Berries and berry-like fruit are an important source of food for birds and other wildlife in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Can you match up these plants with their descriptions?
1. You wouldn't want to eat this little white berrylike fruit. In fact, you wouldn't even want to touch it! Yet, it is a preferred food of the wild turkey, black-capped chickadee and hairy and downy woodpeckers. This fruit first appears in August and persists through the winter, when many other sources of food are less available.
2. This very sweet, purplish black berry-like fruit is so popular that it attracts birds (as well as squirrels and raccoons) from a long distance. The list of birds that prefer this fruit, which appears on a tree from June to August, is quite long, and includes vireos, sparrows, warblers, tanagers, Eastern bluebird and cardinal.
3. This little red, berrylike fruit gets its name from its taste: bitter and very astringent (makes your mouth pucker). Fortunately for birds, they do not taste astringency. These fruits appear in August and last through the winter and are favorites of the ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, cedar waxwing, black-capped chickadee and bobwhite.
4. This berry's plant gets its name from the dense, soft white hairs found underneath its leaves. Another name for the plant is juneberry, after the month when its purple fruit begins to appear. It is said that the fruit makes a delicious pie, if one can get to it before the mockingbirds, robins, thrushes, catbirds, cardinals, veeries, bears and rodents.
5. These berries grow on an evergreen vine that "hugs" the ground, forming mats under trees. The plant gets its name from the game birds, including the ruffed grouse, that like to eat its small red berries. The vine's white flowers are often paired, and a single berry is produced by a pair of flowers.
1. Poison Ivy
2. Red Mulberry
3. Red Chokecherry
4. Downy Serviceberry