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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Does your yard have the stuff that a Mockingbird eats?

N. Mockingbird
About half the diet of a Northern Mockingbird (our state bird!)  is fruits and berries. The other half is insects (including insect-flavored suet, sometimes). As a Landscape Architect in Texas, I’ve seen that they’re partial to native hollies, beautyberry, agarita, soapberry and Mexican plum. However, if all the bugs in your yard are killed, Mockingbirds (typically a very common bird here) will probably go elsewhere.


A moveable feast for birds        Excellent plants for containers in north Texas, to attract birds and butterflies like crazy, are Lantana, Coneflower, Gregg’s Salvia and Mistflower. Large pots of these (odd numbers like 3 or 5 look best) work well on a patio, or anyplace else where lack of space is a concern (like an apartment balcony). In a large grouping of pots, I like to plant one with a decorative native grass like Sideoats Grama.



OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.


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