Most of us enjoy birding and bird watching mainly due to the fact that we have a unique opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature. This typically goes well beyond providing our birds with the proper seed, choosing the right optics and learning how to identify specific bird calls by ear. Most of us take a keen interest in being outdoors in general which includes maintaining our yards and flower bed and gardens.
For those of you equipped with a green-ish type of thumb, we wanted to include a post this spring that identified a few common garden flowers that you can plant at home that are full of seeds your birds will love.
Here are a few to include in your gardens this spring and summer, which should not only provide good viewing opportunities of your favourite birds, but also provide them with some additional seed to snack on this year.
These purple-colored flowers encompass about 180 different species, with only one native to North America. Named using a Greek word that translates into “star”, referring to the shape of the flower, asters are hardy flowers and are a favourite among gardeners due to their beautiful colours. Nuthatches, sparrows, buntings, towhees, chickadees, and sparrows are a few of the species that you might find snacking on the seeds of the Aster flower.
Another member of the aster family, goldenrod or solidago is typically found in open areas such as meadows, valleys, and fields. This flower is relatively easy to recognize due to its golden-yellow colouring and is a popular choice for birds not only for its seed but also for the plant's propensity to attract insects. Finches, pine siskins, certain warblers and buntings will enjoy all the merits of eating this plant for a truly balanced diet.
Joe Pye Weed
Another versatile and multi-faceted flower used by our feathered friends. Joe Pye Week or eutrochium is a purple flower that was originally rumoured to be used as a treatment for a variety of illnesses, including typhus. Not only do juncos, titmice and chickadees love to feed on the bountiful seed from this lovely flower, they will also use the “fluff” from the plant to build comfortable and warm nests.