Birds That Love Grape Jelly: Orioles, Robins, And More

If you’ve noticed certain bird species flocking to grape jelly offerings in your yard, you’re not alone. Many backyard bird enthusiasts have discovered the power of this fruit preserves in attracting feathered friends.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Sweet-loving birds like orioles, robins, woodpeckers, and tanagers especially enjoy grape jelly and will readily feed on it.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore the top species attracted to grape jelly, discuss why they find it irresistible, and share tips for offering it safely in your yard.

Bird Species That Love Grape Jelly

Baltimore Orioles

One of the most well-known bird species that love grape jelly is the Baltimore Oriole. These vibrant orange and black birds are a common sight in North America during the summer months. Orioles have a sweet tooth and are attracted to the sugary goodness of grape jelly.

They will often visit backyards that offer grape jelly feeders, delighting birdwatchers with their striking colors and melodious songs.

If you want to attract Baltimore Orioles to your yard, consider setting up a feeder filled with grape jelly. Simply place a dish of grape jelly in a shallow container or use specialized oriole feeders that are designed to hold jelly.

Hang the feeder in a visible spot and watch as these beautiful birds flock to it.

American Robins

Another bird species that has a fondness for grape jelly is the American Robin. These iconic birds are known for their distinctive orange-red breasts and cheerful songs. While robins are primarily insectivorous, they also enjoy a sweet treat every now and then.

Grape jelly can be an excellent supplemental food source for robins, especially during the spring and summer when they are busy raising their young. Robins are attracted to the high sugar content in grape jelly and will readily visit feeders that offer this tasty treat.

To attract American Robins to your yard, try placing a dish of grape jelly near other bird feeders or in a location where robins are known to frequent. You may be rewarded with the sight of these beautiful birds enjoying their jelly feast.

Downy Woodpeckers

While woodpeckers are typically associated with drilling into trees in search of insects, some species also have a taste for grape jelly. The Downy Woodpecker, a small and common woodpecker found throughout North America, is one such species.

Downy Woodpeckers have a varied diet that includes insects, seeds, and berries. They are known to visit backyard feeders filled with suet, seeds, and yes, grape jelly. The sweet jelly provides them with a quick source of energy and can be a welcome addition to their diet.

If you want to attract Downy Woodpeckers to your yard, consider offering grape jelly in a specialized woodpecker feeder or in a dish attached to a suet feeder. Place the feeder in a quiet and safe location, and soon you may have these charming little woodpeckers visiting regularly.

Scarlet Tanagers

The Scarlet Tanager is a strikingly beautiful bird with vibrant red plumage and jet-black wings. These birds migrate from South America to North America during the spring and summer months, making them a sought-after sighting for bird enthusiasts.

Scarlet Tanagers have a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, and berries. They are known to have a particular affinity for grape jelly and can often be enticed to visit feeders that offer this sweet treat.

To attract Scarlet Tanagers to your yard, try setting up a platform feeder with grape jelly or offering it in small dishes placed strategically around your property. Keep in mind that these birds prefer secluded and wooded areas, so try to create a habitat that mimics their natural environment.

Remember, providing grape jelly as a supplemental food source for birds should be done responsibly and in moderation. While birds enjoy the occasional sweet treat, their diet should primarily consist of natural foods that cater to their nutritional needs.

Enjoy the delightful sight of these birds enjoying grape jelly, but also make sure to offer a variety of other bird-friendly foods to support their overall health and well-being.

Why Grape Jelly is So Appealing

Grape jelly has become a popular choice among birds, especially orioles and robins, due to several factors that make it highly appealing to them. From its high sugar content to its familiar fruit flavor and bright purple color, grape jelly seems to have all the elements that attract these beautiful feathered creatures.

High Sugar Content

One of the main reasons why birds are drawn to grape jelly is because of its high sugar content. Birds, especially orioles and robins, have metabolisms that require a lot of energy to sustain their active lifestyles.

The sugar in grape jelly provides them with a quick and easily accessible source of energy, helping them to fuel their flights and stay active throughout the day.

Familiar Fruit Flavor

Another reason why birds find grape jelly irresistible is its familiar fruit flavor. Many birds are naturally attracted to the sweet taste of fruits, as they typically associate it with a good source of nutrition.

