Berries

August 2014

Take Action August 28, 2014

Top Five Native Berries For Birds For Your Yard

We’ve explored the importance of planting native, high-lipid berries this month and how much some berry-eating birds need to consume in a day, now it’s your turn to take action where you have control—your yard. Fall is a great time to plant shrubs (after they have become dormant). So you can get started planning and planting your new berry-full yard, we present you with five of the top native berries utilized by birds.

Find out the top 5 species for your region!

See YardMap’s Great Berries for the Great Birds of Your Region page.

Viburnum

Viburnum spp.


Photos Left to Right: Nannyberry © Wendell Smith, American Cranberrybush © JanetAndPhil, Southern Arrowwood © R.W. Smith

Includes species such as Arrowwood (Viburnum acerifolium), Southern Arrowwood (V. dentatum), American Cranberrybush (V. opulus var. americanum), Nannyberry (V. lentago), and Wild Raisin (V. nudum var. cassinoides). See a more complete list of native viburnum on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Produces fruits late summer–December, Fruits have a high fat, carbohydrate, and protein content, making them very valuable to migratory songbirds that need sustenance to complete their long journey, as well to birds overwintering in areas where insects are not available.

Elderberry

Sambucus spp.


Photos Left to Right: Black Elderberry © Dauvit Alexander, Scarlet Elder © James Gaither Common Elderberry © JanetAndPhil

Includes Black Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) alongside its subpecies—Blue Elder (S. nigra ssp. caerulea), Common Elderberry (S. nigra ssp. canadensis), and Blue Elderberry (S. nigra ssp. cerulea)— and Red Elderberry (S. racemosa) alongside its variants—Black Elderberry (S. racemosa var. melanocarpa) and Scarlet Elder (S. racemosa var. racemosa). Fruits August–September, berries are rich in carbohydrates and protein making common elderberries an important food for migrating songbirds. Provides cover habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Dogwood

Cornus spp.


Photos Left to Right: Red-osier Dogwood © Tom Brandt, Flowering Dogwood © Martin LaBar, Rough-leaf Dogwood © Dan Mullen

Includes Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea), Flowering Dogwood (C. florida), Silky Dogwood (C. obliqua), and Rough-leaf Dogwood (C. drummondii), among others. For a more complete list of native Cornus species visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Fruits late summer. High-fat berries are important for migratory and wintering birds.

Chokecherry

Prunus virginiana


Photo © Kent McFarland

Fruit production occurs from midsummer through early fall. Fruits, or “chokecherries,” are rich in carbohydrates and a favorite of birds preparing for migration.

Serviceberry

Amelanchier spp.


Photo © Danny Barron

Includes Common Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) and Western Serviceberry (A. alnifolia), among others. For a more complete list visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website. Early fruit production from May–June, at a time of year when fruit availability is scarce. Berries are high in carbohydrates and protein. Fruits are usually eaten as soon as they ripen by as many as 40 different bird species.

Find out the top 5 species for your region!

See YardMap’s Great Berries for the Great Birds of Your Region page.

This article contains content from:

YardMap

YardMap

Map habitat and learn how to help birds through landscaping

learn more

This Month’s Articles

Top Five Native Berries For Birds For Your Yard

Take Action

Eat Like a (Frugivorous) Bird

Interactive August 20, 2014

Attract Birds With These Berry-Bearing Plants For Your Container Garden

Take Action August 11, 2014

Does It Matter To Birds Which Berries I Plant?

Illustrated Answer August 4, 2014

15 Comments

  1. Albert Reingewirtz says:

    Blue berries: Cat birds eat all the flowers in a day. No blue berries this time.
    Tomatoes: before ripen damaged by Catbirds and squirrels.

  2. Albert Reingewirtz says:

    Blue berries: Cat birds eat all the flowers in a day.
    Tomatoes: before ripen damaged by Catbirds and squirrels.

  3. Carrie McLaughlin says:

    Inkberry (ilex glabra) is a native evergreen shrub of the coastal states from Maine to Texas. It is a critically important food source for the eastern bluebird and many others. It is of strong advantage for the bluebird as the berries hold throughout the winter, and is one of their preferred foods. Definitely a must-have for any wildscaping. Blueberries, by the way – for the benefit of those in the southern states who may not know – can be grown successfully and thrive in very large containers in areas where their acidic needs might not be met by the surrounding ground soil. You can more easily cater to them in the big pots, and they have a beautiful fall color. There are native southern cultivars that are adapted to the climate, and they are worth seeking out. Sumac and virginia creeper (woodbine – a vine) are two others that must be mentioned as they both will also hold their berries throughout the winter, and the sumac is the number one choice of berry for bluebirds, followed closely by the inkberry.

  4. Darcey says:

    For the Canadian birders, what is called a serviceberry in the USA is actually a Saskatoon…yummy yummy Saskatoons!

  5. Deborah Lee says:

    Lindera benzoin, a native understory shrub of the northeast – the females produce red berries that are readily eaten by birds.

  6. Bob Fritz says:

    What about crab apples?

  7. Carlo Giovanella says:

    For coastal Pacific Northwest, the most important native fruit crop by far is Pacific Crab, Malus fusca.

  8. Terry says:

    Robins strip the berries from Holly (Ilex) bushes in my yard in VA.

  9. Kathy Petersen says:

    Hawthorn, wild grape, and inkberry – all popular with cedar waxwings and robins in late winter

  10. Cal Walters says:

    I’m getting a server failure on the yard map link

  11. Cal Walters says:

    I’m getting a server failure message on the yard map link for the native berries article.

  12. keiko says:

    I like this bird :)
    Cat birds eat all the flowers in a day hehe

  13. Virgie Hudgins says:

    Savvy suggestions – For my two cents , if you is interested in merging of two PDF files , I encountered a tool here http://www.altomerge.com/

Post A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Unfortunately, this website does not support your browser as it relies on modern technologies. Please update your web browser. It is free. Please consider using a modern web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for a better web experience.