If you plant a variety of shrubs that flower and fruit at different times of the year, your birds will have a natural source of food and you won't have to spend quite as much on bird seed either. It is especially important to have food for birds during the winter months. This past winter in the NorthEast and for much of the US was especially brutal and not all birds and water fowl survived. In Michigan, the lakes froze over for such a long time that the mallard ducks died from starvation. We must all be cognizant of the fact that sometimes nature needs a little bit of help and if we can provide it we must.
Here are some berry producing shrubs that you may want to consider planting this year as suggested by Better Homes & Garden magazine:
- American Elder
- Eastern Red Cedar
- Staghorn Sumac
- Heavenly Bamboo
A great source for more about what to plant to naturally feed your backyard birds is from a blog called A Beautiful Wildlife Garden and you may link to it here.
Another fantastic article in one of my favorite publications (Birds and Blooms) provides more suggestions about what to plant in your yard to feed the birds and other wildlife. To enjoy this recent article click here.
We have several Holly Trees in our yard that provide a tremendous source of food in the dead of winter. When the red berries ripen and the snow mounts up, the robins feast on the berries. It seems that they wait as long as possible before they descend into the Holly trees and devour the berries. Robins do not eat seed, but love berries and fruit and of course worms which they cannot locate when snow and ice cover the ground. So, the Holly trees provide that food source for these beautiful birds.
Once your yard become bird-friendly, sit back and enjoy the show and listen for the songs from the happy birds living in your yard. It is pure bliss.