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Grow your own bird food with these 5 berry-producing plants

At any time of year, birds are on the lookout for tasty meals. Some songbirds actually prefer to eat berries, and will literally gobble up the chance to do so.

Here are five varieties that I grow in my garden that produce berries during the summer, fall and winter. They are pretty to look at — and most importantly, feed the birds, too.

SpicebushLatin name: Lindera benzoin

Who it attracts:Robins, Eastern Bluebirds, Wood Thrushes, Gray Catbirds, Blue Jays, Tanagers, Hermit Thrushes and Red-eye Vireos.

What does it look like:
This deciduous shrub grows 5-12 feet tall and 5-8 feet wide, but pruning keeps the size smaller. In late summer, female plants will have red berries that last into fall.

Is it native?
Yes, to the United States.

How many do you need? You will need a female and a male plant.

Why you should grow this:
The berries are 50% fat, which helps birds fuel up during migration.

Other cool features:
This is also the host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, who will lay eggs…

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