American Robin eating serviceberry. Photo: Mervin Wallace
Support Native Songbirds
Songbirds Need Native Plants. Choosing native plants for your yard will help songbirds thrive. Not only do songbirds need fat- and protein-rich fruits from native trees and shrubs, like the robin above eating serviceberries, but also invertebrates such as moth larvae are vitally important food for adult and baby birds. What do these larvae need to eat? Native plants, of course! This fact sheet provides information on native host plants that feed insect larvae that birds need to eat and feed their young.
This Hosts with the Most rack card (right) features lists of woody and perennial natives that provide food (foliage) to the greatest numbers of butterfly and moth species. The caterpillars of these lepidoptera are important food for baby birds.
Interested in attracting songbirds to your yard? Take a look at these native garden plans:
Songbird Station garden plan
Finch Feast garden plan
Hummingbird Haven garden plan
Below are Top Ten lists of native plants that will attract songbirds to your yard:
Top Ten List for Attracting Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds
Top Ten List of Outstanding Native Shrubs for Wildlife
Learn how to sustain birds with native plants!
Bring in the Birds, Missouri Conservationist article by Janice Wiese-Fales
You can also help birds by removing invasive, non-native shrubs like bush honeysuckle, to allow native shrubs with nutritious fruits and nuts to thrive, as well as native perennials, shrubs, and trees that are host plants for insects that birds need to eat.
Check out many references for controlling invasives at our Missouri Invasive Plant Council website, including our Plant This, Not That posters available for free download.