Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 12, 2010

From: Southampton, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Native plants to attract migrating birds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can you suggest native plants that would attract migrating birds? I have a very sunny location, with very sandy soil. Thanks in advance for your answer.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would like to suggest a very useful article, Landscaping to Attract Birds, from the Baltimore Bird Club.  This article suggests several categories of food plants—conifers, grasses and legumes, nectar-producing plants, summer-fruiting plants, fall-fruiting plants and winter-fruiting plants.  Birds use plants for shelter as well as for food.  Here are some suggested New York native plants for these categories that grow well in sandy soils.

CONIFERS:  Pines, spruces, firs, junipers, etc., are useful as shelter as well as for their sap, buds and seeds.

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)

GRASSES AND LEGUMES:

Ammophila breviligulata (American beachgrass)

Elymus canadensis (Canada wildrye)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Chamaecrista fasciculata (partridge pea)

Lupinus perennis (sundial lupine)

NECTAR-PRODUCING:

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

SUMMER-FRUITING:

Morus rubra (red mulberry)

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

FALL-FRUITING:

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

WINTER-FRUITING:

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

NUTS AND ACORNS

Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)

You can find more plants to fit the above categories on our New York Recommended page.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Chamaecyparis thyoides

Pinus strobus

Ammophila breviligulata

Elymus canadensis

Schizachyrium scoparium

Chamaecrista fasciculata

Lupinus perennis

Campsis radicans

Lonicera sempervirens

Morus rubra

Prunus virginiana

Cornus florida

Ilex verticillata

Rhus copallinum

Carya ovata

Quercus muehlenbergii

 

 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Plants for butterflies, birds and bees at 7000 feet in Arizona
April 28, 2009 - What are the best plants for feeding and sheltering bees, butterflies, and birds in/near Flagstaff AZ. We are at 7,000 feet elevation and I am finding it very difficult to create a backyard habitat.
view the full question and answer

Shade-loving plants for birds in New Jersey
March 25, 2013 - What native plants should I add to my property, Zone 6, to feed birds naturally? I have a heavily treed lot, so I'd like names of shade loving perennials. Seed or fruit bearing options would be gre...
view the full question and answer

Importance of native plants for wildlife.
March 04, 2008 - I just read Donald Tellamy's new book,Bringing Nature Home. He documents how native plants provide more nourishment for wildlife than introduced plants. The definition of native plants that I use is ...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars on Carolina buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
September 29, 2007 - I have a Carolina buckthorn and last year there were interesting looking caterpillars munching on the leaves. They were camouflaged to look a bit like bird droppings. The plant database makes no ment...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterflies in Michigan
April 19, 2009 - I am wanting to raise Painted Lady butterflies and release them into my garden. I know that they like to eat Mallow plants, but I was wondering what kind of Mallow plant would be best for my garden?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.