Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Backyard birdfeeder: Seeds and Fruit Aplenty

How many goldfinch can you see in this photo? We seem to have a flock of American Goldfinch in our yard all year, but in the fall the flock grows to at least 35. Very social, they fly from the white pines in the yard to the lilacs by the feeder in groups. You know they are there before you can see them by their constant chatter and high chirping. They love the fact that I didn't deadhead my echinecea.

It made me look for all the seeds and fruit near our house. Here are the small but abundant hips from the small pink swamp rose that is all along the roadside.

Elderberry is blue black this time of year.
Native peoples used this plant as a diuretic, laxative and wound poultice, but Robins, Nuthatches, Bluebirds, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, Kingbirds and Phoebes all use this berry as a food source. Our area is rich in Phoebes, so we can't know which comes first the bird or the berry!

Here another beauty, wild on the side of the road, maybe escaped from some old farm..a wild crabapple I think. Laden with fruit that is small enough for birds to dig in. Rich in Vitamin C and seeds for protein.

Here is another crabapple- just wild along the road. So pretty..who knows the variety from years past. It isn't one that I am familiar with, the tree was more spindly than those we find today in garden centers...but wow, that fruit is gorgeous! So much to eat out there, the bird feeder stays full, but the yard is full of chirping. Be on the lookout for what birds like in your yard...and maybe plant more of that next year. It is great for them and very entertaining for us!

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