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Native Plantings for Songbirds

As you fill your garden with California native plants you will begin to hear the vibrant conversations of towhees, wrens, finches, warblers and sparrows, just to name a few! You will see flashes of color, little birds hopping through cocking their heads to look at you, wondering why you are sitting in their space, though you are quickly forgotten as they continue with their foraging. Before you know it you will be sitting in your garden, perhaps with children or grandchildren, peering through binoculars trying to identify that little brown bird that sings so sweetly! Add a few of these plants below and you’ll invite songbirds to your yard for food, shelter and an unending source of intrigue and joy for yourself.

Botanic NameCommon NameSizeNotes
Arctostaphylos sp.Manzanitavariety of sizesBerries eaten
Atriplex lentiformisFourwing saltbushShrubSeeds eaten, good nesting and cover
Baccharis sp.Coyote bush, Mulefatvariety of sizesSeeds eaten, good cover
Berberis sp.Barberryvariety of sizesBerries eaten
Ceanothus sp.California lilacvariety of sizesSeeds eaten, good nesting and cover
Eriogonum sp.Buckwheatvariety of sizesSeeds eaten
Frangula californicaCoffeeberryShrubBerries eaten in fall
Encelia sp.Brittlebush, Coast SunflowerSub-shrubSeeds eaten
Heteromeles arbutifoliaToyonLarge Shrub/TreeBerries eaten, good winter food source
Lonicera subspicataChaparral honeysuckleClimbingBerries eaten
Malosma laurinaLaurel sumacLarge ShrubFruits eaten, good nesting and cover
Prunus ilicifoliaHollyleaf cherryTreeFruits eaten
Quercus sp.OaksTreeAcorns eaten, provides excellent foraging
Rhus integrifoliaLemonade berryLarge Shrub/TreeBerries eaten, good nesting
Rhus ovataSugarbushLarge Shrub/TreeBerries eaten, good nesting
Ribes sp.Currants and GooseberriesShrubBerries eaten
Rosa californicaWild roseClimbingHips eaten
Rubus ursinusWild blackberryClimbingBerries eaten
Sambucus nigra caeruleaElderberryTreeEarly summer berry, attracts wide variety
Vitis girdianaDesert wild grapeClimbingFruit eaten

YouTube Workshop: Gardening For Birds