Years ago, I learned that one of the best ways to attract a variety of birds to your yard is to provide them with a variety of wildlife foods. In an attempt to accomplish this goal, I now offer my feathered neighbors a variety of seeds, and suet, in addition to mix of seeds, fruits and berries produced on a number of native trees and shrubs growing about the yard. One of these shrubs is American beautyberry.
A northern mockingbird was the first bird that I saw feeding on the shrub’s bright purple berries. Since then I have kept track of the different species of birds that I have witnessed dining on these uniquely colored berries. Up until this year, the list included the gray catbird, house finch, northern cardinal and brown thrasher.
In the last few days, I have enjoyed watching cardinals hopscotching around the bird feeding area located in front of my home office my yard eating suet, sunflower seeds as well as the berries of an American beautyberry growing nearby. Meanwhile, brown thrashers have divided their time between eating suet, pieces of bread. and beautyberries.
Yesterday, I just happened to notice the bush’s foliage shaking. I stopped what I was doing and waited to see if a bird would appear. Much to my surprise, the bird causing the leaves to shudder was a female summer tanager. For several minutes, the bird moved about the bush eating a several beautyberries before moving on to the next cluster of bead-like berries. Then, just as quickly as she appeared, she flew away.
When she vanished into the foliage of a nearby oak tree, I had a new addition the list of birds I have personally seen feeding on American beautyberries in my yard. Better yet, I also now possess an unforgettable memory.
If you would like more information on American beautyberries, type American beautyberry in the Search bubble found on the right of the screen. When you press the return button, a number of former blogs dealing with beautyberries will appear.