Top 10: Trees that attract the most birds
1. Red Mulberry
A medium sized deciduous tree, Red Mulberry produces mulberry fruits, which reach maturity in summer. A tremendous amount of wild birds eat mulberries (which look like a longer version of a blackberry), including the Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole, and Rose-Breasted Grosbeak – three colorful birds that usually only eat insects in summer time. Speaking of insects, the Red Mulberry tree also attracts them, with its nectar rich flowers (which bloom in late spring) and nutritious (in the eyes of insects at least) foliage, attracting insects in turn attracts insectivorous birds - like Warblers. The Red Mulberry tree is so effective at feeding wild birds that many enthusiasts plant Red Mulberry for the sole purpose of attracting birds. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Red Mulberry.
2. Wild Black Cherry
A medium to large-sized deciduous tree, Wild Black Cherry produces white flowers in spring, followed by small black cherries in late summer. The nectar from the flowers attracts hummingbirds and insects, the insects will attract insectivorous birds. The Eastern Tent Caterpillar will often create its nest in Wild Black Cherry –while many view the Eastern Tent Caterpillar as a pest, they are a favorite snack of Cuckoos and Orioles, so planting Wild Black Cherry is a good option if you are interested in attracting those birds. In late summer the cherries will begin to mature – and when they do nearly every fruit-eating bird – from Red-Bellied Woodpeckers to Gray Catbirds will compete to eat them. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Wild Cherry.
3. American Beech
A large-sized deciduous tree, American Beech probably plays host to more caterpillars than any other tree. Caterpillars are the overall favorite food for wild breeding birds and are vital to the survival of nestlings (baby birds who have yet to leave the nest). Throughout spring and summer, the foliage of American Beech trees is often full of hungry Warblers, Vireos, and Scarlet Tanagers. In the fall, the American Beech tree produce beechnuts, which are a favorite of Blue Jays, Wild Turkeys, and Tufted Titmice. The sap of American Beech attracts Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, while the buds attract Purple Finch in early spring. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with American Beech.
4. White Oak
A large-sized deciduous tree, White Oak (like American Beech) plays host to many species of caterpillars and other insects. Which makes it a very popular foraging spot for insectivorous birds, like Warblers. In fall time, White Oak produces acorns – which are the prize of the eastern forest for many birds and other forms of wildlife. Blue Jays, White-Breasted Nuthatch, and Tufted Titmice are all well-known acorn consumers. The broad foliage and many cavities of White Oak make it a popular nesting location for many birds as well. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Oak.
5. Red Maple
A large-sized deciduous tree, Red Maple attracts many species of caterpillars and insects, which in turn attract insectivorous birds, like Vireos. In early spring Red Maple buds attract birds, sometimes even the rare Evening Grosbeak. Later in spring the Red Maple drops samaras, the seeds enclosed in the samaras are eaten by birds, including the Northern Cardinal. Many woodpeckers, including the Pileated Woodpecker, prefer to drill in Red Maple bark because it is softer than the bark of most other trees. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Maple.
6. Eastern Red Cedar
A large-sized conifer (evergreen) tree, Eastern Red Cedar produces fruit-like cones that attract many birds, the "Cedar" in Cedar Waxwing actually refers to Eastern Red Cedar cones - a Cedar Waxwing favorite. Northern Mockingbirds, Yellow-Rumped Warblers, and Brown Thrasher (among many others) are also big fans of the cones. The dense needles of Eastern Red Cedar make it a strong nesting location and also provide shelter for wild birds in poor weather conditions. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Eastern Red Cedar.
7. Flowering Dogwood
A small-sized deciduous tree, Flowering Dogwood is not only one of the most beautiful native trees North America has to offer but also one of the most effective at attracting birds. In spring, Flowering Dogwood blooms abundant white flowers, the flowers attract insects, the insects attract birds. Even after the flowers bloom, many species of insect - including caterpillars, feed off the leaves of Flowering Dogwood. In fall the tree produces many red berries, the berries are high in protein and a favorite of migratory birds. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Flowering Dogwood.
8. Eastern White Pine
A large-sized deciduous tree, Eastern White Pine is a favorite spot for many birds due to its massive size, strong shelter offering, and seed filled cones. In fact, there are some birds that appear to spend the majority of their time in or around Eastern White Pine trees, some examples are: Blackburnian Warbler, both types of Crossbills, Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Long-Eared Owl, and the appropriately named Pine Warbler, Pine Grosbeak, and Pine Siskin. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with Eastern White Pine.
9. American Holly
A small to medium sized-evergreen tree, American Holly is a favorite of birds due to the shelter it provides and the berries it produces. The sturdy leaves of American Holly are fantastic at shielding birds from inclement weather conditions – including snow in the winter time. Due to its protection, birds may also choose to make their nest in American Holly, it appears to be a favorite nesting location for the Northern Cardinal and the American Robin. The classic red berries persist through winter and are a favorite of the Eastern Bluebird. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with American Holly.
10. Sweet Birch
A large sized-deciduous tree, Sweet Birch produce food for birds in the form of seeds (found in cone-shaped strobili), buds, and insects/caterpillars (plays host to many species). Many birds eat the seeds, a few of them are: American Goldfinch, Black-Capped Chickadee, and Dark-Eyed Junco. The high volume of insects/caterpillars in Sweet Birch make it a hub for Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, and Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. Due to its high sap content, Sweet Birch is frequented by the Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker. For full profile see: Attracting Birds with American Birch.