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Can You Use Hummingbird Nectar in an Oriole Feeder?

Can You Use Hummingbird Nectar in an Oriole Feeder?

You can attract various birds to your yard by installing feeders filled with sweet nectar. So, were you initially feeding orioles and now planning to attract hummingbirds to your yard? Or having Oriole feeders to attract hummingbirds? If this is so, then you might have a question whether the same oriole feeder can be filled with hummingbird nectar or not to attract the hummers. Hence, to know more in detail about it continue reading this article.

What is the connection between hummingbirds and the Oriole feeders?

The common thing about both types of feeders is that both can store nectar. The proportion of ingredients used to make the nectar for both types of birds is almost the same. Apart from this nectar, the orioles also prefer to eat jelly and oranges.

The only difference between these feeders is the size. As orioles are bigger than the hummingbirds, therefore their feeders are also bigger in size with large perches. On the other hand, hummingbirds are tiny; so their feeders are small and contain small perches or sometimes no perches at all.

Also, as the Oriole feeders have bigger feeding ports, it becomes easy for the hummingbird to suck the nectar from it.

Can you use hummingbird nectar for feeding Orioles?

Similar to hummingbirds, even the Orioles have a sweet tooth. So they prefer the food that not only provides them nutrition but also tastes sweet. Therefore the Orioles love the nectar, which is made for hummingbirds with 4 parts of water and 1 part of sugar. But the only thing is that the Orioles need larger perches to relax and enjoy their nectar.

If you want to attract Orioles to your feeder, then you can definitely use the hummers nectar. But it is advised to use the feeders made for the particular birds so they can enjoy their food.

Can I use hummingbird nectar in an oriole feeder?

Attracting birds to the feeders is a bit challenging as you need to provide them nutritious food and also look for their safety. However, most of the birds like to have sweet nectar as their food as it gives them the energy to migrate to different places the whole day.

So, do you have an old Oriole feeder now? Great!

You can add your hummingbird nectar to Oriole feeder and attract your favorite hummingbirds or even Orioles as the feeder suits both the birds.

Here are a few reasons why you can add hummingbird nectar to your Oriole feeders.

Similar nectar/sugar water recipe

The standard nectar recipe that is 4 parts of water and 1 part of sugar is loved by Orioles too. Therefore the Oriole feeders have a container where you can add nectar, and the other containers can be filled with jelly and seeds loved by the Orioles. So while attracting the hummingbirds, you can also add some water in the other containers for these tiny birds to satisfy their thirst. Note that some feeders might have extra containers while others might have only one.

Attract hummingbirds

Hummingbirds like to have sweet nectar that will give them the energy to fly. Therefore by providing them tasty sugar water even in the Oriole feeder, you can definitely attract them to your balcony or yard. Also, some of the oriole feeders have a roof on top so you can protect these tiny birds from the strong wind and even feed them in the rain. With the roof, these tiny hummers also feel protected from their predators.

Large perching area

Hummingbirds like to have their food while viewing the beautiful sights and even keep a check on their territories and predators. Therefore adding the hummers nectar to the Oriole’s feeder will be very helpful for them to enjoy their food while watching nature’s beauty. These perching areas also work as a resting area for them after their long journey.

Large feeding port

As Orioles are larger birds and have big beaks, their feeders have larger feeding ports. Therefore these tiny hummingbirds are comfortable feeding from these large ports and don’t have to struggle to eat the sweet nectar as their small beaks can easily get through these ports and suck whatever nectar is needed.

Attract Orioles with the same nectar

As hummingbirds and orioles love the same nectar recipe, you can attract the orioles to the feeder by using the same nectar which you have made for hummingbirds. But don’t forget to add orange color in the nectar as the Orioles are more attracted to the color orange. Adding color preservatives is not advised while attracting the tiny hummingbirds.

Invite hummers and orioles both to the feeder

With this delicious hummingbird nectar, you can attract the hummers as well as the orioles to have the same feeder. The tiny hummingbirds are comfortable having the nectar from the same feeder until they feel threatened. So another solution for attracting both these birds is to have separate feeders for both these birds so that they both can relax and enjoy the nectar.

Precautions to consider while adding hummingbird nectar to the Oriole feeder

Every food item gets spoiled if its not properly stored or preserved. Here are the precautions that you need to consider while adding hummingbirds nectar to the Oriole feeders.

Make an adequate quantity of nectar

As orioles are big, their nectar containers are a bit big to satisfy their hunger. Therefore make sure that you make the hummingbird nectar enough to fill the feeder. Else, these tiny birds might have to struggle a bit to have a sweet sip of nectar.

Clean the feeders

Most of the orioles feeders are opened; hence there are chances of dust and dirt from the air settling on the nectar in the feeder. Hummingbirds prefer clean nectar, and if they find it dirty, they might not come to your feeder again.

