Birdwatching is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in Minnesota even in the winter as not all birds fly south during the cold months. It is actually pretty amazing to observe the different songbird species that have adapted to our Minnesota winters. And although they appreciate our offerings of bird seed, this is only a fraction of their diet.
If you’d like to attract more feathered friends to your yard, consider adding native plants, shrubs, and trees that help support their diverse nutritional needs. Planting native plants generally requires less maintenance on your part and provides food and shelter for local wildlife.
Below is a list of plants for birds that provide a suitable bird habitat. If you need help designing a flourishing, bird-attracting garden, contact one of our landscapers.
Bird Diets — Insects and Nectar
In the spring and summer, choose annuals and perennials that attract bees and butterflies. Not only are you helping pollinator populations, but you’re also providing incentive for birds to visit your yard as insects are a large portion of bird diets.
There are many native perennials to choose from at your local nursery. Some of Rock Solid’s perennial favorites are goldenrod, asters, butterfly weed, prairie violets, and large flowered beardtongue. Impatiens, marigolds, and zinnias are annuals that thrive in our spring and summer.
Birds, like hummingbirds, drink nectar from flowering plants such as salvia or coral bells. When you’re selecting flowering plants, avoid double blossom hybrids as they’re harder for butterflies or hummingbirds to access the nectar.
Seed and Berry Producing Plants
Seed and berry producing plants are also a great nutrient source for our feathered friends. After flowering, seeds from plants such as salvia and purple coneflower attract chickadees and goldfinches.
Also consider adding berry trees and shrubs like the chokecherry, crab apple, and serviceberry flower to your landscape. They provide food year-round. In April they attract bees. In the summer they produce fruit for birds such as robins. And in the winter the dried berries feed foraging birds. Plus, the bright red berries such as those found on winterberry add pops of color to your yard in winter.
Trees as Homes and Food Sources
Trees are an important source of food, shelter, weather coverage, and nesting sites for our feathered friends. Trees also house a variety of insects and spiders which are favored by chickadees, nuthatches, and woodpeckers.
Here are some trees and the birds they attract to consider for your yard.
- Birches and sumacs for Chickadees and Titmice
- Beeches and oaks for Warblers and Vireos
- Pines, hickories, oaks, and cherries for Woodpeckers
This fall season is the ideal time to plant these new trees and shrubs in your yard. The warm soil and cool air stimulate root growth enabling your newly planted trees or shrubs to get established before the winter freeze.
As you design your yard to attract more birds, remember to select a variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials. This will offer different food sources and attract insects for them to feast on through all the seasons.
Ready to add variety to your garden, but not sure what to plant where? Or do you want to know more about how to create a bird-friendly yard? We’d love to help, schedule your free consultation.