Eastern Bluebird on Staghorn Sumac
Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) is an early succession shrub that colonizes open sites, old fields, roadsides, and forest clearings. Sumac has tremendous ecological value. Its flowers attract a variety of pollinators, and caterpillars, including the red-banded hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops), eat sumac foliage. Its berries are an important food source for many species of birds like the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) that live in semi-open habitats where sumac is frequently found. The berries remain on branches into the winter and sometimes the spring, making sumac especially important during these times of food scarcity.