Bird-friendly Native Plants
Native trees, shrubs and perennials are good for birds, butterflies and other wildlife that contribute to a healthy environment. Native plants are important food sources for birds, not only providing fruit, nuts and seeds, but also serving as host plants for insects and larvae that birds need as sources of protein. And, birds, butterflies, moths, bees and other insects serve as pollinators to regenerate native plants, which maintains those food sources and helps to keep invasive alien plants under control. Native plants also provide shelter for birds and their nests.
Below is a list of a few suggested trees and shrubs that should do well in your North Carolina yard. Click on the scientific name to find out more about each species. Forsyth Audubon plantings at Bethabara and Bethania are noted in the Comments. The last column notes the number of butterfly and moth species hosted.
We think of spring as planting time, but fall is even better. Over winter, plants can build a healthy root base before blooming the coming year. Much thanks to Susan Andrews and Shelley Rutkin for assembling this list.
Buttonbush by Phil Dickinson
For a more complete list, consult one of these resources:
"Bringing Nature Home" by Douglas Tallamy
"Gardening With Native Plants of the South" by Sally Wasowski
"Native Plants of the Southeast" by Larry Mellichamp
Landscaping for Wildlife with Native Plants
LBJ Native Plant Database
For more information, contact Shelley Rutkin. Return to Bird-friendly Yards.
Photo Panel: Native Plants, Gardeners © Kim Brand; Cedar Waxwing © Phil Dickinson.