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Every spring when the Baltimore Orioles return I start feeding them grape jelly. After a couple of weeks they leave to raise their young. Sometimes a few of them will turn up at the jelly feeder during this time but for the most part I don’t see them again until the young fledge.

Orchard and Baltimore Orioles

Orchard and Baltimore Orioles

Once the young fledge, the adults and the young return to the jelly feeder. This has been the pattern for the past several years. This year when they returned there were a large number of them. What differed from past years was that they were frantic. It made me nervous just being around them. Then they started banging into my picture windows. At one point they were hitting the windows five or six times an hour. A couple of them were killed. This had never happened before.

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole

I finally decided that they would be better off if I quit feeding them. I put some food out and when it was gone I did not put any more jelly out. After about a week and a half they were gone from my feeders.

Baltimore Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

I then decided to try again so I put a single jelly feeder out. This time only a few of them returned and all was calm. Since then I have had a steady stream of orioles at my feeder but the frantic chaos was no longer present.



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