photo of a male Baltimore orioleRich reports the wrens, orioles and grosbeaks have arrived back in our area, right on schedule!  I guess the bird population follows its calendar no matter how stubbornly chilly it remains around here.  I can’t say that I’ve ever seen an oriole in person (okay, I’ve seen a couple of the guys that play baseball for Baltimore…but not the feathered kind) and I wondered just how one might attract orioles to their yard.  Seems they eat mostly insects but they also like fleshy fruits and berries.  I found several photos online of orioles perched on the edge of an orange half wedged securely in a tree. One site recommends chopped pears, apples and figs on a platform or fruit feeder.  They also suggest planting fruit-bearing trees like cherries and mulberries.  A bonus there is you get pretty flowers in the spring as well. 

photo of a male rose-breasted grosbeak at a platform feederJust as I began typing this post, Margaret was standing at the front door and exclaimed, “Oh look…there are three male rose-breasted grosbeaks at the feeder!  And a female, too!”  So I got to see another bird I don’t recall seeing before.  They’re really lovely with their splashy red chests. Grosbeaks are part of the cardinal family so you can attract them with black-oil sunflower seed and small fruits.  Seems they especially like maple seeds.  We ought to see a lot of them here at the Nature Center then!

More signs of spring!!