The taste of grape jelly mimics that of ripe grapes, which are a common food source for many bird species. This familiarity with the flavor makes grape jelly a desirable and delicious treat for them.

Bright Purple Color

The bright purple color of grape jelly also plays a role in attracting birds. Birds are highly visual creatures and are often attracted to bright colors. The vibrant purple hue of grape jelly stands out in the natural environment, making it easily noticeable to birds flying by.

This visual appeal, combined with the sweet aroma and taste, makes grape jelly a standout choice for birds looking for a tasty snack.

Best Practices for Offering Grape Jelly

When it comes to attracting birds that love grape jelly, such as orioles and robins, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. By following these guidelines, you can create an inviting environment for these beautiful creatures to enjoy their favorite treat.

Specialty Bird Feeders

Investing in a specialty bird feeder designed specifically for grape jelly can greatly enhance your chances of attracting orioles, robins, and other birds that enjoy this sweet treat. These feeders typically have shallow dishes or cups where you can place the jelly.

They may also include perches or platforms for the birds to comfortably feed from.

When choosing a bird feeder, opt for one with bright colors such as orange or red, as these hues are known to attract orioles. Additionally, make sure the feeder is sturdy and easy to clean, as maintaining cleanliness is crucial to keep the birds healthy.

Bees and Wasps Considerations

While grape jelly is a favorite among some bird species, it can also attract other insects such as bees and wasps. To minimize the presence of these buzzing creatures, consider the following tips:

  • Place the jelly feeder away from areas where bees and wasps are commonly found, such as flowering plants or garbage cans.
  • Choose a feeder with bee guards or built-in wasp traps to deter these insects from accessing the jelly.
  • Regularly clean the feeder to remove any sticky residue that may attract bees and wasps.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that the grape jelly remains a tasty treat exclusively for the birds.

Making Your Own Grape Jelly

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own grape jelly to offer to the birds. Homemade jelly can be a healthier option, as you have control over the ingredients used and can avoid adding excessive amounts of sugar or preservatives.

To make grape jelly, start by selecting ripe, sweet grapes. Wash them thoroughly and remove the stems. Crush the grapes and strain the juice. Measure the juice and add sugar according to the recipe you choose. Then, follow the instructions for cooking and canning the jelly.

Keep in mind that making jelly can be a time-consuming process. However, the satisfaction of offering homemade jelly to the birds, while knowing exactly what went into it, can be incredibly rewarding.

Remember, offering grape jelly to birds is just one way to attract them to your backyard. It’s important to provide a diverse range of food sources, including nectar, seeds, and insects, to cater to the varied diets of different bird species.

Creating a bird-friendly environment with plenty of natural shelter and water sources will also help in attracting these delightful creatures.

Other Foods Enjoyed by Jelly-Loving Birds


In addition to grape jelly, many jelly-loving birds also have a fondness for oranges. Orioles, in particular, are known to enjoy the sweet and citrusy taste of oranges. You can attract these colorful birds to your yard by offering slices of oranges on a platform feeder or by hanging them from a tree branch.

Oranges not only provide a delicious treat for orioles but also offer a good source of Vitamin C for them.

Raisins and Currants

Another tasty treat for jelly-loving birds is raisins and currants. Birds like robins and cedar waxwings are especially fond of these dried fruits. You can place a small dish of raisins and currants in your garden or on a bird feeder to attract these birds.

Remember to soak the raisins and currants in water for a few minutes before offering them to the birds, as this will make them softer and easier for the birds to eat.

Grape Jam

If you don’t have grape jelly on hand, don’t worry! Birds that love grape jelly also have a penchant for grape jam. The sticky and sweet consistency of grape jam is just as appealing to birds like orioles and robins.

You can spread grape jam on a slice of bread or place it in a small dish for the birds to enjoy. Just make sure to avoid using jam with added sugars or artificial sweeteners, as these can be harmful to the birds.


With its irresistible sweetness and familiar grape flavor, it’s no wonder some of our favorite feathered garden visitors relish grape jelly above other treat offerings.

Offering this yummy, energy-rich food can be a great way to attract orioles, robins, and other special bird species to your backyard. Just be sure to follow smart feeding practices for a safe and rewarding birdwatching experience.

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