Just recently avian parents have started bringing their newly fledged offspring to the bird feeders to show them where to get a free meal. I heard Baltimore Orioles vocalizing in the oak trees in the backyard, so I quickly added some grape jelly to the hummingbird feeder. Within a few minutes, the whole oriole family visited, and continued to visit for the next couple of days.
Unlike many fruit-eaters, Orioles prefer only the ripest, purple-est fruits, like mulberries, dark red cheeries, and of course, grapes. I wonder about the blueberry flavor though, because a lot of the ripe blueberries are suddenly missing from my bushes.
Oriole parents feed their chicks insects, but switch their diet to the high energy sugar contents of ripe fruits in the fall in order to put on fat for migration. It seems a little early for that — we barely have gotten into summer weather here. But the biological clock never lies, and preparation is the key to survival.