When adding a new shrub to your garden, select one that produces berries. Choosing
a berry shrub gives you a living bird feeder, and a garden full of berries is
simply irresistible to birds!
Berries are sure to bring birds flocking to your lawn and garden, so plant plenty of berry shrubs like June berries. If you plant berries like strawberries to eat yourself, keep the plants covered with netting or you may have to share with the birds.
Here are a few suggested berry shrubs and the birds that love them:
- American Cranberry - Robins, thrushes, bluebirds, and many others
Description: Rounded shrub to 12' tall, with three-lobed leaves. Flat-topped clusters of white flowers in late spring; shining red fruits in early fall.
- Arrowwood - Cardinals, flycatchers, pheasants, robins, starlings, thrashers, thrushes, wild turkeys, waxwings, woodpeckers
Description: Multi-stemmed shrub 8' to 15' tall expands slowly from base to form a large clump. Clusters of small creamy flowers in early summer; oval blue-black fruits in fall.
- Barberries - Catbirds, mockingbirds, and many others
Description: Thorny, very dense, rounded shrubs, varying in size from 18"-tall 'Crimson Pygmy' to 6'-tall 'Red Chief'. Yellow flowers followed by bright red or orange berries.
- Blackberries, Raspberries & Wineberries - Blackbirds, bluebirds, bobwhites, buntings, cardinals, catbirds, chickadees, prairie chickens, crows, grackles, grosbeaks, grouse, jays, mockingbirds, orioles, quails, robins, sparrows, tanagers, thrashers, thrushes, titmice, towhees, wild turkeys, vireos, waxwings, woodpeckers, wren
Description: Bramble fruits of various sizes and colors, including red, orange-yellow, purple, and purple black. Most species produce shrubby clusters of arching canes that may be prickly to thorny. Some brambles spread readily from suckers and by rooting where cane tips bend over to the ground to form protective thickets where birds may nest and dine.
- Black Currant - Robins, mockingbirds, jays and many others
Description: Twiggy shrub to 6' tall, with lobed leaves. Clusters to greenish white flowers followed by edible black fruits.
- Cedars & Junipers - Bluebirds, catbirds, crossbills, finches, flickers, grosbeaks, jays, mockingbirds, robins, sapsuckers, tree swallows, thrashers, hermit thrushes, yellow-rumped warblers, waxwings
Description: Evergreen conifers with short gray-green needles, of various habit, from ground-hugging creepers to upright or gnarled trees.
- Elderberries - A very wide range of berry-eating birds
Description: 6' - 10' multi-stemmed shrubs with white flowers and abundant clusters of tiny berries.
- Hollies - Bluebirds, bobwhites, catbirds, doves, flickers, grouse, jays, mockingbirds, quails, robins, sapsuckers, sparrows, thrashers, thrushes, towhees, wild turkeys, vireos, waxwings, woodpeckers
Description: Evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees with attractive foliage and red berries.
- Juneberries - Waxwings, bluebirds, and many others
Description: Shrubs or small trees with white flowers in early spring, followed by fruits that turn red, then blue-black or purple. Leaves turn yellow to deep red in fall.
- Mulberries - Bluebirds, cardinals, catbirds, doves, flickers, flycatchers, grackles, grosbeaks, jays, mockingbirds, orioles, robins, house sparrows, tanagers, thrashers, thrushes, titmice, vireos, waxwings, woodpeckers
Description: Deciduous trees with white, red, purple, or black-purple fruits; messy and invasive by seed but always a bird favorite.
- Spicebush - Bluebirds, bobwhites, catbirds, great crested flycatchers, pheasants, robins, thrushes, vireos
Description: Shrub or small tree, often suckering into small group, with yellow flowers on bare branches in early spring; has glossy red berries; all parts have delightful spicy scent.
- Strawberries - Catbirds, prairie chickens, crows, grosbeaks, grouse, mockingbirds, pheasants, quails, robins, sparrows, thrashers, thrushes, towhees, wild turkeys
Description: Groundcovers with clumps of three-lobed leaves. White or pink flowers in spring followed be delectable red berries.
- Virginia Creeper - Bluebirds, catbirds, chickadees, flickers, flycatchers, mockingbirds, nuthatches, robins, sapsuckers, tree swallows, thrashers, thrushes, titmice, woodpeckers
Description: Climbing or ground-covering perennial vine with five-part leaves that turn beautiful crimson in fall; has grapelike clusters of deep blue berries.
About the Author:
Louise Desmarteau is the owner of BirdShopper.com, your source for unique and traditional quality wild bird products.
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