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Old 01-17-2013, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Native plants that attract winter birds

Native plants that attract winter birds
Arboretum Paths
By Patricia Drackett, Director Crosby Arboretum
The Picayune Item Picayune Item
January 9, 2013

Native plants that attract winter birds Lifestyles The Picayune Item
excerpt from above:
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Rick Webb, owner of Louisiana Growers nursery has conducted programs on native plants at the Arboretum, and has spoken about the native plants he calls “thicket plants” – those you might not look twice at, as they aren’t the showiest in the landscape, but have high wildlife value. Thickets offer cover and protection to birds, and places to raise their young. As a young landscape gardener I once viewed Smilax vine, also called “greenbriar” or “catbriar” as a species needing eradicating in the garden. But I’ve learned to appreciate its thorny mass that scrambles among the treetops as a perfect location for nesting birds, offering both a food source and protection from predators.

Although native hollies such as inkberry, yaupon, and American holly appear to dominate the winter landscape, other plants have persistent fruit that provides winter food for birds and other wildlife. These include sumac, viburnum , magnolias, American beautyberry, chokeberry, and Virginia creeper. Nuts are eaten by larger birds, and the seeds from many herbaceous and woody plants are also consumed.

One of Alan’s favorite plants for winter birds is...
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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I'm always excited to see articles educating people on the need for natives...and the fact that people can begin to appreciate things they didn't before just by knowing that birds benefit from them. I wasn't terribly familiar with the greenbriar, though I'm sure I've seen it a few times. Thanks to this article, I'll take the time to learn more about it, and will look at it differently from now on.
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