Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
Both Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have returned to the metro area. You can attract them to your yard by offering proper food. Orioles like oranges. Cut the fruit in half and impale on a nail where both you and the birds can see it. Finishing nails, those without flat heads, work well. Orioles also favor grape jelly. It can be offered in one of those small plastic containers you get at the deli. Shallow is best. You don't want the bird to get into the container to feed. An oriole smeared with jelly is an oriole in trouble. The photo shows our arrangement. We once had wooden deck railings to which I could nail the feeder. With new metal railings I'm using a shoelace to anchor the dish. Hummingbirds feed from special feeders any bird store or hardware store should have. The formula for the liquid in the feeder is one part white sugar to four parts water. You need not heat the solution. Sugar dissolves in cold water just as well as hot. Put in the sugar, fill the feeder to half with water. Shake hard for a few seconds. Fill it to the top. Hang it in a conspicuous place. Check the feeder often for mold or spoiled solution. In those cases, clean the feeder well before refilling. The dish shown holds strawberry jam, my substitute until I get to the store for some cheap grape jelly.
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