Bird Friendly Plantings in New Jersey

birdfriendlyplantIf you are interested in creating a bird-friendly environment in your backyard, all you need to do is choose plants, flowers and trees that provide food, shelter and comfort. Your outdoor space will become a haven for birds, and you get to enjoy the beauty of these winged creatures year round.

Let’s take a look at plantings that are conducive to a bird habitat.

Native Plants for Food

Native plants are best at attracting local birds. The birds recognize these plants for food and shelter, rather than exotic plants that may be beautiful, but are not familiar. It’s a good idea to know which types of birds you are interested in attracting so that you can match the appropriate food source to what you plant. For a variety of birds, a garden filled with seeds, flowers, berries and nuts will attract all types.

  • Seed eating birds like chickadees, goldfinches and towhees prefer flowering plants and ornamental grasses. Great picks include sunflowers, asters, zinnias and black-eyed Susans.
  • Marigolds, cosmos and salvias attract finches and sparrows.
  • Hummingbirds are happiest with nectar from bee balm, geraniums and veronicas.
  • There are seasonal plants to be aware of. In the winter, hollies and roses provide winter fruit. In the late spring, serviceberries and chokeberries provide fruit. Blueberries grow sweet fruit in the summer. In the fall, honeysuckle and pyracantha are great options.

Native Plants for Shelter

Plantings can be used for shelter as well as food. The goal of these plantings is to provide shelter, comfort and safety. Some of the best plantings for this purpose include:

  • Pine trees
  • Low-growing junipers
  • Vines and shrubs

As you begin to make the perfect habitat for birds, think about what combination of plantings will provide birds with the basic necessities. Start at the ground level by planting ground covers and petite flowers. Move upward and plant fruit-bearing shrubs, trees and evergreens. Then, fill in the space with perennials, annuals, shrubs and ornamental grasses. You’ll have the best looking yard in town while also having a bird haven that brings you closer to nature!