Attracting Birds with Fruit Trees and Berry Plants

A Shadbush tree in my garden. A bird food favorite
A Shadbush tree in my garden.

By planting fruit and berry plants you can bring a wider variety of birds to your garden or backyard.

There are many birds that are primarily fruit eaters and they may not visit your seed feeders. A way to draw them into your garden is by providing fruit. But supplying birds with dried fruit is expensive. The least expensive way to provide fruit for birds is to grow native plants which the birds have had thousands of years of experience eating.

Most trees and shrubs in North America rely on birds to disperse their seeds. Bird swallow seeds whole. And seeds can’t be more than three-fifths of an inch in diameter , which is the largest size a sed-eating bird can swallow.

I researched the relationship between birds and fruit and found out very fascinating facts like what color a berry or fruit needs to be to catch a birds attention. And when and why most fruit ripens when it does. I wrote a post about the relationship between birds and fruits  and berries, which you can read here.

Fruit makes up a large part of the diet of these birds.

Mimic Thrushes – Bluebirds
Thrushes, Robins, Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Thrashers, European Starlings
Waxwings – Bohemian, Cedar
Vireos – White-eyed Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-throated
Tanagers – Scarlet Tanager

This list includes the top fruit trees and berry plants favored by birds.

Fruit Plants for the Birds – Top Plants  
Common Name Scientific Name Species of Birds That Eat Fruit
Blackberry Rubus 45
Red Mulberry Morus 40
Elderberry Sambucus species 29
Holly Ilex species 27
Sumac Rhus species 27
Small Trees
Cherry Prunus species 47
Serviceberry (Shadbush) Amelanchier 36
Dogwood Cornus species 31
Hackberry Celtis species 24
Larger Trees
Black Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica 31
Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana 54
Hackberry Celtis species 24
Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus 35
Grapes Vitis species 52

Many of the native trees and shrubs listed are small and can fit in small backyards or gardens. I have A Shadbush, grapes, blueberries and volunteer mulberries in my garden.  When I gather berries to eat, I take just what I need. I leave some for the birds.

Shadbush berries from my Shadbush Tree. Birds are attracted to the sweet fruit.


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