Hummingbirds and Orioles are here!
To see our most popular hummingbird and oriole feeders, select the hummingbird and oriole link on the left.
Hummingbirds Jewels of Nature
Hummingbirds differ from other birds in a variety of ways. They have weak feet and legs that are used more for perching than walking. They are most comfortable in the air, and they are capable of hovering as well as flying up, down, forward and backward.
According to research, hummingbirds hold the record for possessing the fastest metabolism of any animal on the planet. Hummingbirds can consume up to twice their body weight in nectar every day. In order to accomplish this amazing feat, hummingbirds’ bills and tongues have evolved into incredibly efficient feeding tools.
Despite popular belief, hummingbirds do not suck up nectar with their bills. They actually lap it up with their tongues. While dipping their grooved tongues into nectar sources at up to 12 times a second, the nectar is drawn up and into their mouth each and every time. You can see this remarkable tongue in action with our WBU® Hummingbird Feeder. It features a transparent bottom that allows you to see a hummingbird’s long tongue and rapid lapping action.
Hummingbird nests are made of plant down, glued together with spider webs and tree sap. These nests are usually located on pencil-sized limbs and are camouflaged with bits of lichen.
Female hummingbirds raise their young alone. Due to the males’ extremely aggressive territorial behavior, females will establish a nesting area outside of the males’ feeding territory.
Fun Facts About Orioles
Orioles are insect and fruit eaters. They usually stay hidden in the trees eating and singing their beautiful whistling notes. They can be drawn down from their perches with foods like orange slices, grape jelly, mealworms and nectar feeders.
When not feeding on nectar, orioles seek out caterpillars, fruits, insects, and spiders.
Unlike many insect eating birds, Baltimore Orioles will eat spiny or hairy caterpillars, including such pest species as fall webworms, tent caterpillars, and gypsy moths.
Most male Baltimore Oriole songs vary enough from one another as to be unique to each individual. It is believed females can identify and locate their mate by its distinct song.
The Oriole nest is an engineering masterpiece. They weave a hanging-basket nest with plant fibers, grasses, vine and tree bark and sometimes string or yarn placed out on the small twigs of a branch 6-45 feet in the air. This keeps them safe from most predators.
It takes as many as 12 days for an Oriole to weave its nest. One Baltimore Oriole was observed spending 40 hours building a nest with about 10,000 stitches and the tying of thousands of knots, all with its beak.
The female Baltimore Oriole builds her nest with little or no help from its mate. Only the female incubates and broods, both feed the young.
While modern day Oriole nests are made primarily of plant fibers, Oriole nests collected in the late 1800s, before the age of the automobile, were made almost exclusively of horsehair.
Orioles will lay 4-5 eggs anywhere from April to June. The young will fledge as late as 30 days from egg laying.
Orioles are found across North America in the summer. Some species winter in the tropics and others in Mexico.
Most Baltimore Orioles spend their winters in southern Mexico, Central America and the tropics, but some will stay in the southern states of the U.S., with a few reports as far north as New England.
The Baltimore Oriole is a common inhabitant of suburban landscapes due to is preference for open settings that are bordered with mature trees.
Oriole’s are a member of Icteridae family, meaning that their closest bird relatives include meadowlarks, blackbirds, bobolinks and grackles.
The oriole gets its name from the Latin aureolus, which means golden.
The oldest banded Baltimore Oriole recaptured in the wild had lived 11 years and 7 months.
Wild About Nature? Get Your Yard Certified
Anyone can create a welcoming haven for local wildlife. In fact, wildlife habitat gardens support twice as much wildlife as conventional lawns and non-native plant gardens. Turning your yard, balcony container garden or work landscape into a Certified Wildlife Habitat to attract birds, butterflies, and other neighborhood wildlife is fun, easy, and can make a lasting difference. Here is what your wildlife habitat should include:
Food: Native plants provide food eaten by a variety of wildlife. Feeders can supplement natural food sources.
Water: All animals need water to survive, and some need it for bathing or breeding as well.
Cover: Wildlife need places to take shelter from bad weather and places to hide from predators or hunt for prey.
Places to Raise Young: Wildlife need resources to reproduce, and to protect and nourish their young.
Sustainable Practices: Maintain your yard or garden in natural ways to ensure soil, air, and water stay healthy and clean.
Certify your space to show your commitment to wildlife. It’s easier than you might think. Wild Birds Unlimited is a Champion Sponsor of the NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat Program.
Learn more on how to certify your wildlife habitat by clicking here, www.wbu.com/certify-your-yard
Spring and Summer Feeding
Over 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from feeders.
Access to abundant and healthy food supplies is important to birds…regardless of the season. Bird feeders provide a portion of these important nutritional needs for your backyard birds throughout the year.
Birds with access to backyard feeders benefit greatly from their ability to spend less time foraging for food and more time engaging in activities that enhance their health and safety. These activities can include:
Feeders allow breeding birds to spend less time searching for food and more time selecting better nesting sites and constructing higher quality nests. Adults will also have more time available for protecting their nest, eggs and young from predators.
Research studies have shown that birds with access to bird feeders will often lay their eggs earlier than those without feeders. This is significant because earlier broods typically have better rates of survival and fledging success than later broods.
When abundant food is accessible to parent birds, it means that more food is provided to their chicks. This extra nutrition can increase the nestling’s rate of growth and reduce aggression among nest siblings.
Access to bird feeders allow breeding females to spend less time foraging which leads to better protection of eggs from predators, earlier fledging of the nestlings and higher survival rates of the brood.
Birds are very vulnerable to predators while searching for food, the distraction of foraging results in a reduced ability to focus on dangers and threats from predators. Less time spent foraging means more time spent being vigilant in spotting a predator in time to successfully evade it.
Feeding your birds in the summer will not make them too lazy, too dependent or keep them from migrating at the appropriate time. These misconceptions have been dispelled by modern research and observation.
Contrary to popular belief, recent research shows summer to be the most abundant season for birds to visit feeders.
The food and housing we provide can make a significant difference on how well birds will thrive and survive in our own backyards.