Plants listed below are ranked in the approximate order of usefulness as songbird food. Most also provide food for gamebirds. More detailed information will be found in “American Wildlife and Plants, A guide to Wildlife Food Habits”, available from the Cincinnati Nature Center, 4949 Tealtown Rd., Milford, Ohio 45140.
Ilex, Mahonia, Pieris, Leucothia, Pyracantha, and Juniper (evergreen with berries)
Ilex opaca (American Holly) and Magnolia grandiflora (Southern Magnolia, broadleaf evergreen with berries)
Amelancher canadensis (Serviceberry), Aronia brilliantissima (Red Chokeberry), Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw), other Viburnums, Callicarpa (Beautyberry), Cotoneaster,Vitex, Ilex verticillata, Ilex glabra, crenata and others, Lonicera tatarica, and fragrantissima (Honeysuckle, deciduous with berries)
Pinus nigra (Austrian Pine), Pinus strobus (White Pine), Pinus resinosa (Red Pine), Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine), Pinus mugo (Mugho Pine, Tsuga (Hemlock), Picea (Spruce), Cedras (Cedar), Juniperus (Juniper), and Larch (coniferous with seeds)
Ornamental and Shade Trees:
Ash, Basswood, Beeches, Birch, Blackgum, Cherry, Crabapple, Dogwoods, Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Maples, Mountain Ash, Mulberry, Oaks, Sweetgum, Sycamore, and Tuliptree (deciduous)
Species of birds listed below will also eat other berries and fruits, seeds, and vast quantities of ants, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, bugs, and spiders. The percentages shown are the portion of their diet that consists of the listed foods.
- Blue Jay: Acorn – 50%; Corn, Beechnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Suet – 5-10%
- Red-Bellied Woodpecker: Oak – 10-25%; Grape – 5-10%; Corn – 2-5%
- Hairy Woodpecker: Suet and Insects Favored – 5-10%; Poison Ivy, Dogwood, and Serviceberry – 2-5%
- Black-Capped: Pine Seeds and Hemlock – 5-10%
- Chickadee: Birch and Poison Ivy – 2-5%
Source: Mae R. Streitmann, Cincinnati Nature Center