What birds eat which berries?

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

I have many berry producing shrubs. Viburnum, Sambucus, Lindera, Amelanchier etc. What I've tried to find, with no luck, is what bird eats what berries? Either a website or just a list of what birds eat what, would be very nice.


Marlton, NJ

Hi terry, Your sambucus is probably the most widely used by numerous types of birds.

When I look at lists for bird shrubs thats the one that keeps coming up for almost all birds.

I know theres numerous list for bird shrubs ; I'll try and find you a good one later.

Pelle :-)

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks Pelle, I'm waiting patiently for your list ☺

Marlton, NJ

Hi Terry, Heres a list (its a PDF file) give it a moment to load.


Theres more lists I'll try and find for you.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Didn't need a moment, it loaded up very quickly for me and it's GREAT!! Thank you! How come I couldn't find anything like that? I keep searching and searching, but I keep getting that birds eat berries, just not what berries! This list is getting printed. Thank you so much Pelle!!! ☺

Say what, the Queen of search engines can't find something ;) I'm toast if you can't find something. I have a great little book I purchased and you can actually look up which species of flora is used by which species of fauna. The Morton Arb site is good but it isn't as comprehensive as this little book I picked up at Amazon. I gotta go run upstairs and find the book so I can share the name of it. I love it.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Share the name? Ummm...you have my address!!! ♥♥♥

Everything I type in tells me birds eat seeds or birds eat berries...but not what bird eats what berries and what birds eat what seed. My search words ain't cuttin it!

I had a reallly great website bookmarked on my old computer and tried a few times to locate it to no avail. Would love to be able to find that site again. It listed what was eating what as well as community associations.

There are actually a few publications that touch on this.

Birds and Berries: A Study of an Ecological Interaction by Barbara and David Snow (Excellent and I'm sure you'd like this book)

Birds and Plant Regeneration by Tara Gandhi
(I just bought this book but haven't read it so can't comment yet)

Took me a while to find the name of the book I was mentioning above because I didn't put it back where it belonged the last time I used it but...

American Wildlife & Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habitats by Alexander Martin, Herbert Zim, and Arnold Nelson

That's the book you want. I love it.

Interestingly enough, another book that addresses what eats what is Lakescaping for Wildlife & Water Quality by Carrol Henderson
She also has a book out called Landscaping for Wildlife which I don't own which lists out what is eating what.

A really great book for people who are gardening in the southeast is-
Forest Plants of the Southeast and their Wildlife Uses by J and K Miller
I don't have this book but have seen it and stuck it on my list of books to buy because many of the plants that grow in the southeast have ranges that extend to where I garden.

Managing Wildlife by Yarrow is another publication that allegedly addresses what is eating what. Have never seen the book so can't comment.

There are lots of publications out there that seem to touch on what eats what but that American Wildlife & Plants actually lists it out in an orderly fashion so you don't have to go hunting.

Here's another book that I want to get a peek at-
Seeds of Woody Plants in North America by James and Cheryl Young
Looks promising.

Bureau County, IL(Zone 5a)

Good golly Mrs E! That's a lot of books! I'll have to look at the library to see if they have any of these titles. Hopefully they do and I can get an idea if I want to buy or not.

The Birds and Berries is out of print so you'll want to get that somehow through the inner library exchange or be prepared to pay around $75 for it.

Birds and Plant Regeneration by Tara Gandhi is also out of print and that's going to be a toughie to get your hands on but it should be available through an inner library exchange too.

A new release of Lakescaping for Wildlife & Water Quality is on its way out or is already out so watch your publishing dates on that if you buy it. You'd want those most current release. Mine is the first release.

Seeds of Woody Plants in North America is one I'm trying to get my hands on. Haven't been able to get it through a library to get a peek at but I'd sure like to. I might break down and buy that one.

American Wildlife & Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habitats is the one you want anyway. It's still in print and it's affordable.

I'd still like to find that website that was out there. It seemed to be updated regularly and it was FREE. Kind of irks me that I can't find it and I have definitely tried to find it to no avail.

Marion, AR(Zone 7b)

Here's another PDF link / list of plants to birds/butterflies.

Fort Worth, TX

Two years ago I had a pair of Cardinals in my blueberry patch there was plenty to share. Last year they and their offspring showed up, this year I can not go in the bushes without seeing 2 or 3 cardinals and what was a bumper crop yielded a dozen gallons. Now that the last few are ripening I am lucky to get a quart every two days. I plan to feed sunflower seed a distance away but hanging CD's did not seem to keep them away. Next year I am putting in drive posts with childrens spinning wheels and some wind banging collections of tin cans recomended by an aunt. Otherwise I will need to get drastic or have no berries from the orchard. Any suggestions appreciated.

Essex Junction, VT(Zone 4a)

I can tell you from personal experience that cedar waxwings come to my yard just for the serviceberry (Amelanchier). As for others that eat serviceberry, robins and cardinals are definites. There was at least another but it was a woodland bird and I couldn't get a good look before it took off (more skitish than other birds).

Chipmunks and squirrels tend to get my chokeberry before the birds do. But there were some chokeberries left in late winter and the robins ate them when they arrived from the south.

I've seen the rose-breasted grosbeaks eat the elderberries, which are just coming into season here. I'll have to keep an eye out because I don't recall what other birds ate them from previous years.

Note: Chickadees, titmouse and goldfinches don't seem to care about any of the berries.

Madison, WI

I can definitely relate c the Cedar Waxwings and Serviceberry. I also get a few White Throated Sparrows year to year...

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