Each year in late April and early May many colorful migrating birds move through Ohio, often visiting suburban yards. Some may only stay a few days before pushing on, others linger longer, and if you are lucky, a few may set up shop! My favorite visitor is the Baltimore oriole, a bright orange and black bird. Oranges, grape jelly, and nectar are known to attract this species.
I have seen orioles each year during the first week of May and for some time thereafter. The real "oriole magnet" in my back yard is the nectar feeder! This year, we set our nectar feeder out on April 30, and were rewarded with visits from both orioles and a lone hummingbird the very next day.
Setting out feeders a week or so before you expect the visitors helps the early birds on the front of the migration. These early arrivers are taking a risk leaving early - they may get the best territories for breeding but food supplies may be short upon arrival. You also may be rewarded by offering other kinds of food: Black-oil seed attracted two rose-breasted grosbeaks to our feeder this past week. Dried mealworms are the "secret weapon" I use to keep bluebirds visiting my yard all year long!
All photos by Anna Rose.