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Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Feeding the Nectar Eaters: Wild Birds

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

May brings back the Ruby-throated hummingbirds and the Baltimore oriels to My Little Farm In Town. They always return to the spots where they found reliable food and nesting in the previous year. Our willow is what draws the Baltimore oriels to nest in the backyard. The nectar is what draws the hummingbirds, but I feed both species of birds.

When May first rolls around and whatever the weather, I take down the window seed feeder and put up the window nectar feeder for the ruby-throated  hummers. There is a shade garden and flowers planted in big pots on the patio at the back of the house that attract them as well. It is fun to sit at the dining room table and watch them feed and buzz around.  When I’m outside, I can hear them scold and body slam as they compete for spots at the feeder.  They are very feisty little ones.

I usually hear the Baltimore orioles before I see them. They have a lovely song:  They have been nesting in the yard for about four years now. I feed them grape jelly from a red peanut butter jar lid. I put the jelly on something high so the birds have a good view of what is going on around them and so that they can easily locate the food. They are attracted to the red color of the lid and share a lot of jelly with the ants unless I place the lid in the center of a dish of water.  It is especially neat to see them bring their young to the jelly.

Feeding the orioles and hummingbirds is just one of the activities that marks the season here on My Little Farm in Town.  Happy bird watching! Begonia.

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When the hummingbirds do arrive, they will be happy to see this nectar. We have a lot of fun watching the hummingbrids feed. They get used to feeding at the glass, and eventually, you can get inches from them--close enough to see the transparent thread of their tongues as they feed.

Male Baltimore Oriole Eating Grape Jelly



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