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What Plants Attract Which Birds?

Posted by MariaBBB | Added on : May 10, 2010 1:32pm | Last edited: June 14, 2010 04:03am | Viewed 2468 times | 0 Comments | This article is also in birds and birds


Landscaping for birds begins with trees and thickets, but garden flowers will attract birds, too. It is best to include flowers that produce the seeds that are prized by birds, such as the sunflowers, as birds love sunflower seeds. Other garden flowers treasured by birds love include: cosmos, snapdragon, zinnia, cockscomb, aster and larkspur.

You can create a heaven for birds by planting native wildflowers. This can be, depending on where you live, purple and yellow coneflowers, monarda - also know as bee balm, larkspur, black-eyed susan, and maximilian sunflowers. Please remember that native flowers will attract native birds. Native flowers are also more resilient to diseases and are usually easier to care for as they have adapted to your climate and soil. Your local nursery should be able to recommend garden flowers that are native to your area.

Other plants that birds feed on are: zinnias, sunflowers, purple coneflowers, snapdragons, portulaca, cosmos, cornflower, coreopsis, blazing star, white prairie clover, compass plant, prairie dock , big and little bluestems, sideoats grama, switch grass, prairie dropseed, downy serviceberry, hackberry, dogwood, juniper, elderberry, and hawthorn.

Basically any plants that contain berries and shelter for them to hide in are good candidates for the garden. Some berry rich plants are: viburnums, skimmia (need male and female to get berries), hollies (need also male and female for berries), and rugosa roses - especially important during the winter as they develop healthy rose hips that bird can eat during the cold season.

On the plants that need male and female, make sure the plants are labeled as such in the nursery and you usually need one male for 5-6 females. Of course, if they are unlabeled, the ones with the berries are the females. Only when an unlabeled holly is flowering can you determine, if itís male or female. If it has four small stalks in the center of the flower itís a male. If it has the four small stalks and a large central stalk in the middle (the pistil or ovary) then that is the female.

Shelter can be provided by planting evergreens, in addition to providing nesting boxes / bird houses. Don't forget to provide safe places for birds to hide. Dense trees around the perimeter of your yard will attract birds. Make a diagram of your yard and plan how it will look in five years, ten years and beyond. A pile of brush in a corner of the yard will give smaller birds a place to hide from hawks.

Here are other plants that will attract birds -

Bachelor Button
Black-eyed Susan
California Poppy
Purple Coneflower

Small Trees:
Cedar (Juniper)
Crab Apple
Eastern Hemlock
Japanese Maple

Shrubs and Vines:
English Ivy
Virginia Creeper


When choosing plants to attract birds to your garden, be sure to consult a local garden specialist to be sure your choices are appropriate for conditions in your area. As well, donít forget that using herbicides and insecticides in your garden can create a toxic environment for birds and reduce their food supply by killing worms, insects, and other invertebrates. To enjoy lots of birds in your garden, switch to chemical free gardening methods.



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