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Plants Flowers and Trees that Attract, Feed
and Shelter Birds in your Garden

Grow Bird Friendly Gardens

Generally, most gardeners will choose the plants for their garden based on color, fragrance, or any number of other criteria. While a garden devoted solely to flowers whose seeds attract birds may be out of the question in your overall scheme of things, you should at least consider adding a few "song bird plants".

Feeding Birds in your Garden

Shrubs, annuals, perennials, native and cultivated plants can all be used to attract such birds. If it is possible, grow a couple plants from each of the following groups, to provide seeds and fruits for all seasons.
Once your birds have become accustomed to eating in your yard, they will develop a certain dependency on you and your garden. When the winter months roll around, natural food will become scarcer. Provide plenty of seed, fruits or suet during these times to keep your feathered friends around your yard, and happy!
When it is at all possible, a water supply should be included into your garden plan. This is easily accomplished by the inclusion of a birdbath, which gives them the water they need and enjoy.
Feed the birds!
Plants That Attract and Feed Song Birds
(Check cultural requirements for local suitability.)
TREES for shelter and protection
Larger trees planted at the borders of your property provide a safe starting point for visiting birds. These plants are important for escape from predators, winter shelter, and summer nesting sites. They may also provide food in the form of seeds, berries, and sap.
Flowering Dogwood (D)
Cornus florida
American Holly (E)
Ilex opaca
Red Cedar (E)
Juniperus virginiana
Red Mulberry (D)
Morus rubra
Colorado blue spruce (E)
Picea pungens
Douglas fir (E)
Pseudotsuga menziesii
White cedar (E)
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Bald cypress (D)
Taxodium distichum
White fire (E)
Abies concolor
Ponderosa pine (E)
Pinus ponderosa
Rocky Mountain juniper
J. scopulorum
Austrian pine (E)
Pinus nigra
California juniper (E)
J. californica
Alternate leaf Dogwood (D)
Cornus alternifolia
American Mountain Ash (D)
Sorbus americana
Red-osier Dogwood(D)
Cornus stolonifera
Silky Dogwood (D)
Cornus amomum
Gray Dogwood (D)
Cornus racemosa
Hackberry (D)
Celtis occidentalis
Sassafras (D)
Sassafras albidium
Oak (D)
Quercus sp.
Hazelnut (D)
Corylus avellana
Chestnut (D)
Castanea sp.
Black walnut (D)
Junglens nigra

ANNUALS AND PERENNIALS for fruit and seed

Many flowering plants produce large quantities of seed each year. This is a very important food source for many sparrows, finches and other songbirds. At the end of the blooming season, don't cut the spent flowers off, but allow them to dry and hang in place.
Penstemon spectabilis
Sunflower (A)
Helianthus annuus
Tickseed (P)
Coreopsis sp.
Bee Balm (P)
Floss flower (A)
Ageratum houstonianum
Aster (A)(P)
Aster sp.
Goldenrod (P)
Cosmos (A)(P)
Cosmos sp.
Bachelor's Button (A)
Centaurea cyanus
Larkspur (A)
Consolida ambigua
Spider flower (A)
Cleome spinosa
Antirrhinum majus
Purple Coneflower (P)
Echinacea purpurea
Four O'Clocks (A)(P)
Mirabilis jalapa
Cockscomb (A)
Celosia sp.


Plant shrubs in clumps or hedgerows so birds can observe the yard while hidden from the view of cats and other predators. By the same token, place your bird feeders and bird baths away from places where cats may lay in waiting for an unsuspecting bird. Almost any fruiting plant provides food for the birds, but plants like raspberries tend to be picked clean, long before the summer is over. The following shrubs and vines tend to hold their fruits and seeds through the fall and into the winter months.
Gaultheria shallon
Oregon Grape(E)
Mahonia aquifolium
Callicarpa bodinieri
Silverberry (D)
Eleagnus commutata
Bayberry (D)
Myrica pensylvanica
Chokecherry (D)
Prunus virginiana
Virginia Creeper (D)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Firethorn (E)
Pyracantha coccinea
Flowering Currant (D)
Ribes sanguineum
Elderberry (D)
Sambucus sp.
Blueberry (D)
Vaccinium corymbosum
Huckleberry (D)(E)
Vaccinium ovatum
Cranberry bush (D)
Viburnum trilobum
Blackberry (D)
Cotoneaster (D)
Crabapple (D)
Malus sp.
Japanese Yew (E)
Taxus cuspidata
Sumac (D)
Rhus sp.
Manzanita (E)
Arctostaphlos sp.
Creeping juniper (E)
Juniperus horizontalis
Common juniper (E)
Juniperus communis

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