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

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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

 

 

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