Saturday, October 27, 2012

What's Good to Eat? (for the birds)

Over the past week I have been observing what the birds are eating.  I am actively working in the yard and want to include things that provide a food source to the birds.  Unfortunately what I am finding is that a great deal of what the birds like are the very things you do not want growing in your yard.  That being their growth is too agressive and spreads easily.  I would like to stick with native plants but that is limiting also.  One definite is the Wax Myrtle.  Birds are going nuts over the berries and they provide wonderful cover.

The weather for the next several days is going to be non-conducive to being outside due to the remnants of Hurricane Sandy that will be coming up the east coast.  Skies today are gray and overcast and are projected to be that way for the next several days.  So sad.

By far, the most favored by many species is the berries from the poison ivy plant.  The foliage is beautiful in the fall but who wants poison growing in their yard especially when you have a high sensitivity to it.

The Purple Beautyberry has wonderful bright green leaves and bright purple berries but again, the non-cultivatal species spreads rapidly.  For sure in the fall the birds love the dried berries.   Once they turn dark and shrivel is when the birds like them.

Staghorn Sumac offers beautiful fall color foliage and the seed clusters are bright red in early fall but again is agressive in growth.  This is one of the later dried berries the birds eat so offers food well into winter.

Porcelin berries.  Sorry but I could not find my close up shots showing the full color.  Again, birds love them but the vine is considered highly invasive.

Dogwoods.  A must.  A native species and once the berries turn red, they are one of the first that the birds go after. 

Virginia Creeper.  Bright red foliage in the fall and the birds love the berries.  Native species which is a plus but the climbing overtaking nature is not practical for a yard.

Another highly preferred berry is the cedar berry.  Loved by Cedar Waxwings, Robins, Brown Thrashers and Mockingbirds just to name a few.  Another native, it offers shelter so is a good choice.

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