Nothing makes my 2-year-old daughter happier than waking up and seeing a family of birds enjoying breakfast at our “Birdie Café.” Our neighbors have two birdfeeders hanging in their tree and each morning my daughter would ask why the birds flocked to their tree and not ours. A short time later I broke down and bought a very simple birdfeeder.
I remember thinking that I would buy the birdfeeder, stick it in a tree and presto—instant bird magnet and subsequent happy toddler. It wasn’t that easy. It actually took a while before the bird’s “graced” us with their presence. Later I learned that there are certain types of trees and shrubs that will attract birds to your yard (and perhaps spare you from the torment of hearing your child cry because not a single bird wants to dine in your yard).
Here’s a list of trees and shrubs that attract birds with or without birdfeeders:
1. Amelanchier or Serviceberry—Birds (especially robins and cedar waxwings) eat the berries in early summer.
2. Dogwood—Several species of dogwood attract many different birds.
3. Juniperus or Redcedar—Cedar waxwings and others enjoy the fruit and nesting space.
4. Rosa rugosa or Rugosa Rose—Rose hips produced in fall and winter attract many birds, which is nice if you have a toddler who expects birds to visit year-round.
5. Rubus or Blackberry and Raspberry—Whether you intended to or not, adding these shrubs to your yard will attract birds—they enjoy the fruit as much as humans do.
6. Sambucus or American Elderberry—Birds flock to these plants. They especially enjoy the berries in late summer and fall.
7. Shepherdia or Buffaloberry—Birds eat the berries in summer.
8. Sorbus or Mountainash—Birds eat the fruit in fall and winter.
9. Symphoricarpos or Coralberry and Snowberry—They produce berries that birds can consume in late fall.
10. Viburnum—Many different species of Viburnum attract birds with their berries in summer, fall or winter.