Introduction: Baltimore Oriole Feeder
This simple Baltimore Oriole feeder can also attract other birds who are drawn to jelly & fruit. It has dowels to hang two pieces of citrus and a cup for jelly.
The project can be done in a few hours, depending upon how fancy you want to get and whether you want to paint the finished project. The completed Oriole feeder you see here has been in our backyard in Maine for the last three years and Orioles have come every year. We never saw them before we put up the feeder, so it's a case of "if you build it, they MAY come"
I've built 3 more of these since then for friends.
Short scraps of:
- 1x5" pine board (about 1 foot, minimum)
- 1x2" pine board (about 18")
- 3/8" dowel (or other size)
- 2 cedar shingles or other thin board, about 5 1/2" wide and 6 1/2" long
deck screws - 1 5/8" (can use drywall screws, although they may rust)
Drill with 3/8"bit and smaller bits for pre-drilling screw holes
2 1/2" or larger hold saw bit OR jigsaw to cut a round hole
small plastic or glass bowl (I bough a set of 4 mini glass bowls at the dollar store)
- countersink bit
- router and 1/2" rounder bit
Step 1: These Are the Basic Supplies.
Obviously, you can adjust size and materials based on what you have handy.
Step 2: Cut 2 Pieces From the 1x5 Board
I used a chop saw to cut a 6" section from the 1x5 board (which will serve as the base) and then cut another 6" piece, with 45° point to serve as the back wall.
Step 3: Cut Two 8" Pieces From the 1x2", Each With a 45° Angle at One End
These will serve as the two sides of the feeder. you can take a 16" piece (or something like that) and just cut it in half with a chop saw at a 45° angle.
While you are at it, also cut a small 1x1" piece that will be used to tack the front of the roof together.
Step 4: Cut the Roof Pieces
I used 2 cedar shingles that were about 5 1/2" wide and cut them down to 6 1/2" long. You can vary both the width depending upon what you have available and how much coverage you want over the feeder and the length, depending upon how far down you want the roof to hang.
Step 5: Cut the 3/8" Dowels to 3" Each and Sand to a Point
To hang oranges on, I used 5/8" dowels, at about 3" in length. The key is to select a dowel size that matches a drill bit size you have.
Once you have cut the dowels to 3", you can sand (or whittle) them to point to make it easier to slide oranges onto them. I used a corner sander, although you can certain to do it by hand or just whittle them to a point.
Step 6: Attach the Sides to the Back
Attach the side supports to the back with screws. I predrilled the holes and used deck screws that wouldn't rust, although you could use drywall screws and just insert them to save time.
Step 7: Insert Dowels Into the Side Supports
Using a bit that matches the size of your dowels (I used 5/8"), drill holes for the orange holders, about 4" from the base. Fill with wood clue and insert the sharpened dowels.
Step 8: Cut the Hold for the Jelly Cup
In the 6" base piece (which will be about 6" by 4 1/2"), cut a hole that is the appropriate size for the jelly cup you have. I position the hole toward the front of the board, although it could be in the dead center.
I purchased a set of small glass cups from the dollar store for $1. I used a 2 1/2" hole saw bit to cut the hole. For previous projects I have simply drilled a holde and used a jigsaw to cut a rough hole the appropriate size needed to hold the cup. Honestly, from afar, it doesn't matter if the hole is perfectly circular.
Once the hole was cut, I used a router with a 1/2" roundover bit to bevel the edge. However, on earlier versions I just used rough sandpaper to soothe down the edge around he opening. Essentially, you want to create a hole where the jelly bowl will sit in place without falling out.
Step 9: Attach the Base to the Side Pieces
I pre-drilled holes to attach the base to the legs, using deck screws.
Step 10: Attach the Roof
In some ways, this is the trickiest step.
I positioned the shingles to attach to the back piece and then pre-drilled where they would attache. I also counter-sunk the screws so I wouldn't split the thin shingles. I actually attached each side of the roof with one screw first, and then put a second screw in each roof to secure it to the back piece.
Then, I used the 1x1 piece to secure the front of the roof. Again, I pre-drilled and countersunk the screws so I wouldn't split the 1x1 piece or the shingle roof pieces.
Step 11: Finished (unfinished) Feeder
Here is what the feeder looks like before painting and mounting. I then painted it orange (who knows if that actually helps attract orioles) and used pipe straps to attache it to a piece of conduit. You could hang it any number of other ways.
The wood-burnt logo of "Duck Butt Creations" is my own touch -- you can put your own logo in there if you have one.
Hope you have fun and get some Baltimore Orioles to visit you yard.
Participated in the
For the Birds Speed Challenge