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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Outdoors blog

Mountain ash a festive holiday treat for birds

Townsend's solitaire eating from a pyracantha bush. (Alistair Fraser)
Townsend's solitaire eating from a pyracantha bush. (Alistair Fraser)

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- People planning landscaping changes this spring should take a tip from the birds and consider planting a a version of mountain ash.

The clustered fruits produced by regular or dwarf varieties are a hit with birds from fall through winter. The Townsend's solitaire in the photo above reminds us orange berries are a hit with birds, even though in this case it's from a pyracantha, a thorny bush that provides cover and protection for birds, too  Tina Wynecoop shared this photo from her friend Alistair Fraser of Nelson, British Columbia.

Other similar photos coming in from birders around the region show a variety of species including robins and waxwings feasting on the bright orange "berries."

Warning: Bears also bulk up on mountain ash fruits in the fall after the huckleberry crops have faded away.

Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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