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Bird Friendly Plants


Do you think gardening is for the birds? If so, consider incorporating some of these wonderful plant varieties into your home garden or landscape. Ranging in size from small shrubs to large trees, these plants provide flowers, insects, and shelter for our feathered friends, as well as colorful flowers and bright foliage to enhance the look of your environment.

Archtostaphylos (Manzanita): Birds eat the fruit, work the flowers, and use the foliage for cover. Manzanita is an attractive, evergreen, and drought-tolerant small tree/shrub.

Artemisia (Sagebrush): Many kinds of birds eat the leaves, flowers, and seeds of this small tree/shrub.

Asters: birds will eat the seeds of this bright and colorful flowering plant.

Ceanothus (California Lilac): Birds use this plant for cover and nesting, as well as eating the seeds. The California Lilac produces dense clusters of small flowers.

Cercis occidentalis (Redbud): Redbud makes a nice small tree, and birds will eat the seeds and flowers.

Eriogonum (Buckwheat): Buckwheat leaves, seeds, and flowers are eaten by many bird species, and the plant also provides good cover.  

Eschscholzia (California Poppies): quail love to eat the seeds of this attractive yellow/orange state flower.

Geranium: many kinds of birds eat the seeds of these densely flowering small trees/shrubs.

Honeysuckles (Lonicera): Honeysuckles will attract Hummingbirds, Towhees, Thrasher, Robin, and Bluebirds.

Mahonia (Oregon Grape): Mahonia produces clusters of purple berries that are eaten by Bluebirds, Robin, Thrasher, Towhees.

Penstemons: these distinctive, colorful flowers are excellent for attracting and feeding hummingbirds.

Pinus (Pine): several types of birds eat the seeds and pick insects out of the bark.

Quercus (oak): The Oak is a very useful tree for birds, providing acorns, leaf galls, and insects for food, as well as nesting areas.  

Rhamnus (Coffeeberry): These plants produce clusters of small flowers with berries that attract many species of birds.

Rosa species (wild rose): Many kinds of birds eat wild rose hips, and the plant provides great cover.

Salix species (willows): Willows are important for cover and nesting, and many bird species eat scale insects and aphids from the plants.

Salvia species (sages): many birds species eat the seeds and work the colorful, ornamental flowers.

Helianthus (sunflowers): several kinds of birds eat these seeds, including Goldfinch and Bushtits.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon): the small red berries of the toyon plant are eaten by Bluebirds, Robins, Cedar Waxwings, and Mockingbirds, among others, and butterflies will also be attracted to this variety.

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