One of the most overlooked foods found on the summer menus offered by Georgia Backyard bird feeding enthusiasts is jelly. This is surprising since jelly will attract both regular feeder visitors as well as birds that rarely, if ever, visit backyard feeders.

       The list of birds that will feed on jelly includes orioles (Baltimore and orchard), woodpeckers (red-bellied, hairy and downy), summer tanagers, American robins, brown thrashes, mockingbirds, gray catbirds, house finches, and even the ruby-throated hummingbirds. In fact, later in the summer southbound migrants will often stop by to dine at your jelly feeder.

Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

       By far, the jelly most often fed is grape.  However, there is a wide range of other jellies can you can use.  Some of these flavors include blackberry, apple, and cherry.

       Shallow containers especially made for this purpose of feeding jelly are available. Making your own feeder from plastic soda bottles and other containers is also an option.

       Regardless of which jelly you decide to buy, make sure that it contains real fruit juice. I cannot count the number of times homeowners have told me that birds are not fond of artificially flavored jellies.

       During the summer, it is always a good idea to offer birds a small amount of jelly.  If you find that your bird diners quickly devour your jelly offering, add more.  By so doing, you are reducing the chance that the jelly will not ferment or become moldy.

       Another way to prolong the shelf life of jelly is to place the jelly feeder in the shade.  As we all know, everything from hummingbird nectar to fruit spoils quickly on hot summer days.

       If you want to expand the food offerings served at your backyard bird backyard, jelly might just be the perfect choice.


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