[Tweeters] Bird-friendly plantings

Kelly Cassidy lostriver at completebbs.com
Thu Mar 5 14:16:55 PST 2009


Serviceberry is a nice plant; I have one in my yard that's doing OK,
considering I have alkaline clay soil and I think it does better in sandier
soil. (Not sure of its pH preference.)



Just a reminder, however, to think beyond fruit. Or seeds. Or even plants
that attract insects that birds like. Don't forget that a large percentage
of birds rely to some extent on invertebrates that eat detritus (or eat
other organisms that eat detritus). As I type this, I'm watching a Varied
Thrush kicking around among the detritus in a sheltered area in the blowing
snow, no doubt looking for bugs and such that have begun stirring with
warmer weather.



In temperate climates, even the most frugivorous of birds cannot live on
fruit year-round. Designate a part of the yard as the unkempt area, with a
variety of grasses, shrubs, and forbs, and where you will leave the leaves
where they fall and the dead stems standing over winter. (Take care not to
create a fire hazard.)



If you have a place where it is safe to create a brush pile (a major fire
hazard during the dry months of summer), many birds will use it for safety
and foraging.



As far as planting stuff, there is a large clump of goldenrod (Solidago) in
the ditch in my yard that is surprisingly popular with birds, who seem to
eat the flowers (or probably the nectar and insects), seeds, and insects
that live on the plant. I haven't tried seriously to figure out exactly
what species of Solidago it is, but since I don't see any of it in the
surrounding fields, it doesn't seem to be one of the weedy invasives.



Kelly Cassidy

Pullman, WA





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