My Garden Zone Is
Birding Plants are known for attracting many different birds
One of the many beautiful things gardens do is attract birds — watching playful birds flitting throughout the garden is a source of joy for a great many gardeners. Each of the plants on this page is attractive to one or more US bird species and planting a few different species is the right way of attracting several different birds. You might even be able to entice some adult birds into making a nest in one of your trees or shrubs.
Birding Plants not only add color, but animals and critters as well
How to attract birds to your garden — top tips for designing a garden for birds
The best way to attract birds to your garden depends on the types of birds you want to attract. For instance, if you're going to attract small birds to your garden, you’ll need to provide them with a safe space to hide from cats and other predators. The best way to do that is to plant lots of dense bushes and shrubs near a water bath or other source of water. That way, small birds can fly down for a drink or bath and know that they can quickly hide if they spot danger. Little birds also appreciate a few prickly or spiky plants that provide extra protection.
Birding Plants should be planted where the birds are wanted
On the other hand, larger birds prefer trees and large shrubs for shelter. And, if you specifically want to attract native birds, grow large native trees and small native shrubs depending on the size of the native birds you want to attract.
Regardless of the type of bird you want to attract, though, the one universal requirement is that you grow plants that provide food for the birds you want to attract. Birds are generally divided into the following categories:
If you grow seed-producing plants, nectar-producing flowers and plants that attract the right kinds of insects, you’ll be able to attract a wide range of birds to your garden.
Also, all birds will appreciate plants that provide spots to build nests in (many birds like to build nests in trees). So keep that in mind when planning your garden.
So if you want to attract birds to your garden:
grow plants they can eat or attract their food
grow plants that provide shelter
grow plants that birds can use for nesting and nest-building
The Many Advantages of Planting Birding Plants
Populating your lawn and garden with birding plants has many advantages. Birds enjoy many of the same landscaping concepts that humans find attractive and useful. Plantings in a variety of heights create a well-balanced visual appearance, and they also create an ideal environment for most native bird species. Fruiting plants provide food and shelter for people and birds, whereas perennials are attractive visually and give birds a source of reliable seasonal food.
Trees such as the American Basswood-Tilia Americana, the Scarlet Maple-Acer rubrum, and the Flowering Dogwood-Cornus Florida, all provide habitat and food for birds. These relatively fast-growing trees also provide focal points and shade for your yard. Many bird friendly trees are adapted to a wide variety of soil types, and most deciduous trees are hardy up to zone 8. Some hardwoods are sturdy in even colder climates, such as many of the maples and oaks. Consider planting American Sweetgum-Liquidambar stryaciflua or Black Cherry-Prunus serotine if space permits a very tall tree.
Other trees that attract birds are evergreens, such as the White Pine-Pinus strobus and American Holly-Illex opaca. Evergreens not only keep some bright spots of color in your winter landscape but also provide basic shelter for birds during the winter months. Chickadees, cardinals, and nuthatches rely on evergreens to protect them from the elements and provide some food during the cold season.
Trees are not the only additions you can make to your garden. Shrubs and perennials are often employed by birds as well. The best birding gardens use trees, shrubs, and perennials to create the environment most attractive to bird species. Think about including Sumacs, Serviceberry-Amelanchier and Chokeberry-Aronia species to provide shelter and small fruit for birds and other wildlife. Perennials such as Bee Balm-Monarda and Orange Coneflower-Rudbeckia fulgida are well known for providing food for hummingbirds. Other birds enjoy Goldenrod-Solidago virguarea and Coreopsis for the seeds they produce. Humans enjoy the bright flower colors and the reliability of these perennials, which grow well in fertile garden soils and are hardy in zones 3-10.
When you design your landscape with birds in mind, the resulting design is pleasing to the eye, easy to maintain, and provides habitat all year long. The same plantings that birds find attractive are the plantings that give us shade cover, beautiful fruits, and nuts, and are well adapted to our climate and growing conditions.
Birding plants - several varieties of plants that are known to attract the attention of birds. These sorts of plants are planted chiefly by hobbyist birdwatchers to improve their chances of encountering uncommon or rare birds. Most are chosen due to offering birds a food source, such as nectar or berries.
