The plant is Euonymus americanus
. I've read mixed reports. Some say that deer, small mammals and birds eat the berries. Others say that the entire plant is poisonous to mammals, but that birds like the berries.
One report said that the berries can be eaten by humans, but eating more than a few can result in vomiting and diarrhea, and if the quantity eaten is large enough, death can result. That sounds most reasonable to me, as I've heard the same thing about deadly nightshade (woody nightshade, not belladonna). Still, as most Euonymus
species are poisonous to one degree or another, I wouldn't recommend that anyone eat any part of the plant.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams