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Last Updated: Apr 7, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Birds Print Page

Gardening for Birds

Cover Art
Attracting Birds to Your Backyard - Sally Roth
ISBN: 0875968929
Publication Date: 2003-02-08

Cover Art
Bird Gardening Book - Donald Stokes; Lillian Stokes
ISBN: 0316818364
Publication Date: 1998-04-30

Cover Art
Bird-by-Bird Gardening - Sally Roth
ISBN: 1594863113
Publication Date: 2006-06-13

Cover Art
Gardening for the Birds - George Adams
ISBN: 1604694092
Publication Date: 2013-07-02

Cover Art
The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds - Stephen W. Kress
ISBN: 0801488648
Publication Date: 2006-03-23

Cover Art
Welcome to Subirdia - John M. Marzluff; Jack DeLap (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0300197071
Publication Date: 2014-09-30


Birds and Your Garden

Attracting Birds To Your Garden

Birds needs four basic elements from outdoor spaces:


It's essential that the plants in your garden provide food during all seasons, especially for migratory birds that need places to refuel during their long journeys. Plants that attract wildlife will also attract insects, which birds love! Try to choose plants that have the some of the following characteristics in order to keep your winged visitors full:

  • Flowers with nectar
  • Grass seed heads
  • Fruits and or berries 


Providing a space, even a small one, for birds to drink and bathe is an easy way of supporting your local bird population. If you decide to purchase a bird bath from your local store, try to find one that can be easily cleaned, has a shallow basin and is made of material that won't freeze and crack in the winter. If you decide to create your own, be sure to mimic a natural puddle as much as possible as birds are more comfortable with shallow, ground level water sources.

Shelter and Nesting Space

Creating shelter for the birds in your garden is an essential component of a successful bird habitat. Creating a garden with varied layers of plants and trees will give birds a selection of places to nest, roost and sleep. Adding spaces for dense underbrush, thickets and creating piles of dead plant material gives birds a place to hide from predators and take shelter during bad weather. 


Plants, Trees and Shrubs for Birds

All botanical names will link directly to more information in our Native Plant Finder.

Native Perennials

Botanical Name       Common Name                   
Rudbeckia triloba 
thin-leaf coneflower
Rudbeckia fulgida black-eyed Susan
Hystrix patula  bottlebrush grass
Aster novae-angliae'Purple Dome' New England aster
Mitchella repens partridgeberry
Aquilegia canadensis 'Canyon Vista' Canyon Vista columbine
Coreopsis sp tickseed
Delphinium exaltatum tall larkspur
Penstemon sp. beardtongue
Lobelia sp cardinal flower
Silene virginica fire pink

Native Trees and Shrubs

Botanical Name       Common Name                   
Juniperus virginiana
Eastern red cedar
Juglans nigra
black walnut
Nyssa sylvatica
sour gum
Platanus occidentalis
Quercus rubra
red oak
Salix nigra
black willow
Sassafras albidum
Viburnum prunifolium
black haw
Crataegus viridis 'Winter King‘
Winter King green hawthorn
Aronia arbutifolia red chokeberry
Cornus florida
flowering dogwood
Ilex decidua possumhaw
Ilex glabra inkberry
Ilex verticillata winterberry holly
Vaccinium corymbosum highbush blueberry
Sambucus sp elderberry
Viburnum dentatum arrowwood viburnum
Amelanchier sp serviceberry
Callicarpa sp beautyberry

Native Plants for Hummingbirds

Botanical Name       Common Name                   
Amelanchier sp serviceberry 
Aesculus pavia red buckeye
Aquilegia canadensis columbine
Campsis radicans trumpet creeper
Impatiens capensis touch-me-not
Liatris spicata dense blazing star
Lilium canadense Canada lily
Lilium superbum Turk's cap lily
Lobelia cardinalis cardinal flower
Lonicera sempervirens trumpet honeysuckle
Monarda didyma scarlet bee balm
Phlox maculata wild sweet william
Rhododendron prunifolium plumleaf azalea
Rhododendron vaseyi pink shell azalea
Spigelia marilandica Indian pink

Native Container Plants for Birds 

Botanical Name       Common Name                   
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks' 
Fireworks wrinkle-leaf goldenrod

Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High'

purple coneflower

Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Mop Head'

white blooming purple coneflower

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