Audubon North Carolina recently released their list of 2018 Bird-Friendly Plants of the Year. They’re grouped below by food source.
Berries: Vaccinium spp. supports 286 moths and butterflies, and a range of birds with summer berries. Viburnum nudum supports 97 native moths and caterpillars, and offers summer/fall berries; Viburnum prunifolium for fall berries and Ilex decidua for winter berries.
Nectar for hummingbirds: Aquilegia canadensis for early spring nectar, Lonicera sempervirens for spring and Monarda punctata for summer nectar.
Seed sources: Vernonia noveboracensis attracts butterflies and bees, while seeds from August to October attract birds. Helianthus angustifolius, a native, tall-growing sunflower, produces seeds for birds from September through November and plants are host to 73 native caterpillar species. Chrysogonum virginianum is a deer-resistant evergreen with yellow flowers and seeds April through July. Chrysogonum is also a bird-friendly native option for Hedera helix.
Caterpilars: Acer floridanum has great fall color and is a top 10 caterpillar tree, supporting 287 species in North America. More food = clutches of baby birds. Quercos phellos is a host to caterpillars for feeding baby birds and acorns for woodpeckers, jays and turkeys.
NC Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities “is a partnership program that focuses conservation efforts where most people live — in cities and towns.”
November 15, 2016 NewTerrain.