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Sumac Sustains Songbirds

3-6-14 bluebirds on sumac 033By this time of the year fruit-eating birds have, for the most part, devoured the choicest fruits available in winter. What remains are the fruits-of-last-resort. While Staghorn Sumac fruits may not be a preferred food, they are an important source of winter sustenance for many species of birds, including bluebirds (pictured), cardinals, chickadees, jays, robins, waxwings, crows, mockingbirds and starlings. Some of the best late-winter birding occurs near stands of this shrubby relative of poison ivy. Can you find the four Eastern Bluebirds feeding on sumac in the photo?

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5 responses

  1. Oh, I just love this photo! Lovely subtle color combinations with the drab of winter in contrast to the colorful bluebirds. They are like gems.

    March 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm

  2. Dianne Jewett

    Mary, I have seen the Wild Turkeys jumping up for these sumac berries

    March 6, 2014 at 11:22 pm

  3. Yes, I see the four bluebirds. The robins have been eating all the sumac around here, the ground is littered with fallen seeds that stain the snow pink. It was a good year for fruit and the wildlife sure needed it! ( -7 tonight – is this really March?)

    March 7, 2014 at 12:36 am

  4. I read your post and then later this afternoon, I saw robins and flickers eating sumac!

    March 7, 2014 at 2:46 am

  5. pat foss

    I use sumac in my outdoor winter arrangements, and usually they are consumed by early arriving robins. However, this year all are gone – either to the deer or turkeys,so the birds are our of luck.

    March 8, 2014 at 4:05 am

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