Nebraska Ornithologists' Union



Gary Lingle

Date of this Version



Lingle, "Oriole Consumption of Grape Jelly" from Nebraska Bird Review (June 2015) 83(2).


Copyright 2015 Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union. Used by permission.


It is well known that several species of orioles are attracted to grape (Vitis sp.) jelly. A few years ago I began “feeding” grape jelly to orioles in my yard in Buffalo County. Both Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) and, to a lesser extent, Orchard Orioles (Icterus spurius) frequented my feeder upon their arrival in early May and fed daily until the red mulberries (Morus rubra) ripened and nesting had commenced prior to mid-June. At that time visitation to my feeder plummeted from a high of 1.5 birds per minute to 0 .1 birds per minute. During peak use of my feeder, orioles consumed up to two pounds of grape jelly per day, even though the most seen at one time was 7 individuals. Other people within a 10-mile radius of my yard had similar consumption rates, which raised the question of how many orioles it takes to consume two pounds of jelly per day. This paper addresses that question.