Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum→attracting birds in the winter

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Name: John
Ontario, Canada
Shinnen
Feb 11, 2019 9:50 AM CST
Hi,
We live in Ontario, and normally put out seed during the winter; but I was wondering if there are any bushes or other plants that we can put out to attract birds in the winter.
Thanks,
..... john
Foothills of the Italian Alps
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ElPolloDiablo
Feb 11, 2019 11:36 AM CST
There are several plants you can plant to feed birds in the Fall and Winter: Snowberry, Choke berry, American beautyberry, Staghorn sumac...

However bear in mind birds may snub your offerings even if they are native: I planted Snowberry last year, it has already born fruit but so far no takers. However birds must be feeding from laurels somewhere because those damn things are sprouting everywhere and I spend my spare time uprooting them...
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Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 14, 2019 4:00 PM CST
Also, various holly trees... my naturals had berries right up till last week, but I noticed yesterday that every berry is now gone!
Also, the native dogwoods, red cedar, sweet gum...

And... consider the "weeds"...

They love lambsquarter seed...
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If you encourage stuff that is natural to your area, you will probably find an amazing amount of stuff the birds like.

Name: John
Ontario, Canada
Shinnen
Jul 19, 2020 8:57 PM CST
Hi,
Thank you both for your suggestions.
....... john
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Sep 3, 2020 9:23 AM CST
Absolutely hollies! There are a number of different species, cultivars, and growth forms. Late winter when the holly berries might be the only thing around is a lifeline to a number of bird species. And in the spring, pollinators of all kinds love the flowers.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

cyrusjuliet799
Nov 14, 2020 7:55 AM CST
Birds need a reliable supply of supplementary food to get through the difficult winter months, so try to ensure you offer them a regular delivery service; refill feeders promptly, and twice daily if required when the weather's really bad, as birds need to refuel quickly after very snowy conditions. Provide a great deal of fat-rich food to generate the necessary heat.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 14, 2020 11:16 AM CST
Hi Shinnen, besides putting out wild bird seed in winter, many birds really love when I put out suet.

Keep in mind there are some plants that will thrive in your climate and some that won't. I know for sure American Beautyberry won't survive up north. I sent a friend in Indiana several plants but they never made it.

Besides what's already been mentioned, Serviceberry and Nannyberry are other good choices.

Juneberry (Amelanchier canadensis)

Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago)
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Nov 14, 2020 3:38 PM CST
Did you notice today's banner? I just did. The thread "Banner for November 14, 2020 by mcash70" in Site Banners forum
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Nov 15, 2020 3:36 AM CST
Another thing I do is buy a 50 lb (it's smaller than you think) bag of crushed oyster shell grit sold for chickens. I've cleaned out some growing begs but leaving the rest for bird cover until spring. On the beds I cleaned, I shake/spread multiple cups of the grit all around. The stuff too small or too large for birds (they swallow small rocks in order to grind seeds in their crops) basically just adds calcium to the beds. Win/ win. I think the bags of grit are about $17 and change.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Nov 30, 2020 12:09 PM CST
Gonna be freezing or below here the next few nights...time to put out my "natural" peanut butter feeders. I find pieces of wood with nooks and crannies and put p-butter mix there and hang them out for the birds....squirrels love it too. I mix peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) with quick oats and birdseed until it looks good or my arm gets tired.
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Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Jen
The Dry Side of Oregon (Zone 6b)
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SassyBluejay
Dec 12, 2020 11:01 PM CST
I'm in Oregon so I'm not sure if our plants are realistic for you. But what gets the most traffic here is our junipers, snowberry (which I see was already mentioned), and our state flower - Oregon Grape. It's like a holly plant, super pokey leaves but beautiful!

I recently saw a fellow gardener who grows mammoth sunflowers and leaves them up near a birdbath all winter. It's a nice, natural food source. Too bad my goldfinches eat all my sunflower seeds so early in the season!

One other thought is to ensure you have liquid water available. When I lived in MN, we used a heated birdbath that was frequently visited by birds. As you know, it's hard to find water in those upper latitudes! Acorn
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