Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. You deserve kudos if you consistently keep you backyard feeders filled with a variety of foods, and for making sure that birds have a constant source of fresh water, especially during freezing weather. But our native wildlife existed here long before we did, taking advantage of natural sources of sustenance and drink.
Mast is the word for the seeds, nuts, berries, buds, acorns and other forest produce that birds and animals rely upon for food. Dogwood trees are among the most important sources of soft mast our forest and yards produce. I am not much of a birder but I always see a cardinals and mockingbirds eating the red fruits that for a short time adorn the flowering dogwoods near my backdoor. More accomplished bird aficionados have compiled list that show at least thirty six bird species flock to our dogwoods to feast upon their fruits.