I am building a bird-friendly garden.

It is going to contain serviceberries, mountain ashes, hawthorns and dogwoods, as these plants are known to attract birds.

I love magnolias, however, I've read some opinions that they do not have enough value for birds, so, from my point of view, if that is the case, they will be a waste of space in my bird-friendly garden.

On the other hand, some sites claim that certain birds love magnolia fruit.

What is actually the degree of bird attraction in case of magnolias?

  • Please don’t plant Ivy up the trunk. It’s an invasive species, the seeds are spread by birds to uncontrolled areas and it’s also a bit of a fire hazard. Also, tacky.
    – Ivy hater
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


I'm not an ornithologist, but I think you are over-engineering.

If you like magnolia, plant one. Various birds will use it to rest and as observation point to catch insects.

Keep the garden most diverse as possible, so you will have more birds. If you go only for the plants you cited, you will get just berry eaters. You should instead attract also insects and eventually small mammals, and more birds will pass to your garden.

In general: taller the plant, more birds you will have. Also denser plants help (also if they are small). So you will find some magnolia varieties which could help bird to have a good nest and to look around.

If you add ivy to the trunk, birds will love it, and you will have berries. (there are different opinion about magnolia thinking about thins).

Add some waters or a fountain, and the bird will get to your garden.

  • I have not seen birds eating the red seeds of the southern magnolia. never the less I planted a half dozen on a small lot. The Yellow Belly Sapsuckers like them ; put in a lot of holes. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 20:23
  • @blacksmith37 Interesting! I have two southern magnolias, but only one flowers so far. The one that flowers attracts people more than birds, definitely. ;)
    – VividD
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 21:09

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