Berries for the Birds

american-robin-in-russian-hawthorn_xg_20091215_lah_5562xHow would you like to have a flock of robins outside your window? How about other thrushes, waxwings, sparrows, towhees, or vireos? Want to add Western Tanager to your yard list?

Along with finches, grosbeaks, thrushes, some warblers, Northern Mockingbird, Townsend’s Solitaire, chickadees, nuthatches, swallows, woodpeckers, pigeons/doves, jays, and even hummingbirds (who drink the juice), all these birds eat berries at some point.*

Planting shrubs and trees that produce berries is a great way to attract more species of birds. Even better, plant several kinds of berries, since each bird species has its favorites.

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Everyone Likes American Robins

Robins are often considered harbingers of spring, and in some places they are, but here in Colorado they hang out year round. In fact, on the 2006 Christmas Bird Count, in the middle of a blizzard—with the thermometer registering a whopping 6 degrees—we tallied over 200 American Robins in our sector alone… and those were just the ones we could see in white-out conditions.

What spring actually brings is singing robins. For some reason, they have no sense of  decent timing, and will start in at 4 am with their cheerful cheery-o, cheery-o. The last thing I feel at that hour is cheery.

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