These beauties are on their way back from their wintering grounds and will be arriving over the next couple of weeks and into the first week of May.  Here are some steps you can take to get ready for their arrival:

  • Ensure your feeders are out by the last week of April.  You can even put them out empty as a visual attraction and fill them when they arrive.
  • Oriole and hummingbird feeders need to be visible, not hidden in trees or shrubs.
  • If you live in a windy location, you may want to consider using a heavier glass feeder to prevent spillage.  A window feeder would be another option.
  • Orioles and hummingbirds will go to feeders in the sun or shade.  If your feeder is in a sunny location you will need to refresh it more often.  During the hot summer months, feeders should be refreshed daily.
  • Take time to clean the feeders every time you refill them.  Clean feeders equals healthy birds.
  • If your feeder doesn’t have a built-in ant moat, they can be purchased separately and placed over the hook of the feeder.  Just fill them with water to keep ants out of the nectar.
  • When making homemade nectar use the ratio of one-part plain white table sugar to four parts boiling water.  Stir well allowing the sugar to dissolve.  DO NOT use honey, molasses, brown sugar or artificial sweeteners as this will cause a fungus to grow on hummingbirds tongues… plain white sugar only.  Red food colouring is also not recommended.
  • Feeders do not need to be filled to the top.  The nectar will go off before they drink it all.  
  • Place oriole and hummingbird feeders away from seed feeders.  This will make feeding more comfortable for both hummingbirds and orioles.
  • Hummingbirds feed closer to the ground than our other songbirds.  You can place their feeders on a smaller shepherd’s hook in your garden or planter.
  • Squirrel baffles are a good idea if you’re feeding grape jelly and oranges to your orioles.   Baffles are available to go on a pole or to hang above a feeder.
  • Hummingbirds are very territorial.  If you want to encourage more hummingbirds to your yard, make sure the feeders are out of sight of each other.

I hope these tips help you prepare for the return of orioles and hummingbirds this spring!

Happy Birding!
Jane Paradis
Urban Nature Store Brand Ambassador

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