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Nature In The Natural State: Nandina Berries

Nandina domestica is a beautiful shrub with dark green leaves and bright red berries. It’s native to China and Japan and is sold at many garden stores. But did you know that its berries are poisonous?

Just a few of the bird species that depend on winter berries to survive are robins, mockingbirds, bluebirds, and cedar waxwings. In 2009, a flock of dead cedar waxwings in Georgia was autopsied and it was found that nandina berries had killed them.

Birds do need berries to survive. Two native shrubs with bright red berries that you can substitute for nandina are common winterberry, Ilex verticillata, and spicebush, Lindera benzoin.

You can find more inforation about the threat of Nandina Berries to birds at Audubon.com.