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Selecting Berry Plants


Favorite Berries for Wild Birds

When adding a new shrub to your garden, select one that produces berries.  Choosing one that produces berries gives you a living bird feeder.  A garden full of berries is irresistible to birds.  Berries are bound to bring birds blocking to your yard, so plant plenty of berry producing shrubs like juneberries.  If you plant berries like strawberries to eat yourself, keep the plants covered with netting or you may have to share with the birds.

Plant Names Birds Attracted Plant Description
American cranberry-bush Robins, thrushes, bluebirds, and many others 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 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 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 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 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 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 6' to 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 Evergreen and deciduous shrubs and trees with attractive foliage and red berries
Juneberries Waxwings, bluebirds, and many others 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 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 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 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 Climbing or ground-covering perennial vine with five-part leaves that turn beautiful crimson in fall; has grapelike clusters of deep blue berries

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