Sunday, January 24, 2016

Winter Buffet

During the winter, birds struggle to find food, shelter and water. You can help by planting a variety of plants, shrubs, vines, grasses and trees that provide berries, seeds and nuts for them throughout the winter. These plants provide not only food rich in calories, nutrients and antioxidants for the birds, but also, beauty, texture and interest for you, as well.

Here are some to consider:

1. Viburnums such as Cranberry Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum)
2. Staghorn sumac (Rhea typhina)
3. Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)
4. Native roses
5. Winterberry (Ilex verticilatta)

1. Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)

1. Oaks (Quercus)
2. Walnut (Juglans)
3. Hickory (Carya)
4. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
5. Spruces (Picea)
6. Juniper (Juniperus)
7. Dogwood (Cornus)
8. Holly (Ilex)
9. Hawthorn (Crataegus)

The Green Hawthorn, Winter King,  is a beautiful, pyramid shaped, small tree with small thorns, which has beautiful white flowers in the spring, brilliant red purplish leaves in the autumn and scarlet berries in the winter. 

I have a Green Hawthorn right outside my window, which makes for easy viewing and photographing. In the course of just a couple of hours, I captured 6 different bird species feeding. 

In order for the berries to become soft and edible, they need to go through a few freeze-thaw cycles. 

Here is a robin gobbling down a berry:

A female northern cardinal is finding an abundance of berries on the ground: 

A dark-eyed junco rests and takes shelter after a satisfying meal:

 This cedar waxwing flew in briefly. I hope he tells his friends.

On a neighboring pear tree, a red-bellied woodpecker peeks at all the activity:

The resident blue birds are seen daily on this tree,

including these 2 juvenile blue birds, who stopped by to check out all the commotion:

Another blue bird dives in to partake:

A large flock of robins have lingered for over a week, enjoying the feast daily:

To check which plants are best suited for your area, this website can provide the answers
you need, organized by plant or by state:

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