By October, the hedgerows are laden with berries, providing delicious pickings for wildlife especially birds. Berries are an important food source for many birds during the winter, especially when the ground is frozen and becomes too difficult to hunt for worms or snails, due to the cold there are also very few insects about.
Some birds, like thrushes, blackbirds, starlings, redwings and fieldfares, find most of their winter food from berries. Take care though, as some berries that are tasty treats for birds are poisonous to humans!
Birds are enticed by these tasty treats, eating the fleshy pith and being rewarded with vitamins and energy. Most berries are either red or black, which makes the berries easier for birds to find them.
Evergreens, and plants that produce berries when their leaves are still green, generally produce red berries such as Cotoneaster or Ilex, which show up well against a green background. Black berries are thought to show up better against leaves that have turned yellow or brown.
This October is a good time to plant fruit and berry bearing trees or bushes in your garden to add a bountiful meal for our winged friends.
Plants that are berry-bearing species include Sorbus, Ilex, Euonymus europaeus, Rosa canina, Crataegus, and Hedera, attractive shrubs like cotoneaster, pyracantha and berberis are especially good for a wide range of birds.