Photo by hegtor
This year my 4H Wildlife Project group is going to certify my yard as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. While I have everything necessary to become certified (food, water, cover, and a place to raise young) in my wildlife garden, I would really like to add more native berry producing plants to help over-wintering birds thrive through the cold months.
Photo by Dendroica cerulea
Winter berry-producing shrubs in the wildlife garden help fill in as sustenance when the other food sources such as plants-gone-to-seed are long gone. Even birds that are predominantly insect eaters such as waxwings, robins, bluebirds, chickadees and many more, will switch their diet in the winter to berries in order to survive lean months.
Photo by Pellea
Wildlife gardeners can help by planting shrubs that produce winter berries – and of course, the best shrubs are the ones that are local natives. Look for plant natives such as like viburnums, American Beautyberries, hackberries, hollies, sumacs, and bayberry bushes.
Photo by Tambako the Jaguar
If you plant holly bushes in your wildlife garden, don’t forget that you’ll need both a male and female shrub to produce berries. Unless, of course, you purchase a female holly and there’s a male in the vicinity.
What plants do you have in your beautiful wildlife garden that provides winter food for wildlife?
Chris McLaughlin’s suburban farm and beautiful wildlife garden is located in Northern California (zone 9). Check out her blog A Suburban Farmer
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