Spring Greening

Make an Orange Feeder for Orioles

This kid-friendly DIY will keep similarly hued visitors coming back for more.

Orioles eat beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and fruit, such as mulberries and wild black cherries. Orioles are also attracted to oranges, which you can cut in half and set out where they can peck at the juice and pulp. 

Materials:

Adult supervision required

• 1 ripe orange

• Knife

• Thin stick, such as a kabob skewer or plastic stirrer

• Strong cord

Steps:

1. Cut an orange in half. You need only one half at a time.

2. Decide on a good site—somewhere you can place the orange securely, so it doesn’t fall over.

3. Push a thin stick (or kabob skewer) through the center of the orange half. Ask an adult for help when using sharp objects.

4. Place the stick against a thick branch, fence, post, or railing to form a “t” or cross shape.

5. Use a strong cord to tie the stick to the branch or railing. Wrap the cord around the cross shape, back and forth, making an X shape. You may have to wrap the cord around several times. Another option is to use the cord alone to tie the orange half, cut side up, to a flat railing or sturdy branch. Make sure that the orange is securely fastened, so that if an oriole lands on it, it won’t slip downward.

 

For more fun ways to explore the world of birds, including how to walk like a heron and how to draw tropical birds, check out Monica Russo's book Birdology (Chicago Review Press; $15.95). 

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