Friday, September 19, 2014

Bird Buffet

The pokeweed I found this morning is the largest specimen I’ve ever seen.  It’s 10-12 feet tall at least—more like a pokeweed tree than a bush.  It is just covered with fruit right now, which the birds love and fight over.  I’ve never seen so much pokeweed fruit in one spot before.

This morning a blue jay was being chased from the tree by a small bird that was too fast for me to identify.  A little bit higher I saw an immature black-throated green warbler, but they are insectivores, not herbivores, so it wasn’t that little beauty.  It’s possible the warblers were gathering insects on the plant and didn’t take kindly to a nearby blue jay, but I don’t think it was that bird.

Pokeweed is largely toxic to humans, though various parts of it are edible, at least at certain times of the year. I’d have to be pretty hungry before I attempted it, though.  The plant is not toxic to birds and is in fact something of a bird magnet.  I’m already planning to “plant” myself near here sometime over the weekend to see what else shows up at this bird buffet.

1 comment:

Sharkbytes said...

It's such an attractive bush- too bad people can't eat the berries. I have a friend who eats the young shoots constantly in the spring. It grows prolifically here.