Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Wildlife Gardeners of North America Unite > Birds Including Raptors & Hummers

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-16-2011, 02:42 PM   #1
Heron
 
BeeWonderful's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Minnesota
chickadee Best thicket shrubs for small birds?

Today I watched a sharp-shinned hawk fly into our large spruce where the chickadees like to hang out... and as I'm in the process of planting native shrubs in our yard for wildlife, I am now wondering about the best thicket shrubs for small birds to hide from predators like bird-eating hawks. Any ideas? I live in Zone 4 (Minnesota). Any shrubs that would remain protective even in winter? looking forward to your ideas!
BeeWonderful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 03:09 PM   #2
A Bee's Best Friend
 
Gloria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
Default

Hi there Bee wonderful and welcome to the forum. I would try something with thorns, like hawthorns or closely spaced small branches that will not hold the weight of larger predators.
__________________
"Half Earth Quest" Edward O. Wilson

http://pollinators-welcome.blogspot.com/
Gloria is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2011, 08:37 PM   #3
Heron
 
sprucetree's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Michigan/detroit
Default

Hawthorn also will grow into a tree if not cut back regularly,, Another thorny tree is black locust which needs trimming too. You could also try Osage Orange but it has drawbacks of thorns. Pussy willow is good cover and holds it's leaves late into the Season. Spruce and Arborvitae will give year-round cover and will get large. A "Grove" of blue berries or snow berries could work too. Just remember the Hawk normally catches the sick and old, Nobody likes to see animals suffer and the Hawk is just thinning out the herd. If you search the older posts you'll see we get a kick out of Raptors here,, Doubly so when the victim is a Pigeon.
__________________
Prairie Plants
First year they sleep
Second year they creep
Third year they leap; So plant some today
sprucetree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 04:16 AM   #4
Rock Star
 
will-o-wisp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Piedmont area NJ USA
Default

Native roses are good places for birds to hide and nest.
I grow Rosa virginiana which is a good spreader for a thicket, but I believe that is out of your native range.
Rosa carolina is smaller but is in your native range I believe.
There is a wonderful article on native roses by hazelnut on WG, just type in bird thickets under search and it should come up.
will-o-wisp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
Heron
 
BeeWonderful's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Minnesota
Default

Thanks for all the suggestions! I am especially interested in snowberry, or possibly other symphoricarpos like wolfberry or coralberry? Hawthorns are an interesting idea, I just am not sure if I could keep them small? Native roses are another possibility. I will look into that article, will-o-wisp.

Yes, I try to keep in mind that the hawks need to eat, too Still, I think it's sometimes harder for the flock of small birds to hide from predators because so much of their natural habitat is gone. And most houses landscape "thickets" out of their property.

There are a number of native roses in my area that might work. I don't have that much room since I've added quite a bit this past year. Most of my native shrubs are still small. Maybe once they become established in a few years' time they will offer better protection. This past year I added Nannyberry, Red-osier dogwood, and Sambucus canadensis to my yard. But as I said, they are all still small. And I was thinking a shrub with thorns might also be in order.

Despite the hawk, there are tons of birds out there this morning. It is a joy to watch them!
BeeWonderful is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
Official Plant Nerd
 
Equilibrium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Default

Any locally native Crataegus you could work in would be good but that's already been suggested. Have you thought about adding native evergreens? The reason why I'm asking is birds will dive into them to avoid predators but.... they multi task by providing cover in winter from brutal weather. White cedar grows reeeeeeally slow and you could always whack a few of those back if they got too big. There's a dwarf Alberta spruce.... Picea glauca '?'. Then there's Juniper virginiana 'Tripartita' and an Eastern Hemlock.... Tsuga canadensis dwarf sport out there that I can't remember the name of since I usually steer clear of cultivars of natives in favor of running with straight species. Just a thought I had.
__________________
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss
Equilibrium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #7
Great Horned Owl
 
jack's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northeastern MA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
Any locally native Crataegus you could work in would be good but that's already been suggested. Have you thought about adding native evergreens? The reason why I'm asking is birds will dive into them to avoid predators but.... they multi task by providing cover in winter from brutal weather. White cedar grows reeeeeeally slow and you could always whack a few of those back if they got too big. There's a dwarf Alberta spruce.... Picea glauca '?'. Then there's Juniper virginiana 'Tripartita' and an Eastern Hemlock.... Tsuga canadensis dwarf sport out there that I can't remember the name of since I usually steer clear of cultivars of natives in favor of running with straight species. Just a thought I had.
I was going to suggest Canadian Hemlock as well. It's a slow grower, so it would be years before it outgrew the size of a large shrub. Chickadees love hemlock seed!
__________________
"Know thyself."

Oracle at Delphi
jack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2011, 08:22 PM   #8
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
I was going to suggest Canadian Hemlock as well. It's a slow grower, so it would be years before it outgrew the size of a large shrub. Chickadees love hemlock seed!
I love Canadian hemlock...but I'm not so sure I'd call it a slow grower...Three years ago, I put one in that was about 2ft tall; it is now about 6 or 7ft. tall. I have the room for it and want it to grow tall, however if someone doesn't have the space for it, it may not be the right choice.

They can handle trimming--my mother kept one that was near the house trimmed for years, but eventually it got out of hand and too tall for her to trim. They are beautiful trees, but they'd also have to be allowed to get mature enough to produce cones if you want to attract the chickadees.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2011, 08:49 PM   #9
Lungwort
 
Asclepias's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Edmond, Oklahoma
Default

BeeWonderful.... (I like that name): Eastern Red Cedar is another evergreen that looks to be native in your area. It's a great cover when planted in groups and the berries will attract birds through most of the winter; cedar wax wings being among my favorites. I agree with the thorny suggestions. One other thought would be to have in or on the edge of your thicket, a few Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylum americanum). In addition to providing vital suburban cover for your smaller birds, they are one of the host plants for Giant and Spicebush Swallowtails.

If you haven't read Sally Wasowski's Gardening With Prairie Plants, I would highly recommend it. It has a section on bird thickets that may be helpful.
Asclepias is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #10
Fox
 
NEWisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Default

Here's a book that you might be interested in:
http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/for...ing-birds.html

Minnesota is included in it's area of coverage. It has some interesting and different ways of looking at landscaping for birds.
.
__________________
.
Age is a biological fact.
Old is a state of mind.
I will age, but I refuse to get old.
NEWisc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bird, bird habitat, birds, bushes, habitat, habitat for birds, hawthorn, hawthorn tree, native plants, native shrubs, protection, shrubs, small, small birds, thicket, thickets, woodland

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2