Pender Gardener

The bright red berries of dogwood are a valuable food source for birds.

The bright red berries of dogwood are a valuable food source for birds.

Published: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at 02:22 PM.

Creating a Bird Friendly Landscape

With winter approaching, you may be thinking about buying or filling a birdfeeder. Adding a birdfeeder to the landscape is a good way to draw birds into your garden, but if you want to attract a wide range of birds and have them call your backyard home, you need to create a suitable habitat. Modifying your landscape to make it a welcoming place for migrating and resident birds is not difficult and usually just involves adding a few more plants.


Grow Your Own Birdfeeder

Seed and berry producing plants are essential food sources for many bird species. Native plants are particularly well suited to our climate and our native birds. A few commonly available native plants appropriate for home landscapes that produce seeds and berries that birds favor include beautyberry (Callicarpa americana), fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus), eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), dogwood (Cornus florida), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), river birch (Betula nigra), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), oaks and pines. Native perennials that produce seeds for birds include black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia fulgida), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), ‘Fireworks’ goldenrod (Solidago rugosa), tickseed (Coreopsis species), swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), aromatic aster (Aster oblongifolius) and panic grass (Panicum virgatum). To benefit birds, do not cut these perennials back in fall. Instead wait to cut them back in early spring to allow birds to feed on their seeds over winter. Evergreen plants, such as wax myrtle, yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), inkberry (Ilex glabra), and American holly (Ilex opaca), provide shelter from wind and rain and should be included in any wildlife habitat planting. 


Plant in Layers

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