Use only plain white sugar

While making the hummingbird nectar, make sure that you use the plain white sugar and not brown sugar, as it is heavy for the hummingbirds to digest. Also, honey contains molasses that can ferment easily and can create mold. And if in case the hummers consume such nectar, then it might also cause them severe illness. 

Place the feeder in the shade

Make sure that you keep the oriole feeder in the shade or in a place where there is no direct contact with sunlight. As most feeders are opened, the direct sun rays can quickly destroy the nectar. Also, sometimes the sun’s rays can cause a distraction to the hummingbirds while having the nectar.

How to make nectar for hummingbirds and orioles at home?

Making nectar at home is one of the best ways to provide the hummers and orioles with healthy food. The nectar recipe of both the birds is almost the same, with a little addition in the ingredients. So, if you are making the nectar for the birds for the first time, then here is the recipe for easy understanding.

Recipe for making hummingbirds nectar

  • Boil 4 parts of water.
  • Add 1 part of granulated sugar in it.
  • Stir the mixture till the sugar completely dissolves in the water.
  • Keep the mixture aside to cool down at room temperature.
  • Once it cools then pour the mixture in the clean hummingbird feeder.

Recipe for making orioles nectar

  • Boil 6 parts of water.
  • Add 1 part of granulated sugar in it.
  • Stir the mixture till the sugar completely dissolves in the water.
  • Keep the mixture aside to cool down at room temperature.
  • Once it cools, then pour the mixture in the clean orioles feeder.

Note: This is the standard orioles nectar recipe, which suggests adding 2 more parts of water than the hummingbirds. But in general, Orioles are even fine with the hummingbird’s nectar.

What are the do and don’ts of hummingbird nectar?

While making the nectar, you should always follow certain guidelines. Here are the tips that you can always keep in mind while making the nectar for the tiny birds.

1. Do use clean tap water

Always use clean water to make the nectar; otherwise, using contaminated water with chemicals in it can harm hummingbirds and make them ill.

2. Don’t add artificial sweetener or honey

Artificial sweeteners and even honey can be dangerous for hummingbirds as they have different compositions and textures. The addition of these in the nectar can make it difficult for the birds to digest.

3. Do store the nectar in the refrigerator

If more quantity of nectar is left out, then always store it in a refrigerator for future use. The nectar remains in good condition for a week. Make sure you store the nectar in an air-tight container to store it for a long time.

4. Don’t microwave the nectar

You might think that boiling the water and sugar mixture and microwaving it is the same. But actually, it is not, as if you don’t boil the mixture, then the chemical composition of the nectar can be ruined, and it might taste a bit different.

Are hummingbirds afraid of Orioles?

Hummingbirds and Orioles can gel up easily with each other if you create an appropriate environment for them. Both these birds can easily feed from the same feeder without any fight. Very rarely, some of the dominant orioles might chase and kill hummingbirds if they feel that their food source is under threat.

This scenario of Orioles killing hummingbirds is very rare, but this does happen. In such cases, you might lose some other hummingbirds coming to your yard, as they feel insecure and threatened about their safety. They might go to some other places where they can get a good source of nectar and also feel safe at the same time.

Which is the best place to hang the Oriole feeder?

Placing the feeder at the right place is also one of the important things to consider while attracting the birds to your yard. If your feeder is hidden and not clearly visible to the birds you want to attract, they won’t come to your yard. So let us have a look at which is the best place to hang Oriole’s feeder.

Out in the open area

Placing the feeders outside will make it clearly visible to the birds when they are on their migration journey. But make sure that the feeder is not placed in a way that it comes in direct contact with the sunlight, as it can disturb the birds while having their food.

Hang it near shady trees

Some of the trees that are sturdy and might provide great shade to the feeders are:

  • Sycamore Tree
  • Oak Tree
  • Maple Tree
  • Willow
  • Elms
  • Cottonwood

Placing the feeders near these trees will ensure that the feeder isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, which can spoil the nectar.

Near flowers and bushes

Placing the feeder near the bushes and the flower trees where they can get a good source of nectar is also one of the best places to hang the feeder. It also helps them to hide easily and protect themselves from predators. These birds can also rest on the bushes after their long migration journey.

Near a water source

Birds like to bathe and clean their wings after their migration journey. Hence installing a feeder with a water source is an added advantage of attracting more birds to your feeder. If there is no water source nearby, then you can create one for them by adding water to the bowl or plate so that they can enjoy their bath time.


Hummingbirds are the tiny birds who feed mostly on the sweet nectar to fill up their energy for migrating to different places. The types of feeder you are using don’t matter to them as they have small beaks through which they can sip nectar easily.

I hope this article has given you clear understanding about everything related to the hummingbirds nectar in the oriole feeder.

If you know any other tips for placing the oriole feeder, then let us know in the comment section below.