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Fruit Bearing Shrubs for Your Wildlife Habitats
February 17, 2014

The cardinal pictures are from a couple weeks ago, yet this is rather common for this time of year.

Cardinals and snow make the red birds one of the most photographed and loved birds.

About a week and a half ago, I received an early morning phone call.

It was my credit card company asking me about a suspicious purchase.

Five hundred dollars worth at Walmart dot com.

Thank you Credit card company for flagging that.

Seems there were several other small purchases before the attempt on a larger one.

I gave the company the date of my last purchase.

The next day via FedEx, a new card was delivered.

This past week my new statement came as though nothing ever happened.

No signs of any fraud or other action showed.

Not one penny charged to me.

I never did find out where this happened.

I know karen had a similar incident a year or two ago, and this was in New Jersey.

We live in Michigan.

Karen had to protest and other stuff to get everything removed.

Folks, I am telling you this to make sure you take every precaution and to make sure you are with the right credit card company/bank.

I even had to call and alert Pay-Pal, as my card was trying to set up an account there too.

Sunshine, yet very cold much of this past week.

Still the sun is high enough to cause some snow to melt.

Can it be?

The mid week forecast calls for a couple of days in the 40's


Even when temperatures drop once again, spring grows that much closer.

The snow pack is paying a toll on all wildlife.

While I do feed the birds, the rabbits and now the deer are invading my yard on a regular basis.

Not only do the four legged critters glean fallen bird food, but many of the shrubs are a couple feet shorter.

Viburnums, Red twig dogwood, and even the Holly right at the front of the house have been stripped by the deer (tracks prove it).

I may have a lack of blooms and fruit on the shrubs later this year and that presents another issue later on.

The first sign of spring.....

Pitchers and catchers report.

Can the smell and sound of baseball and spring be far off?

This week's letter is on fruiting shrubs for the landscape.



Many of our favorite birds eat fruit.

Robins, Cardinals, Orioles, Bluebirds, Catbirds, Mockingbirds, Woodpeckers, and a host of other birds.

Don't forget Brown thrashers, Hermit thrushes, House finches, Purple finches, and of course, Waxwings.

Northern mockingbirds, can and will, aggressively protect a fruit source.

Cedar waxwings are almost exclusively, fruit eating birds.

This is why it takes a few days longer for youngsters to fledge (14-18 days, less protein in the diet).

Cedar waxwings even nest around prime fruit season, and feed their babies fruits.

Most birds eat insects during mating and raising families, but also enjoy a fruit snack.

We see our feathered friends at our feeders, especially during the rigors of winter and when insects are not present.

You may never give birds and fruits a second thought.

Ask anyone that grows strawberries or has a cherry tree or two.

It's a bit frustrating to come a across a half eaten fruit, especially if you've been keeping an eye on it yourself.

I've been there myself.

So why not offer more fruits to your feathered friends?

Why not plant some native fruit bearing shrubs and trees?


We often plant to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to our yards and gardens.

Bird lovers also know that flowers bring in songbirds to feed on the seed and munch down several insects.

If your yard meets the female bird's approval, you may even host a nest or two.

To encourage more birds to your yard year round, not only do you want to offer protection and a place to raise a family,

You want to add to the menu.

The grocery list for your feathered friends.

So many species of native shrubs and trees offer fruits that provide many things your birds need.

While some non-native shrubs also offer fruits, the fruits aren't always beneficial for your birds.

Native plants also offer food for native insects that feed your native birds.

(Viburnum "American Cranberry")

You can also offer fruits in dried form, fresh slices, jams and jellies, or freshly prepared just for them.

Providing fruits however, is only part of the game.

Besides, This can be costly and time consuming.

Planning and planting them is a whole lot better.

These plants not only provide food, but protection from predators, shelter from weather, and a place to nest.

Many native shrubs offer 3 and 4 season beauty to add to your landscapes.

No matter where you live, there is at least one native shrub or tree that provides fruit for the wildlife around you.

Viburnums, Sreviceberry, Aronia, and others cover vast territories, (from the Atlantic to the Pacific).

There is Oregon grape holly (plus other plants) of the Pacific northwest and Desert barberries (and others) for the desert and southwest regions as well.

Gardening For Wildlife, Native Shrubs, webpages gives you a few examples from each region.

Many native habitats cross regions and indeed will grow elsewhere.

A Few Other Tips:


For many, 'Backyard Birding' is a year round hobby.

Don't forget to add water to your landscape.

The simplest of birdbaths will attract birds.

Supplement 'Nature's Bounty' with different feeders and food.

Cater to the specific birds to your region and their needs.

Avoid toxic chemicals.

When you start to attract birds and other wildlife to your gardens, take an Eco-Friendly approach.

Choose products that are safe for all of the creatures (and yourself) you will be hosting.

Keep track of your visitors.

When they come and go. Learn what to expect of your birds and when.

Create a life list.

Create a four season habitat and you can't go wrong.

God gave us birds and all of nature to enjoy.

Nature is the essence of His beauty, and love.

Handle it with care.

Native is always best.

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

To love what you do and feel that it matters
How could anything be more fun?

Katharine Graham

God watches over you.

You do matter to Him.

Look and see what His scripture say about you and His love.

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

“I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands”

Isa. 49:16

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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