Turn Your Yard Into a Winter Refueling Spot for Birds

Turn Your Yard Into a Winter Refueling Spot for Birds

To survive freezing nights, many birds must sustain themselves with berries rich in fats and antioxidants.

By Susan J. Tweit
Published: January-February 2013

This story was orginally published as "Fill 'er Up" in the January-February 2013 issue of Audubon magazine.

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Susan Tweit

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


I question whether all of

I question whether all of these shrubs provide food for birds in winter. In the Northeast where I live, for example, southern arrowwood produces fall fruits that are gobbled right up by the birds. In other words, they are a great source of fuel for fall migrating birds but certainly not for overwintering birds.

Thanks for the article.

Thanks for the article.

Consider developing a comprehensive regional native plant guide for plants beneficial to birds.

You could use the ones for bees at the Pollinator Project, Xerces Society (at Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center web site), and the USDA as models. Could include different growth habits (ground covers, forbes, vines, shrubs, trees) and different beneficial contributions (seeds, nuts, berries/other fruit, nesting material, nesting habitat site, etc.).

I think it would be hugely popular. If we want to stem habitat loss, one powerful way is to empower property owners/gardeners to cultivate land to support wildlife.

native plant list for Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, IOowa & th

Please provide a list of plants and anything else helpful to the above areas. Much appreciated.

Right Ross, I too, am a

Right Ross, I too, am a midwesterner, and have chickadees all year, but also LOVE the waxwings when they show up, usually twice a year. I think the bayberry and arrowroot would be fine her in the midwest, is there any other good ones for our cold winters up north here?

berry bushes for birds

Maryland was left off too.

berry bushes for the birds.

The above article on the berry bushes was helpful, but it totally omited the upper midwest area. Such as the states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan (upper & lower), Iowa and the Dakotas. We have a unique growing and weather system here and are looking for help on what will survive and produce for the birds.

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