Feeding Birds with Oranges

Learn how to successfully attract orioles and other birds with sweet fruits.

Feeding Birds with OrangesSteve & Dave Maslowski
Steve & Dave Maslowski “If you’re offering fruit for birds, you might just attract bonus winged visitors. Some butterflies and moths are attracted to fruit, too!” —Kimberly Kaufman


An oriole’s diet varies. Insects are harder to find in spring, so orioles especially seek ripe fruit and berries in that season.

Nothin’ Fancy

Perhaps one of the best things about oranges is the low maintenance. You don’t need a snazzy feeder. Simply hammer a nail to a deck railing or fencepost and stick an orange half to the nail. Or set a couple of orange halves right in your platform feeder. Easy peasy!

Early Bird Gets the Orange

Try to anticipate when orioles will arrive in your backyard. You’ll have the best chance of success if you put oranges out early. If orioles heading north find a good feeding spot, they may just stick around for breeding season and beyond, which means oriole guests for the entire summer.

Keep It Clean

As you can imagine, fresh fruit spoils quickly, especially in the spring and summer sunshine. Make sure to clean your fruit feeders every few days, remove moldy remains and replace with a fresh batch.

More Fruit Options

Don’t stop at oranges. Birds who enjoy a sweet orange treat will often eat other ripe fruit, too. Put out apple halves the same way as oranges. Set an overripe banana, a couple of handfuls of grapes or even chunks of melons on a platform feeder and have fun watching which birds fill up on fruit.

Ideal Oriole Habitat

Plant shrubs, nectar plants and fruit-bearing trees to make your backyard more attractive to orioles. Try crabapple, raspberries, native honeysuckle and trumpet vine.

Birds & Blooms Tip

Orioles tend to steal the show in the backyard because of their bright colors, but other birds like oranges, too. Look for these less showy birds that might stop for a citrusy snack:

  • Gray catbirds
  • Northern mockingbirds
  • Red-bellied woodpeckers
  • Western tanagers
  • Brown thrashers
  • Scarlet tanagers
  • Rose-breasted grosbeaks