The Seven Types of Plants Needed to Attract Birds
Plants that attract birds include those that provide food, shelter and nesting sites.
There are seven types of plants that are important if you want to attract birds. These are:
- Conifers and evergreens
- grasses and legumes
- nectar producers
- summer fruit bearers
- fall fruit bearers
- winter fruit bearers
- seed, nut and acorn bearers
Some smaller yards and gardens can’t fit in all seven. But, take a look at what plants surround your yard that can attract birds. You can supplement or fill in the gaps with plants that add variety and diversity of the landscape.
These are evergreen trees that do not lose their needle-shaped leaves in winter. These densely covered tree limbs provide very good cover and shelter that can attract birds. These evergreens can provide a place to hide when a predator like a cat or hawk approaches.
They also provide shelter from winter winds, snow and cold. Some conifers also provide sap, seeds and buds. These trees include spruces, pines, firs, junipers and cedars.
2. Grasses and legumes
Grasses and legumes provide cover for ground-nesting birds. Ground nesting birds generally don’t inhabit urban and
suburban areas. But, if you live near open lots, airports and grassy fields, you might see them. But if you live in such an area, don’t mow the grass during the nesting season.
Some grasses provide food such as seeds and legumes. Native grasses that people plant are just the kind that attract birds and these birds need.
3. Nectar-producing plants
Nectar-producing plants provide food for hummingbirds and orioles. It is much easier to provide a nectar producing plant than to change a feeder daily. The plants that provide nectar have tubular flowers. The color red is extra attractive to humming birds.
These flowers include bee balm, coralbells, columbine, trumpet creeper and scarlet morning glory. Other vines, trees and shrubs can also provide for nectar eaters.
4. Summer-fruiting plants
Summer-fruiting plants bear fruits or berries from May through August. These trees and shrubs include serviceberry (shadbush), raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, grape, mulberry, plum and elderberry. The fruit-eaters that enjoy this bounty include catbirds, waxwings, robins, thrushes, cardinals, orioles, towhees, woodpeckers and grosbeaks.
5. Fall fruit bearers
Fall fruit bearers include shrubs and vines whose fruits ripen in the fall. These foods are important for migrating birds. The birds eat the fruit to build up fat reserves to fuel long migration flights. Birds that don’t migrate also eat the fruit.
Fall-fruiting plants include dogwoods, mountain ash, winter berries, cottoneasters and buffalo berries.
6. Winter fruit bearer
Winter fruit bearer don’t actually produce berries in winter. These are plants have fruit which stays attached to the plant long after they become ripe in the fall. These are fruits that often need to be frozen and thawed several times to be palatable. These plants include Virginia creeper, bittersweet, sumacs, American highbush cranberry, black chokeberry and some crabapples.
7. The seed, nut and acorn plants
The seed, nut and acorn plants provide foods for a variety of birds. The seed producers are maples, pines, spruces, birches and others. The nut producers including hickories, buckeyes, chestnuts, butternuts, walnuts, and hazelnuts. The acorn plants are the oaks.
As you can see the seven types of plants provide a wide variety of food and shelter that can attract birds. By diversifying the landscape you can help birds survive.
There are many different species of plants that are suitable for attracting birds, not just the ones listed here. Plants
for birds include many native trees, shrubs, flowers and vines. These plants can add the the beauty of your yard or garden.