Related: How To Protect Your Evergreens In Winter
They’re Pretty Tasty, Too
Beyond shelter, having a variety of broad-leaved and needled evergreens in your yard provides a great snack for birds throughout the year.
In spring, rhododendrons (which are one of these 51 plants that don't need a lot of sun to thrive) and azaleas are smothered in pink, orange, or white nectar-filled flowers that attract hummingbirds. The sugary blossoms draw thousands of small insects, which in turn attract wood warblers, phoebes, and other insect-eating birds.
In late summer and fall, the blue berries of junipers are popular with cedar waxwings and other fruit eaters. Fall is also when holly berries appear, a fruit that robins, bluebirds, mockingbirds, thrushes, and starlings find hard to resist.
Pinecones and the cones of spruce, fir, hemlock, and other conifers are packed with nutritious seeds that draw grosbeaks, crossbills, titmice, and pine siskins. And the petite, seed-filled cones of hemlocks attract small seed-eaters like chickadees, juncos, and goldfinches.
Related: 7 Things Backyard Birds Want From You
Choosing Evergreens For Your Garden
When you choose evergreens for your garden, remember that they're not all green, and they're not all the same shape or size. Take advantage of the diversity of evergreens to add color to your winter landscape—try combining tall, columnar plants like cedars with rounded shrubs like yews, and then carpet the ground around them with spreading junipers. For added interest, combine needled evergreens in a variety of colors, such as gold, burgundy, and blue-green, with broad-leaved evergreens, such as hollies and rhododendrons.