How To Make Oriole Nectar In 4 Easy Steps & Less Than 15 Minutes

December 21, 2021 // 6 minute read // 2 Shares

Articles » How To Make Oriole Nectar

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Orioles are beautiful birds with a special diet that mainly consists of fruits, nectar, and insects. They don’t eat seeds like many other birds and are probably the only other species other than hummingbirds that drink nectar. 

If you’re planning to attract orioles in your backyard, you can easily do so by hanging some oriole nectar feeders around your backyard. You can make your own sugar water by mixing 1 part white granulated sugar to six parts water – almost the same as when you’re making hummingbird nectar. 

In this article, we’ll go into detail on making oriole nectar, and we’ll also talk about: 

  • Why orioles love nectar
  • Do’s and Don’ts of feeding orioles nectar
  • Other nectar sources
  • FAQs

So, if you’re interested to know everything about orioles’ love for nectar and how you can feed it to them, read on… 

How To Make Oriole Nectar

Making the oriole nectar is very easy. All you need is sugar and water. The best part is that the whole process will not take more than 15 minutes. 

  1. Boil 6 parts water (for hummingbird nectar, you need to boil 4 parts water). 
  2. Mix 1 part of white granulated sugar. 
  3. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and let the mixture cool down. 
  4. Transfer to the oriole feeder once the mixture hits room temperature. 

And you’re done! 

Hang the oriole feeder at an appropriate spot for orioles to enjoy

Why Orioles Love Nectar

Orioles love sweet things. But this is not mainly because they taste delicious. 

These birds opt to eat fruits and nectar right before migrating season as it’s their way to fatten themselves up. The sugar content in these foods helps the birds build enough fat reserves that will help them survive the migration. 

This is why other than hanging hummingbird feeders, it’s also best to hang some oriole nectar feeders too. Because these two birds have different bill shapes, they can’t use the same feeder. 

On top of that, even though making hummingbird and oriole nectar is similar, you need to make some adjustments so that the nectar suits the orioles’ taste more. 

And now, let us give you the step by step on how to make oriole nectar… 

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Do’s and Don’ts in Feeding Orioles Nectar

Making oriole nectar is very simple. However, there are a few more things when it comes to making nectar and feeding orioles nectar. 

Do ThisDon’t Do This
Do Use Simple White Sugar Only 
Ordinary white sugar is completely safe for orioles. So, no need to search for other “healthier” sugar alternatives, not even if it’s brown sugar. 
Don’t Use Dyes Or Food Coloring
While orioles love the orange color so much, adding an orange dye or food coloring to the mixture is not healthy for orioles and might even be fatal for them. 
Do Replace Nectar Once Every 3-4 Days
Homemade nectar goes bad after several days, and you must change them frequently. Unless there are lots of orioles flying in and drinking up all the nectar solution in a day, you’d have to pay attention if the sugar water needs replacement. 

It’s essential to serve the birds only fresh food. And if you don’t replace the nectar, mold can accumulate, and it will eventually not be safe for orioles to drink. 

When replacing nectar, make sure that you also clean the feeders every time. 
Don’t Mix Honey To Your Hummingbird Feeder
If you hear other people telling you to add honey, please don’t follow them. Honey can make the mixture ferment more quickly, attract bees, and even grow black fungus which puts the birds in a lot of danger. 
Do Refrigerate Unused Nectar For Up To 2 Weeks
If you want to make your refilling job easier, you can simply create lots of nectar solutions already then refrigerate unused nectar. 

This way, when it’s time to replace the sugar water, you don’t have to make one again. Just throw the old nectar solution, clean the feeder, pour the new solution in, and hang the feeder. 

The process becomes more efficient and easy to do.
Don’t Let Insects Get Into The Feeders
Because sugar water is sweet, it’s easy to attract other insects like ants. So, you might need to install some nectar guard tips or ant moats to protect the opening of feeders and keep the nectar clean.
Do Use Appropriate Oriole Nectar Feeders
You can’t use a hummingbird feeder to serve nectar for orioles. These two species have different bill shapes and feeding behavior, so you really need to get another feeder for orioles. 

Orioles nectar feeders have larger feeding holes than hummingbird feeders. These feeders also come with perches so that orioles can drink comfortably. After all, hummingbirds are probably the only bird species that can hover.

Other Sources of Nectar

If you don’t have time to make sugar water for orioles, you also have many commercial sugar water options in the market. 

At the same time, you can serve the birds fresh and natural nectar by planting some nectar-producing flowers around your backyard. This way, in case your nectar feeder is already out of sugar water, and you haven’t refilled it yet, the birds would still have something to feast on. 

We highly recommend choosing bright colors that range from orange to red to easily attract orioles. 

FAQs On How To Make Oriole Nectar

Is it Necessary To Boil Sugar Water For Orioles? 

The best answer to this question is it depends. Many people think that it’s unnecessary because sugar water can still get contaminated once the feeder is hung outside. However, if you think about it, sugar dissolves faster in hot water. So, boiling will help you make the mixture faster. 

It’s also highly recommended to boil the water if the quality is not great or if you’re planning to store the sugar water inside the fridge. 

Do Orioles Need Nectar? 

Yes, they do. 

As mentioned above, the sugar in nectar gives orioles extra energy that they’d need for migration. It’s crucial to their survival, especially during the cold winter season. 

How Often Should You Change Oriole Nectar? 

It’s important to change your oriole nectar every 3-4 days or twice a week. This helps ensure that the nectar solution remains fresh and safe for drinking. 

Final Thoughts On How To Make Oriole Nectar

And that’s how you make oriole nectar! 

You only need two ingredients – water and sugar. The best part, it won’t even take more than 15 minutes to make. 

However, although the recipe is easy, the most important thing is that you keep in mind these three crucial things:

  • No food coloring, dyes, and honey
  • Replace nectar every 2-3 weeks
  • Protect feeders from insects

Now that you know these, it’s time to make oriole nectar and start attracting those oriole birds. 

How To Make Oriole Nectar
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