Many of us feed birds in the wintertime by putting out seed and suet. But you can also feed birds more naturally by planting native habitat they can eat throughout the winter. This native habitat will also serve as food for caterpillars in the spring and summer, which in turn will feed other animals up the foodchain.
The American beautyberry, Callicarpa Americana, is a native shrub that produces brilliant purple berries. Possumhaw, Ilex decidua, another native, has bright red berries.
Birds that eat one or both of these types of berries include wrens, thrashers, waxwings, warblers, woodpeckers, nuthatches, and thrushes.
Birds need our help—studies show that since 1970, one in four birds have disappeared. Planting natural habitat will help bring them back.
For more information, see Audubon.org.