Gardening for the birds…

We are big time bird lovers. We provide food during the cold months for them but now, as summer begins, they are foraging for food naturally. However, if you still want to attract birds at different times of the year, one of the best ways is by planting native trees and shrubs that produce berries at different times.

Ripening right now are the juicy berries of our two ornamental serviceberry trees (Amelanchier spp.) ‘Autumn Brilliance’  that are providing most of the backyard entertainment for us. In my opinion, this 25′ understory tree is one of the most beautiful trees you can plant. The tree is literally covered in early white flowers in the spring making it an early source of pollen and nectar for insects as well as eye candy for us, and now… berries are beginning to ripen in hanging clusters and the trees are alive with wildlife.

We thought maybe there’d be a few ripe berries for us but it’s not to be. Just take a look at a few of the feathered visitors:

The Catbird

The catbirds found the berries first


The cardinals weren’t far behind

I’m amazed at how the cedar waxwings find us each year but they do… accomplishing acrobatics in their formal dress. They travel in a flock so we know the berries won’t last much longer. All stages of fruit are on the tree but the waxwings don’t mind green berries.

Difficult for me to capture on a smart phone but I was curious whether this robin below with a beak full of 3 worms could actually have the ability to snag a berry, too. As you can see in the second fuzzy photo, operation accomplished! Off to feed its young…

Birds aren’t the only animals that enjoy these tasty treats. We’ve seen our neighborhood four-footed animals reaching for the ripest berries.

And so… I am willing to give up my dream of serviceberry jam, serviceberry pie or maybe a little serviceberry wine, just to attract varied wildlife to the yard. Our serviceberry trees will provide summer shade for my perennials and in the fall, the trees’ foliage will glow in deep reds, yellows, and oranges. As our trees age, the bark will become rough but, with our young trees we have the smooth gray bark for winter interest.

12 thoughts on “Gardening for the birds…

  1. If I had servicberries, I would not share them with the birds. Every time I try to grow them, something happens to them. We used to grow the plants at the farm, but I did not plant any out in the landscape at the time. We do have elderberries later, but there are enough to share with everyone who wants them, even the fat doves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Then you won’t want a serviceberry tree. Our one little chipmunk swelled to four traveling in from other locations and squirrels are bypassing forest nuts for sweet berries. They’ll soon all be gone as our one tree is stripped clean of berries and the other is 1/2 gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We too here in the Old Dominion state plant for birds, which sometimes give thanks by decorating our automobiles. They may be in cahoots with our car wash company.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We are bird lovers too, and have now renamed our red currant bush ‘the green currant bush’ because – unlike the birds in our previous home — these ones eat the currants green. Or maybe it’s the squirrels or chipmunks.

    Liked by 1 person

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