Planting trees and shrubs that produce berries is a fantastic way to attract and support bird populations in your area. These berries provide essential nutrition during various seasons, aiding birds in their survival, migration, and breeding efforts.
- Viburnum species: Varieties like American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) offer clusters of vibrant red berries that persist through winter, serving as a reliable food source for many bird species.
- Elderberry: Elderberry shrubs (Sambucus species) produce clusters of small, dark berries that are rich in nutrients. They not only feed birds but also attract insects, a vital protein source for fledglings.
- Holly trees: American Holly (Ilex opaca) and Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) are known for their bright red berries, which stand out against winter landscapes and provide sustenance for birds during harsh conditions.
- Serviceberry: Also called Juneberry (Amelanchier species), these shrubs or small trees produce edible berries loved by birds. They also offer beautiful spring blossoms.
- Dogwood: Dogwood shrubs and trees (Cornus species) produce clusters of berries that are favorites among birds. The fruit of the flowering dogwood, for example, is a reliable food source.
- Eastern Red Cedar: Though not true berries, the blue, berry-like cones of the Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) are a staple food for numerous bird species, especially during winter.
- Bayberry: The Bayberry (Myrica species) produces waxy, grayish berries that are a source of nourishment for various birds, particularly those in coastal areas.
- Hawthorn: Hawthorn trees (Crataegus species) bear small, red berries that persist through winter, providing sustenance for birds during colder months.
- Blackberry and Raspberry: These fruiting shrubs not only produce delicious berries for humans but also attract a variety of birds with their sweet offerings.
- Honeysuckle: Some varieties of honeysuckle (Lonicera species) produce berries that birds find irresistible. Be cautious and choose native species to avoid invasive tendencies.
When planning your landscape, consider a mix of these berry-producing trees and shrubs to ensure a continuous food supply for birds throughout the year. The diversity of berry colors, sizes, and ripening periods will attract a wide range of bird species, creating a thriving and lively ecosystem in your backyard.