Create a jelly and orange feeder for your backyard to ensure orioles show up in your favorite outdoor space. A small bowl, dowel rods, a hook or wire and a scrap cedar platform are all you need to complete this backyard oriole feeder. Attracting these colorful North American birds is a matter of providing the right type of environment. In the case of the oriole, that means trees, open spaces and good food.
- 12-by-12 inch cedar
- Drill with bit matched to dowel dimension
- Small plastic or wood bowl
- Dowel rods 6 to 8 inches long
- Small dowel, 2 to 4 inches long
- Rubber mallet
- Wood glue
- Grape jelly
Add water to the grape jelly to create a more nectar-like substance.
If you choose to purchase a plastic oriole feeder from the store, realize it will only last one season.
Be sure to offer jelly and not jam on the oriole bird feeder. Jam is too thick for the birds to enjoy.
Cut a piece of cedar wood into a square approximately 12-by-12 inches. Have the hardware store cut the cedar before you leave or use a jigsaw and ruler to do the work at home. This provides the base of the oriole feeder.
Drill a hole at the center and 1 inch from each corner of the cedar square for a total of five holes. The size of the holes depends on the size of dowel rod you choose to use in the next step. Sand any sharp edges with a fine sandpaper to smooth them. For dowel rods wider than a 1/4 inch, move the corner holes 1 inch further into the wood base to avoid splitting.
Tap four dowel rods of equal size and width, approximately 6-to-8-inches long into the four corner holes made in the previous step. Use a rubber mallet to avoid excessive pressure on the dowels. Secure them in place with wood glue. Choose either to tap the dowel completely through so there is no excess hanging below the feeder or leave a few inches to provide additional space for the birds to perch or hang.
Drill a small hole in the center of a proportionally sized bowl for the center of the feeder. A shallow bowl allows easy access to grape jelly and provides a wider platform for birds to gather. A plastic bowl is not the most durable choice, but perhaps easier to find and replace seasonally than a cedar one.
Line up the center of the bowl with the center of the cedar square and thread a hook through the bottom of the cedar and into the bowl. A simple piece of malleable galvanized wire turned at the top into a hook will suffice.
Secure the center wire hook by wrapping the excess around a small piece of dowel rod, 2 to 4 inches long, so that the rod prevents the wire from falling through the center hole. The tension between the dowel rod and the wire hook during hanging will keep the feeder secure.
Thread orange fruit halves on the outer dowel rods and fill the center bowl with grape jelly. Hang on a branch in the garden for birds to enjoy.