Spring and early summer are exciting times at our house. This excitement is caused by the arrival of BULLOCK’S ORIOLES. They nest in our yard. We are also excited by the Western Tanagers that stop-over, while waiting for more favorable conditions in their mountain-summering areas. We have developed a very “bird friendly” yard, but there is an added attraction that satisfies both of these species “sweet-tooth.” We place quart fruit jars, inverted on baby chick watering dishes, upon platforms. These platforms are mounted on pipes and each has a “slinky” (toy) hanging and encasing the pipe. We have found this to be the most effective method to keep squirrels away from the feed. The jars are full of sugar-water, mixed at a ratio of 6 parts water to 1 of sugar or even sweeter. It is readily accepted. Two quarts of this solution is consumed every day when the baby orioles have fledged.
We have as many as three pair of orioles building their hanging nests in our yard and raising their broods. As the young fledge, the yard comes alive with harsh calls, and orioles are everywhere you look. This orange, black, and white bird is a western version of the Baltimore Oriole and is actually a member of the Blackbird family. It is most definitely a “heart-stopper!”