Sunday, May 18, 2014

Oriole Jelly Feeders

For over ten years I’ve been putting out grape jelly in hanging bowls of one kind or another to feed eastern orioles.  Before that I’d see one off and on in the late spring and early summer.  Now we have two pair that nest in high trees in our yard and others which visit.

The first feeder I made had a 5” steel hemisphere bowl and an 18” crook hanger.  I filled it with the least expensive Concord grape jelly I could find and hung it under the south eve of the house near a hummingbird feeder.  The orioles quickly found it.

A woman emailed me about making a somewhat fancier one she could use as a birthday gift.  I changed the design to a grape motif.  The bowl was made from a 10” grape leaf and the hanger looked more like grape vine and I added a grape cluster and some tendril and she liked that.  Other people saw the photo image of it and I got more requests.  Soon it became a regular product and has gone through several stages of modification.

I found this image of some specimens hanging in the gallery.

The Orioles usually arrive around mid-April.  This was an exceptionally cold and long winter and they were two weeks late.  They raise a brood and move out of our area around mid-July when summer heat really sets in.  I fill the feeder with sunflower seeds after they leave.  In the fall some orioles will migrate through and I put out more jelly when I see them.

Hemi-bowl and prototype Grape Leaf types.

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