Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Attracting birds with trees and strubs - The bird population in your yard or neighborhood park can be increased with the proper selection and arrangement of ornamental trees and shrubs. The selection of food-producing plants can ensure the presence of birds year-round.
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To attract and maintain a bird population, a habitat should provide (1) food, (2) cover, (3) nesting areas and (4) water. Ornamental trees and shrubs can supply the necessary cover (shelter) and nesting areas. Many ornamental plants can satisfy more than one habitat requirement. For instance, multi-stem plants that form a dense canopy will satisfy the needs for nesting and also provide cover.
Trees and Shrubs for Attracting Birds
SE Trees & Shrubs
Provides
Fruiting Season
Deciduous or Evergreen
Size
Cover
Food
Beech
x
Fall, Winter
D
Medium
Black Cherry
x
x
Summer
D
Medium
Black Gum
x
x
Summer
D
Large
Blueberry
x
x
Summer
D
Small
Dogwood
x
x
Fall, Winter
D
Medium
Elderberry
x
Summer
D
Small
Hawthorn
x
x
Spring
D
Medium
Holly
x
x
Winter, Spring
E
Medium
Japanese Yew
x
x
Summer, Fall
E
Medium
Magnolia
x
x
Summer
E
Large
Oaks
x
x
Fall
D
Large
Pines
x
Spring, Summer, Fall
E
Large
Pyracantha
x
x
Fall, Winter
E
Small
Red Cedar
x
x
Fall, Winter
E
Medium
Red Maple
x
Spring
D
Large
River Birch
x
Summer, Fall
D
Medium
Sumac
x
Fall, Winter
D
Medium
Sweet Gum
x
Summer, Fall
D
Large
Viburnum
x
x
Winter
E
Small
Wax Myrtle
x
x
Summer, Fall
E
Medium
A recommended list of trees and shrubs to enhance the bird population follows. Attributes that must be considered before selecting the trees/shrubs for your yard include, (1) the habitat element provided, (2) fruiting season, (3) deciduous (loses leaves in winter) or evergreen, and (4) size of mature tree (to fit with available space). * See - Trees & Shrubs for Attracting Birds *
How to make your yard more suitable for birds
To make your yard more suitable for birds, conduct an inventory of trees/shrubs in your landscape and develop a table similar to that in this article. From this list, a) determine the mix of evergreen and deciduous trees, b) look at the time of fruiting and identify season(s) without food supply, and c) ensure that adequate cover and nesting habitat is provided. The following are two examples of possible situations in your yard and how to use the chart:

- You have very few evergreen trees/shrubs (hence minimal shelter in the winter) but also have only small areas for additional plants. Select plants that are classified as evergreen (E) and are small sized at maturity. These plants (red cedar, nandina, viburnum, pyracantha, Japanese yew, holly, and wax myrtle) are relatively small trees.

- You need a food source for the spring but have limited yard area available. An excellent solution is to plant hawthorn, especially mayhaws. They are a small multi-stem shrub that bear fruit in the spring and attract a wide variety of birds.

In most instances, you will find that the addition of a few carefully selected plants can increase the bird population in your yard.
Website Reference
Environmental Enhancement with Ornamental Plants: Attracting Birds -
Mel Garber, Extension Horticulturist
More Georgia Birding Website References
GA Regional Map/ Birding Trail Site Website
National Audubon Society Website
Hummingbird in GA
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