Not too long ago, I would never have believed that Baltimore orioles would become regular winter residents in Georgia. However, if they offer the right food Georgia bird-feeding enthusiasts can honestly say they now have a legitimate chance of enticing a Baltimore oriole to their yard during the coldest months of the year.
This is truly remarkable, considering that Baltimore orioles have historically wintered from southern Mexico southward to Columbia. If you have any question that the Baltimore oriole is expanding its winter range, simply look at recent data collected during the Great Backyard Bird Count. During the 2020 edition of the count 302 reports of wintering Baltimore orioles involving 976 individuals were received. The vast majority of these reports (95%) were submitted from volunteers living in a broad band of coastal states ranging from Virginia to Texas.
While Baltimore orioles eat a wide variety of foods during the winter, you probably stand your best chance of attracting one these birds if you begin offering grape jelly at your feeders. This recommendation is based on scores of reports I have received over the years from individuals that successfully hosted orioles in their yards.
I might also add that most of these fortunate folks highly recommend that you use Welch’s grape jelly. This belief is based on their contention that less expansive jellies do not contain as much fruit juice as Welch’s. I might add that I personally cannot attest to the validity of this claim.
If you decide to try to attract a Baltimore oriole to your yard with jelly, you can display it in any number of ways such as in a feeder specially designed for this purpose. You can also place the jelly in small plastic containers. I use the small containers used by restaurants to serve sauces. I simply fill the containers with jelly and place them in the corners of a hanging platform seed feeder.
If you are successful, instead of briefly glimpsing these birds as the pass through your yard on migration, you will be able to see one of our most colorful birds on a regular basis. What a treat!