Bedner's Farm & Greenhouse

Gardening for the Birds

NATURE’s bird feeder

Feeding the birds, especially in winter, can mean much more (and be much easier and more sustainable) than simply putting out a bird feeder. Many birds find shelter and feed from plants and trees you already have in your yard via berries, seeds, or insects they may host.

Working to add native plants and grow natural bird food indirectly supports the entire food web and helps support the native ecology in your own yard. And it’s not too late to plant new perennials, shrubs and trees well into October, but before the first hard freeze.

It’s also never too early to walk your yard and plan the plants you’d like to add next spring to fill in empty spots, add more texture, height, color, privacy and shade and make your outdoor spaces more beautiful and beneficial. 

some of our favoriteS to get you started

Perennials: rudbeckia, echinacea, monarda, solidago, asclepias, eupatorium, heliopsis, any of the asters, pennesetum, sorghastrum, panicum grass, schizachryum, andropogon, and other native grasses.

Shrubs with fall berries: malus, sambucus, myrica, amelanchier, serviceberry, button bush, spice bush, winterberry, black willow, plus any native dogwood or viburnums, their berries persist but also provide cover from predators.

Trees: any native tree, such as oaks, maple, beech, apple, willow, cherry and birch.

To learn more, we love these area-specific resources:

Articles, Books, and Videos by Doug Tallamy

Find Native Plants for Birds in Our Area, Audobon