grey catbird eating jelly?

bedeliaJune 12, 2009

Since I've seen baltimore orioles flying around, I put up a feeder with gray jelly and oranges. Now I see a grey catbird eating the jelly!

Is this common? Are they birds I want to attract? I also have a lot of goldfinches at their own feeder, and I don't want them scared off by the catbird.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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I love catbirds and yes they love jelly and also suet. They have the prettiest song. Catbirds won't scare other birds off either, usually they are the ones to be scared off however I have watched this year (for the first time) them fluffing up and chattering at the redwing blackbirds when they were at the peanut butter suet. It was funny.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 5:29PM
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I get two catbirds every spring/summer and I love to watch them. They are voracious grape jelly eaters. The two of them have gone through a couple 32 oz. jars of jelly in the month they've been here. They may also have been taking some back to the nest to feed their young.

The catbirds are very active in the yard, but goldfinches and other birds aren't bothered at all.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 6:18PM
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I LOVE catbirds!!! Last year I had a pair that came to the jelly feeder everyday. Sadly, I don't have any catbirds this year. I really miss them. They nested in a large bush below my deck. I have a grosebeak and red bellied wp that also love jelly. U R lucky to have the CB's.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 7:19PM
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Thanks for all of the comments. I just wish the orioles would eat the jelly too.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 1:40PM
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It took me 10 years to get my Orioles to eat the jelly. They prefer the 4 to 1 sugar water I put in the Oriole and Hummer feeders.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:21AM
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bedelia, the orioles at my feeders are very fond of red grapes and oranges. I don't even put jelly out because I find it a nuisance and the orioles and catbirds seem completely content with the fresh fruit.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 10:15AM
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The orioles that pass through here, if given the choice of nectar, orange, and grape jelly, almost always choose the jelly. Only the first oriole this season ate a small amount of orange when the jelly trays were empty. The only problem is I don't get many orioles(8 total in 7 weeks) and it doesn't take them long to eat the jelly. I've had one oriole for the last week so he must be nesting in the area(I haven't seen a female so maybe she's sitting on eggs all day). However, he only visits my feeder for about ten seconds a few times a day. The catbirds, on the other hand, spend MUCH more time at the feeder eating jelly. I have seen them less in recent days as they have shifted to some other foods like serviceberries.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 11:56AM
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I think I'll give up on the oranges. No one's touched them at all, and I've been changing them every other day or so. I've seen a squirrel go after the feeder and chased him off. I hope he doesn't get persistent.

I'm new at this bird thing, and there's a lot to learn.

Thanks for all your comments.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:45PM
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bedelia, instead of throwing out an orange half after only two days, you might try just slicing off the dried out top layer. The orange that is not exposed to the sun and air stays pretty fresh. My orange halves have lasted at least five days. That said, nothing here has touched the orange in several weeks, and migration is over, so I'm done putting it out.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 8:46PM
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My catbirds seem pretty shy of the feeder and BOSS. I'll try grape jelly but how should I feed it? Will a mealworm feeder mounted above the squirrel baffle work and how will I keep the ants away?


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:28PM
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I think you can put the jelly in just about anything. I've seen jelly feeders also, but they are pricey.

I have an oriole feeder (looks like a hummingbird feeder) that has little "pockets" for jelly. The bird lands on the center of the feeder and scarfs up the jelly. I haven't had any ant problems (yet) but I think the wasps will like it once they find it.

He hasn't touched the grapes though that I bought especially for him!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 7:49PM
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I also have catbirds that seem to have taken to eating the jelly I originally provided for the orioles...I have had no luck in drawing the orioles to this feeder---they come to the yard because of the apple blossoms--but do not come to this feeder, since the apple blossoms have gone by, I do not see the orioles anymore-- on occasion I can hear their beautiful song..So I now enjoy watching and feeding the catbirds their grape jelly and orange halves.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 8:20PM
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My catbirds had been devouring grape jelly since they arrived on May 7th. A few days ago they suddenly stopped coming to the feeder and pretty much disappeared(still see them in the tree once in a while). I'm not sure what they do or where they go now that they are done raising their young. I saw the female oriole at the jelly feeder for the first time a couple days ago, and I thought the pair would be taking jelly back to their young for a couple weeks, but they have disappeared as well.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 11:19PM
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