What we have learned about offering jelly (that
contains high-fructose corn sweetener or HFCS) to the Baltimore and orchard orioles, and
HFCS affects the satiety. Satiety (sa-TIE-uh-tee) is the bird's
ability to feel satisfied or to have a feeling of fullness created by what it is eating.
The HFCS manipulates the portion of the bird's brain that regulates its hunger upsetting
the balance in its diet. When we offer jellies that contain this sweetener, the birds are
not eating much else. This is raising concerns among birding experts, since the
oriole's main diet consists of insects, and then fruit and nectar. During nesting
season when most birds' diets naturally change to insects, which provide the high protein
needed for raising strong babies, if grape jelly with HFCS is readily available that is
pretty-much what they are feeding their young.
There are many reports on the affects of HFCS in our diets and how bad it
is for us. Experts say that it may also be contributing to the growing obesity
problem in our children. Let's not risk what it could be doing to some of our most
beautiful songsters, the orioles, too!
Our area hosts the Baltimore and orchard oriole in summer. Baltimore
orioles are flaming orange and black. Orchard orioles are smaller and a deeper
cinnamon-orange color; the females of both species are drab yellow, gray and white and are
often mistaken for a warbler. Orchard orioles are more common in the lower third of
What we recommend you do to safely attract the Baltimore, orchard orioles,
and other fruit and nectar eating birds:
1. Do not offer grape jelly that contains high-fructose corn
2. Do offer "natural" unsweetened jellies and fruits
3. Do offer finely chopped dark red or black grapes
4. Do offer fresh oranges
5. Do offer "rendered" and safe for summer feeding, high-quality pure beef
suet, not just animal fats
6. Do offer roasted mealworms
When making nectar with either white table sugar or using our Best 1
brand nectar mix, always mix four parts water to one part powder. J.J.'s recipe for
· one 20 oz.
· one cup finely
chopped dark red seedless grapes
· one 3.5 oz.
· one 12 oz.
cake grated Orange
Stir all ingredients to blend, fill your oriole feeders, and store unused
portion in a sealed contained in the refrigerator up to one week, or longer in the
freezer. Orioles love it, and the BirdBerry
jelly, mealies, and orange suet dough in this recipe are all basic store stock at
J.J.'s if you need them.
on behalf of the the Naturalists at J.J. Cardinals
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