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Berries For Birds

I am trying to grow more shrubs that fruit at different times of the year in order to provide a continuous buffet and attract birds to my garden.

cedar waxwings

Photo: Mike_tn (flickr)

Feasting cedar waxwings.

Of course, a bird-friendly garden also needs water sources and safe places for birds to nest and shelter from the elements and predators.

Shrubs such as shadbush, chokeberry, blackberry, blueberry and elderberry are good for summer fruiting.

For fall berries, plant American beautyberry, mahonia, dogwood species and viburnum species.

Cedar waxwings love viburnums. Sumacs and roses (Birds like the hips.), as well as deciduous and evergreen hollies, supply food that lasts into winter.

You can also leave the stalks with seed heads from perennial flowers such as coneflower, black-eyed Susan, sunflower and aster for birds to enjoy in the cold weather.

A bird-friendly garden has diverse plantings of shrubs, trees, grasses, flowers, and open areas with lawn and ground cover where the birds can find insects and earthworms. Different birds will be attracted by different sources of food so the more diverse the plantings, the more options are then available for our feathered friends.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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