The Bird Magnet

Today’s post was captured a few days ago, right outside my rural Missouri front door. Poke Weed (Phytolacca americana) can grow extremely large, up to 10-feet tall. The fruit of this wildflower is a dark purple berry, growing in large clusters. The birds seem to flock to the berries like it was a magnet. I’ve seen many species of birds coming to the several Poke Weeds growing around the gardens in my front yard. Most notably, a male Northern Cardinal has recently been busy picking off poke weed berries and feeding them to one of their youngsters! Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to capture that behavior yet, but will keep trying. Here is a close-up of the wonderful berries that draws the birds in to feed:

Poke Weed berries

Young shoots from Poke Weed are often eaten by humans (Poke salad), but all mature plant parts are believed to be poisonous. The berries have also been used for food coloring and a dye.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 28-135mm, f/3.5 – f/5.6 lens
  • Handheld with IS “On”
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/5.6
  • Shutter 1/400 sec.



Posted in Macro Photography, Nature Photography, Wildflowers
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