few days, you can try moving it to another location near plants that have brightly colored flowers.
6. Be sure to replace the nectar and clean the feeder thoroughly once every three to four days. If you leave it out longer the sugar water could go bad and hummingbirds will boycott your feeder for a long time.
If you don't want sugar in your house or you want an easy to dissolve sugar Wild Birds Unlimited has Best-1 instant nectar. It doesn't have any coloring or preservatives. Or if you are recipe challenged we also have premixed sugar water.
Related articles:
My favorite hummingbird and oriole feeders
Where should I hang my hummingbird feeder? http://bit.ly/H2U4P4
Hummingbird Information on Habitat and Habits http://bit.ly/H2Ua9s
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://hummingbird-nectar.html
Fun Facts About Hummingbirds http://bit.ly/II5sBl 

Strange visitor at the high-perch hummingbird feeder http://bit.ly/II7dyy

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