If you have dry land:

  • White Oak, 3 gallon
  • Red Maple (October Glory), 3 gallon
  • Eastern Redcedar, 10 gallon
  • American Red Plum (nesting), 5 gallon
  • Ninebark, 3 gallon


If your land is moist:

  • Swamp White Oak, 5 gallon
  • Eastern Redcedar, 10 gallon
  • River Birch Clump, 3 gallon 
  • Pussy Willow, 3 gallon 
  • Silky Dogwood, 3 gallon

(Birds photo by Matt Degnan) 

To Attract Songbirds

  • Birds need clean water, clean air, and also habitat to survive.

    Entomologist Doug Tallamy recommends shifting our beliefs from nature existing “out there,” in vast swaths of preserved land, and instead filling our yards with native trees that support the food birds need, notably caterpillars.  

    Below are examples of trees Tallamy's suggests for biodiversity.

    • Quercus: Oak trees support the most biodiversity of all native plants -- more than 550 caterpillar species.   Tight space?  No worries.  See (pictured) a Pin Oak planted between a curb and a fence.

    • Salix: Native willows host the Mourning Cloak, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Red-Spotted Purple (pictured) and hundreds of others.  Birds also use the fuzzy catkins to line their nests.

    • Prunus: American Plum, Black Cherry and Chokecherry support more than 450 species, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

    • Betula: Audubon named River Birch a Bird-Friendly Native Plant of the Year for 2016.  In the winter woodpeckers can grab insects hiding in the peeling bark.

    • Acer: Red Maple, Sugar Maple -- trees in this genus support nearly 300 species.

    Also recommended for birds: 

    • Thickets, where they can hide

    • Fruit-producing native shrubs

    • A bird bath, on a pedestal to protect the birds from cats.

    • A brush pile for shelter in extreme weather.  

    • Raking fall leaves underneath trees and shrubs to create habitat for earthworms, insects and spiders -- and a cafeteria for your songbirds.  

    • Native grasses in place of lawn to provide seed and cover for birds.  

    • Keeping cats indoors.  Cats kill hundreds of millions of birds each year, and the spring fledglings are especially vulnerable.