Oriole Nectar Recipe

Oriole Nectar Recipe: Attract Birds Like a Pro

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Orioles are some of the most colorful birds on the continent, so it’s hardly surprising that people are looking for more ways to attract them. Instead of feeding on bird seed or nuts, however, orioles are more inclined to visit specialist feeders for a taste of fresh fruits, jelly, and nectar.

While orioles will sometimes visit hummingbird feeders, you’re more likely to attract them by offering purpose-made oriole nectar from a specialist feeder. Here, we’ll share an enticing recipe that your orioles will not only love, but it’ll offer them superior nutrition to sugar syrup, too.

Why Orioles Need Different Types of Bird Food

Unlike the sparrows, finches, and chickadees that visit your regular backyard bird feeders, orioles aren’t so keen on eating nuts and seeds. Instead, they rely on insects, fruits, and nectar for their sustenance. Some species will also eat small vertebrates like lizards and even small birds.

Baltimore Oriole at a nectar feeder
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

This means you have to be cunning and make extra efforts to attract orioles to your yard! The types of bird food most commonly offered to orioles include ripe fruits such as orange halves, mealworms, and nectar.

You may have witnessed orioles visiting hummingbird feeders in the warmer months to feed upon the simple sugar solution offered there. But there are other recipes specifically designed for orioles that also incorporate jellies and juices. These are better than sugar syrup because they provide orioles with extra vitamins and goodness.

Homemade Oriole Nectar Recipe

Baltimore Oriole feeding on nectar juice
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

While there are many nectar recipes for attracting orioles, our favorite ones tend to include juices and jellies for the extra vitamins and nutrients they provide.

Here is a tried and tested recipe that your orioles will love:


  • 1 cup of organic jelly – grape is a great favorite, but plum, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, etc. are also likely to do the job!
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • Juice from half an orange (or 1/6 cup of store-bought orange juice)


Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Simmer and stir from time to time to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Wait until all sugar is completely dissolved.

Cool the mixture to room temperature and either use it straight away or store it in the fridge or freezer for future use.

How To Feed Oriole Nectar

Oriole and Grape Jelly
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

While you can feed orioles from hummingbird feeders, their heavier build means that smaller types of feeders can be a little awkward for them to access.

Thankfully, there are also several purpose-made oriole feeders on the market. While some are designed solely to feed nectar, others include stakes and jars to feed fresh fruit and jelly, too!

Much work has gone into creating the ultimate oriole feeder, and many now come with elaborate moats and guards to protect the food from ants and squirrels. Check out our guide to the best oriole feeders on the market, here!

Other Birds That May Visit Your Oriole Feeder

Baltimore orioles perched on a bird feeder
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

You’ll hardly be surprised that feeding nectar to orioles may also attract hummingbirds to your yard. As North America’s favorite birds, few people will be complaining about that!

But not many birders realize just how many birds feed on nectar. According to Audubon, 53 species of North American birds are known to consume flower nectar or tree sap either as a staple part of their diet or as an occasional supplement.

As well as mockingbirds and hummers, several types of woodpeckers, catbirds, tanagers, and even some warblers may sometimes visit nectar feeders, too. How’s that for a bonus?

Other Ways to Attract Orioles to Your Backyard

In addition to feeders, you can attract orioles to your garden by planting natural food sources.

Bearded tongue, bee balm, cardinal flower, columbine, hyssops, salvias, honeysuckles, and trumpet vines are all renowned for being rich in nectar. Rather than feeding gracefully on the wing like a hummingbird, though, orioles prefer to pierce or rip open flowers to feed on the sweet natural nectar at the flower’s base!

perched Baltimore Oriole on nectar feeder
Image Credit: Depositphotos.

Because orioles also love to eat fruit, planting some extra fruit trees and bushes for them to gorge themselves on is another top way to attract them. Cactus and citrus fruits are favorites, but in colder climates, orioles will also feast upon apples, plums, cherries, and grapes.

Additionally, abandoning pesticides and creating a garden with wild areas is the very best way to encourage insects and insect-eating birds like orioles, hummingbirds, and flycatchers to your home. You’ll be amazed by how many more feathered friends you’ll have around!

Let Us Know Your Oriole Stories!

If you’ve discovered an especially alluring oriole recipe, or effective ways to attract them to your backyard, we’d love to hear about it. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment to share your experience with other birders out there!

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