It’s that time of year again, time to clean your Hummingbird and Oriole Feeders. Migration is well under way and they’ll both be back within the next few weeks!
These brilliant little jewels are on their way back from their wintering grounds in Costa Rica. The male looks very handsome in the sun with his emerald green back and brilliant red throat. His breast is greyish white in colour. The female looks similar but lacks the ruby throat. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are the only hummingbird we see in eastern North America.
It’s easy to attract this hummingbird to your backyard. They will dart throughout your garden preferring flowers that are orange and red. Tubular shaped flowers are also a favourite. Providing a nectar feeder will also bring them to your yard. Nectar can be purchased from our store, or you can make your own using one part table sugar to four parts boiling water.
The nectar needs to be changed on a regular basis so it’s a good idea not to fill the feeder to capacity. At this time of year when it isn’t too hot outside you can change the nectar 3 or 4 times a week. During the months of July and August the nectar should be refreshed daily. This also applies to Orioles. Hummingbirds also eat small insects and will snatch spiders from their webs.
Did you know that a hummingbird beats its wings 53 times per second! Hummingbird nests are very small and can resemble a knot in a tree. Their eggs are the size of jelly beans. The oldest living hummingbird on record was 9 years, and 1 month old.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES AND ORCHARD ORIOLES
Baltimore and Orchard Orioles are the two species we see in eastern North America. They spend the winter months in Florida and down to the northern tip of South America. These orioles will breed from Louisiana up through Canada from early April to mid May.
The Baltimore Oriole is also referred to as the Northern Oriole. The male is vibrant orange, with a black head and wings. Their wings also have a white wing bar. Female and immature males are pale orange with a greyish back. Their song is rich and flute-like and you’ll often see the male singing in the treetops. Their nests is quite exquisite resembling a slender bag. The female builds the nest by weaving plant fibre, bark, grass and string together and lines it with grass, soft plant down and hair. She builds the nest in deciduous trees and secures the rim near the end of a branch.
Orchard Orioles are the smallest of their species. The male Orchard Oriole has a reddish-chestnut coloured breast and rump, black head and wings with a white wing bar. Females are pale yellow with greyish-black wings and white wing bar. Their nest is very similar to the Northern Orioles, but not as deep. Orchard Orioles have a lovely warbling song which is similar to the Purple Finch.
You can attract Orioles to your garden by offering nectar, orange slices or halves, and grape jelly. It’s important to get your feeders up by the end of April. We offer a variety of feeders for these beautiful birds, so please drop by one of our stores, we’d be happy to help you get ready for the orioles and hummingbirds.
Author- Jane Paradis
@Urban Nature Store we have different vareity of feeders, seeds, jewlary, outdoor equipments and holiday gifts for all nature lovers and for all ages.