The huckleberry is a shrub in the Ericaceae family and is closely related to cranberries and blueberries. The shrub will grow to be 2-3 feet tall but can grow as tall as 10 feet if it is in enough shade. These are considered evergreen plants and will keep a green color throughout the year. New leaves on a huckleberry plant will be bronze or red. As they age, they will turn into a glossy green color. The shape of the leaf is a jagged, serrated edge, around 1 inch in length. The leaves assume a leathery rough texture. In the spring months of April or May, the plant will blossom. Usually, the blossoms will produce pale pink flowers. Huckleberry plants produce huckleberries that will change color as they mature. They will start green and then turn to a deep purple, almost black color when ready to eat. If you are planting from seeds, then it is essential to start them indoors six weeks before the last frost. You can also purchase established bushes and plant those in the early spring or fall. You can attempt to transplant wild huckleberry bushes, but often these attempts fail as they don’t take well to being moved. Huckleberries prefer a hardiness zone of 4-8. They require acidic soil with a pH range of 4.3-5.2. You can treat your soil to get the desired acidity. The soil should be well-drained, and it is essential to not get the foliage wet or over water the plants. They do well in the sun, but you will have larger plants with a higher yield of berries if there is at least some shade. These berries are a hit with both man and beast. Black and grizzly bears will eat the leaves, roots, stems, and berries. Elk and deer also will eat from the plant. Birds will target the berries specifically. Huckleberries have a tart flavor and are often perfect for pies and jams.
The trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) is also known as the trumpet creeper or hummingbird vine. It is a perennial and deciduous vine that grows fast. It can grow 30 to 40 feet in a single season.
It has large tubular flowers that can be three or four inches long and attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. The flowers can be yellow, red or orange. They typically bloom in the summer and early fall. Trumpet vine produces seed pods that look like beans and are four to eight inches long. The plant also has dense foliage in which birds like to nest.
Trumpet creeper is a woody vine that can generally tolerate winter. It can grow in the USDA hardiness zones 4 -9. The hardiness zone indicates a plant's tolerance for cold winter temperature. The lower the number, the colder the temperature the plant can tolerate. Also, the more extensive the range, the higher the variation in temperature a plant can tolerate. Trumpet creeper is, therefore, a hardy plant that can grow just about anywhere in the continental United States.
Trumpet creeper is easy to grow and does well in both sunshine and partial shade. It can be grown in almost any type of soil, but it will need a support structure. Fences, trellises, and poles could all work, but trumpet creeper should not be allowed to climb trees, for it could strangle the tree. Nor should it be allowed to climb up a house, for it might damage it. Trumpet creeper can also be grown along the ground to hide old tree stumps or rock piles.
The main requirement that hummingbird vine has in terms of soil is that the ground needs to drain well. Trumpet creeper doesn't do well in puddles or waterlogged sites.
Once established, trumpet creeper needs little care. It will need watering, but it won't need fertilizer. On the other hand, it will need to be pruned to keep it under control. Most gardeners prune the vine in spring or fall. Removing the seedpods is also wise, for that will prevent the vine from reseeding where it is not wanted.
Hummingbird vine is native to the eastern United States, but it also grows in the western United States, Ontario, and parts of Europe and Latin America.
Best Plants and Practices to Attract Birds
Birds are beautiful animals to observe; there are many beautiful varieties; they sing relaxing songs and are part of your garden's ecosystem. By inviting them into your garden, your garden has a better chance of flourishing and becoming a natural haven that may be enjoyed by humans and creatures of many species.
There are traditional ways to attract birds, such as:
- Installing bird feeders
- Installing a birdbath or water fountain
- Installing nesting boxes
- Setting out nesting materials
- Leaving dead trees in the garden
- Creating a brush pile in the garden
Though these methods are effective, they are not always pretty to look at. However, by planting for birds, you can create an aesthetically pleasing bird-friendly space. If you are planning to plant a garden that birds will enjoy spending time in, consider purchasing some of the following plants:
Plants that provide food year-round, such as berry bushes, will make your garden a place birds want to return to. Keep in mind that you might not get to enjoy many of the berries you grow, as the birds bring their friends and eat quickly!
Birds most enjoy the following berry bushes:
- Winter Berry Shrub
- Crab Apple
Birds seek refuge from predators and extreme weather conditions. If your garden can provide them safe havens, it will become one of their favorite places to be. Shrubs offer birds an area to nest, hide from predators, and forage for snacks. Birds are most appreciative of coniferous shrubs, as they provide shelter year-round.
Birds most enjoy the following nesting shrubs:
- Silky Willow Live Stakes
- Bridal Wreath Spirea
- Texas Sedge
- Dwarf Mountain pine
- Regal Privet Hedge
- Privet Plants
What Deters Birds?
No matter what plants you plant in your garden, certain things will deter birds from visiting your yard, such as:
- The presence of predators, such as dogs, cats, or snakes.
- Chemicals and fertilizers that are toxic to birds will kill the birds who frequent your garden.
- Label plants with simple signs rather than busy stakes and flags, as the movement from flags, may deter them.
- Garden netting that prevents birds from snacking on plants or hiding in plants can cause them to look for new snack bars, and sadly, also has the potential to cause severe injuries to birds.
Birds will be attracted to your garden in no time if you plant food plants, such as berry bushes, and shrubs that birds may nest in or find comfort hiding in.
Buy birding plants offered at Tennessee Wholesale Nursery