[Tweeters] Benefits of serviceberry to wildlife

Jeff Kozma jcr_5105 at charter.net
Tue Mar 3 19:07:19 PST 2009

Birds that I have observed eating (gorging) on serviceberry fruits in eastern WA include Robin (as stated earlier), Cedar Waxwing, Black-headed Grosbeak, Gray Catbird, and Bullock's Oriole. Up by Mud Lake above HWY 410, I have watched post fledging family groups of waxwings fly from serviceberry bush to serviceberry bush consuming the fruits. I am sure there are more species. I have tasted a few in my yard that I was lucky to get before the robins and they do taste kind of like a blueberry but just not as juicy. They are a great plant to have in the yard for wildlife and they have a nice fall red foliage cover to boot!

Jeff Kozma


----- Original Message -----
From: Denny Granstrand
To: TWEETERS at u.washington.edu
Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 5:11 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Benefits of serviceberry to wildlife

Hi Jeff (and Tweeters),

I was happy to read your assessment of serviceberry as a good tree for wildlife. I did an on-line search and found this:

"Most Amelanchier species have showy but short-lived flowers. The flowers only last for about a week, or less if it is warm or windy. The flowers are followed by ¼ to ½-inch purple fruits with a waxy bloom that taste somewhat like blueberries when ripe. The fruits are ready for harvest 2 to 3 months after bloom. The tiny edible fruit are popular with birds, including American goldfinch, tufted titmice, brown thrashers, blue jays, Carolina chickadees, northern cardinals and American robins."

I am going to plant several this spring. I was really impressed by the list of birds they will attract to my yard. At least three of them have never been seen in Washington!

Denny Granstrand

At 05:09 PM 3/2/2009, you wrote:

I think no matter what fruit bearing tree you plant, it has the potential to attract starlings, especially in fall/winter/spring. However, the benefits of serviceberry as a great native wildlife tree should outweigh the concerns of it attracting starlings. Many native birds are attracted to serviceberry fruit. I have two in my yard and the berries don't hang long enough to really attract starlings because the robins get them all first. Also, because serviceberry fruits ripen in June and July, they should be less attractive to starlings since they are primarily feeding on insects at that time.

Jeff Kozma


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Denny Granstrand *
* Yakima, WA *
* dgranstrand at charter.net *
* Denny's bird photos can be seen online at: *


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