Berry-licious Treats for Birds
By Kerry Ann Mendez
Many trees and shrubs will produce berries that can be enjoyed by birds during the lean months of autumn and winter.
Yummy berries for birds come in so many brilliant colors, including red, blue, purple, orange, pink or yellow and the display is further enhanced by those with striking fall foliage. Watching excited birds feasting on these tasty treats is simply icing on the cake!
Below are a few terrific natural "bird feeders" to consider adding to your landscape:
Southernwood Viburnum (V. dentatum, Zone 4) and Possumhaw Viburnum (V. nudum, Zone 5) - These native plants will do well in sun to part shade locations. 'Winterthur' is an especially spectacular cultivar, but there are also many other species that produce tasty fruit.
Red Chokeberry (Aronia abutifolia) and Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Red Chokeberry is native to the eastern and central United States, while Black Chokecherry is native to the eastern United States. Both are hardy to Zone 3 and can be planted in sun to part shade locations.
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) - This native to eastern North America will enjoy a sunny to part shady spot and moist soils. It is hardy to Zone 3.
Hawthorn 'Winter King' (Crataegus) and Cockspur (C. crus-galli) - Both of these are native trees that can be added to sun to part sun locations and are hardy to Zone 4.
For more tips on adding shrubs for birds, visit the National Wildlife Federation's blog entry entitled Winter Berries for Birds.
About the Author
KERRY ANN MENDEZ is an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant based in southern Maine. Her latest book is The Budget-Wise Gardener. You'll now find her at Estabrook's consulting on garden design, answering your gardening questions and much more. Plus, don't miss her Garden Webinar series!