Transforming your backyard into a vibrant birdwatcher’s paradise can be a delightful endeavor. While the melody of birdsong and the flash of wings are captivating on their own, knowing how to entice a variety of bird species can enrich the experience even further. Among the plethora of bird feed options, one might surprise you—grape jelly! This sweet treat has a fan following in the avian world that’s as diverse as it is enthusiastic. This guide will introduce you to the array of birds that can’t resist grape jelly, enhancing your bird feeding and birdwatching experiences. So, ready your feeders and prepare for a closer look at the feathered friends who can’t resist this sugary delight.
Birds That Love Grape Jelly
Here is a detailed list of birds that are known to enjoy grape jelly. It’s important to note that while many of these birds will appreciate this sweet treat, it’s always best to supplement it with other forms of nutrition appropriate to each bird species.
Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
Baltimore orioles are particularly fond of grape jelly due to its similarity in taste to the dark, ripe fruits they naturally consume.
Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii)
Similar to the Baltimore oriole, Bullock’s orioles also enjoy grape jelly as part of their diet.
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
These fruit-eating birds are attracted to grape jelly and may visit feeders that offer both jelly and a water source.
Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)
During their migration, summer tanagers may be seen visiting feeders with grape jelly, along with other sweet-feeding birds.
Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)
Scarlet tanagers are known to be attracted to grape jelly, especially during migration.
Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)
Northern mockingbirds are occasionally drawn to feeders with grape jelly.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
These migratory birds may visit feeders with grape jelly as well.
Woodpeckers (Various species)
Some woodpeckers might stop by jelly feeders, attracted by the sweet treat. This includes species like the Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) and the Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus).
House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus)
House finches are known to occasionally eat grape jelly.
In addition to the above, other birds that are also known to enjoy grape jelly include the Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius), Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus), and several others.
Remember, while grape jelly is a wonderful treat to attract a variety of birds, it should be offered in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Offering a variety of food sources can attract a greater diversity of bird species and will ensure they’re receiving the proper nutrition. Consider providing seeds, nuts, fresh fruits, and clean water along with grape jelly.
A Sweet Attraction: The Birds That Love Grape Jelly
Orioles are among the most enthusiastic about grape jelly. Their sweet tooth makes them frequent visitors to jelly feeders. Species of orioles that enjoy grape jelly include:
- Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula): These vibrant orange and black birds are especially attracted to grape jelly’s sweetness, which closely resembles their preferred dark, ripe fruits.
- Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius): Slightly smaller than their Baltimore counterparts, Orchard Orioles also find grape jelly irresistible.
- Bullock’s Oriole (Icterus bullockii): These western orioles share their eastern cousins’ love for jelly.
- Hooded Oriole (Icterus cucullatus): Preferring sweeter fare, these orioles will gladly feast on grape jelly.
The Jellying Grosbeak and Tanager
- Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus): These birds have been known to stop by feeders with grape jelly on their migratory journeys.
- Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea): Known for their vibrant red coloration, Scarlet Tanagers can occasionally be lured to feeders with grape jelly.
A Few More Grape Jelly Lovers
- Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos): Though their diet primarily consists of insects and berries, these talented mimics don’t mind sampling grape jelly.
- Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis): As lovers of fruits, catbirds often visit feeders that provide grape jelly.
- House Finch (Haemorhous mexicanus): Though they predominantly feed on seeds, House Finches have been known to sample grape jelly.
- Woodpeckers: Several woodpecker species, including Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) and Hairy Woodpecker (Dryobates villosus), are known to occasionally indulge in grape jelly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Is grape jelly safe for birds?
While grape jelly is safe for birds to eat in moderation, it should not be their primary food source. Bird diets should be well-rounded, including a variety of seeds, insects, fruits, and nectar in addition to treats like grape jelly.
2. How often should I put out grape jelly for birds?
You can put out grape jelly for birds daily, but make sure it’s a small amount. A spoonful or two is sufficient for a day. It is especially appreciated during the spring and summer months when many species are breeding or migrating.
3. Is homemade grape jelly better for birds?
If you can make homemade grape jelly without any additives or preservatives, it could be healthier for birds than store-bought varieties.
4. What other foods can I provide to attract birds?
Birds are attracted to a variety of foods. Apart from grape jelly, you can put out seeds (like sunflower or safflower seeds), suet, fruits (like oranges or apples), and nectar for hummingbirds.
5. Can grape jelly attract pests?
Yes, the sweet smell of grape jelly can potentially attract pests like ants, bees, and wasps. Make sure to clean the feeder regularly and place it in a location where it’s not likely to attract unwanted pests.
Attracting a diverse variety of bird species to your backyard is an exciting endeavor. By offering a range of foods, including treats like grape jelly, you can invite an array of birds to your space. Remember, though, that grape jelly should be served in moderation as part of a balanced diet for birds. Regularly clean your bird feeders to maintain hygiene and prevent attracting pests. With the right food, cleanliness, and patience, you can enjoy the colors and songs of numerous bird species right in your own backyard. Happy bird watching!