Skip to Content

Pick 6 – Great Shrubs that provide food and shelter for birds.

northern-Mockingbird with red-berry

Shrubs are a great group of plants.  Shrubs are available in a great variety of sizes and color and can be a nice addition to yards or gardens.  From a birds perspective they can provide food, shelter and nesting locations.

In doing research for this article we ran across a company we were not aware of called Monrovia. They can deliver plants to your local nursery and have additional information on plants popular with birds and butterflies.

Callicarpa species
Zones 5 to 8
Beautyberry is a fast-growing shrub that will reach about 4 feet in height.  Its name reflects the colors of its bright purple fruits which mature in the fall and last well into winter.

Black chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa
Zones 3 to 9
Chokeberry plants grow to be 3 to 6 feet tall and can cover a space up to 10 feet wide. They do best in sun or part shade in moist, well-draining soil. They are a low-maintenance year-round shrub. It develops bluish-black fruit that attracts songbirds in fall and winter.

Northern bayberry
Myrica pensylvanica
Hardiness zones 4-6
This fragrant shrub produces dense foliage in a compact form. It is evergreen in mild climates, deciduous in cooler areas. It produces fragrant, waxy, silver-gray berries, which may remain on the plant year-round.

Various dogwood species
Cornus species
The fall fruit of the deciduous dogwood attracts a wide range of fruit-eating species including bluebirds, robins, juncos, cardinals and even the Wild Turkey.

Rhus species, Zones 3 to 10
Sumac is a durable shrub or small tree that’s attractive year-round. In winter, it boasts spikes of red fruit that are an excellent source of nutrition for winter residents.

American cranberrybush
Viburnum trilobum
Zones 2 to 7
This large shrub grows 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. It produces red berries that appear in summer and remain until late winter.  Great color for yard and food for birds. They do best in sun to partial shade and moist, well-draining soil and work in a wide range of hardiness zones.

Visit the Gardening section for more informtion.



About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

Let others know your thoughts or ask an expert

Would you like to get new articles of birds (Once a month?)

No SPAM! We might only send you fresh updates once a month

Thank you for subscribing!

No thanks! I prefer to follow BirdZilla on Facebook