Hummingbirds, Orioles & Tanagers... How Cool!
Cool Bird Alert! Entice hummingbirds, orioles and tanagers with the right foods. The secret to success is having the foods they want available and ready before they arrive or travel through to their winter residences!
Hummingbirds are most easily attracted to nectar feeders. Be sure to have nectar feeders out and ready as they are migrating through to their winter grounds. In Tallahassee and surrounding areas, we are fortunate to get "winter hummers": Rufous, Black-chinned and Ruby-throated are most prevalent. But some yards have attracted Buff-bellied, Allen's, Broad-billed, Anna's, Costa's and Broad-tailed. These hummers show up from November thru February.
Hummingbirds remember feeders from last year and will visit those same spots to see if the nectar is available. They will also check out new locations; especially, if the feeders have some red coloration on them. Hummingbirds learn that many red flowers provide quality nectar sources and then show a tendency to check out red colors while foraging.
Residential hummingbirds, our Ruby-throated, arrive in March and most migrate by the first of October. They stay in our area to raise families, are more likely to visit feeders on a regular basis if the feeders are available when they move in. Also, place multiple feeders around your yard to make it more difficult for one hummingbird to claim and protect your feeders.
Orioles are nectar, fruit and insect eaters. While in their tropical winter habitats, Baltimore and Bullock’s Orioles feed on nectar from numerous flowering trees, which explains their attraction to nectar feeders upon their spring-time return to North America.
Tallahassee and surrounding areas are also lucky to have Baltimore Orioles as winter residents, starting in September through March. Some yards have even attracted the rare Bullock's Oriole!
Orioles usually stay hidden in the trees eating and singing their beautiful whistling notes. They can be drawn down from their perches with foods like nectar, grape jelly, orange slices, mealworms and Jim’s Birdacious® Bark Butter®. They will return to your yard in future years and lose some of their shyness.
Sightings of tanagers are on the rise, including Summer, Scarlet and Western Tanagers. Like orioles, tanagers tend to hide in the trees and are partial to foods like suet, Bark Butter, fruit and grape jelly.