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Colorful Backyard Visitors

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Have you noticed any bright orange and black birds hanging around the feeders the last week or two? If the answer to that question is yes, then consider yourself lucky! The Baltimore Oriole is making its way through the midwest as part of its migration north for the summer. The Baltimore Oriole is a fun bird to watch and loves nectar; they will eat the pulp from oranges according the Missouri Department of Conservation website. 

The Mail asked local residents for photos of the beautiful birds at the feeders and the responses were exciting. “We love to watch all of nature, but birds are so joyful with their beautiful colors and songs,” shared Erika Anderson Fields who is an avid nature lover, bird watcher and amateur bird photographer. 

My grandparents and parents encouraged us to be inquisitive about our environment. They would often teach us about different varieties of birds while we were fishing or just out for a walk. Now, I love being able to spot a bird or hear a birdsong and point it out to my kids. I want my kids to grow up curious and respectful of nature and our environment,” explained Fields about her love of birds and bird watching. “I put our feeders out the first day I saw an Oriole in one of our pecan trees. I think it was around April 25th. During the day we have anywhere from 10-20 orioles in our trees and at our feeders.”

Anyone can try their hand at bringing in these beautiful birds with a few simple tips:

      • Cut an orange in half and set it out in a clear pie dish. 
      • A clear pie dish of grape Jelly.
      • A nectar feeder (like one used for humming birds)

We go through about 32oz of grape jelly a day. I also put out nectar feeders and oranges, but they seem to prefer the grape jelly.  It is fascinating to watch them and hear their different calls, which vary from beautiful songs to a scolding chatter. They like to chatter loudly when they are out of jelly,” shared Fields. “They are tenacious about jelly - we watched them continue to raid the jelly feeders during thunderstorms. They could barely fly against the winds, but they didn’t let it stop them. They are full of spunk. As long as they are here, I will try to keep the feeders full for them.”

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