Attracting colorful Cardinals to your backyard can be a delightful pastime. To get these beautiful birds flocking to your space, you’ll need to consider several things, such as the right type of bird feeder and the perfect seed. In this guide, we’ve listed some of the best cardinal bird feeders, along with tips to make your backyard more Cardinal-friendly.
The Best Cardinal Bird Feeders
1. Triple Tube Feeder
A tube feeder with multiple perching spots that attracts Cardinals, finches, chickadees, and titmice.
2. Woodlink Audubon Metal Tube Feeder
A durable metal tube feeder, an excellent choice for Cardinals, finches, and chickadees.
3. Red Cardinal Feeder
A circular mesh feeder that can hold up to 2.5 pounds of sunflower seeds, perfect for attracting Cardinals.
4. Backyard Essentials Tray Bird Feeder
Cardinals also enjoy eating from platform or tray feeders. This feeder can be conveniently mounted to your deck railing.
5. Squirrel-Be-Gone Feeder
For those struggling with squirrels, the Squirrel-Be-Gone Country House feeder with a weight-sensitive perch helps deter them effectively.
(Keep in mind that product availability and pricing may vary, so checking the provided merchant links for more information is recommended.)
Highly Recommended Cardinal Feeders
1. Absolute II Cardinal Bird Feeder
A highly recommended feeder with a large hopper design that can hold up to 12 pounds of seed, perfect for cardinals.
2. Droll Yankee Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder
A versatile feeder with a protective dome and sturdy construction, this feeder is Cardinal-friendly and comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. Woodlink 3-in-1 Platform Feeder
A tray feeder that can be placed on the ground or mounted to a pole, excellent for cardinals who also enjoy feeding on the ground.
4. Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder
A simple, open design that allows multiple Cardinals to feed comfortably at once.
5. Aspects Tube Feeder with Tray
While tube feeders are not typically ideal for Cardinals, this feeder, equipped with a tray attachment at the bottom, attracts a variety of bird species.
The Best Birdseed for Cardinals
Cardinals have a particular preference for sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and shelled, unsalted peanuts. Cracked corn also tends to be a favorite. Consider the specific needs of cardinals while planning their diet.
Making Your Yard Cardinal-Friendly: What You Need to Do
1. Choose the Right Food
Supply Cardinals with their favorite food options, such as safflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds, white milo, crushed peanuts, cracked corn, berries, and small chunks of suet.
2. Use Proper Feeders
Select sturdy feeders that can support the weight of Cardinals. Avoid lightweight, hanging feeders that may sway under their weight.
3. Consider Food Placement
Place food sources near trees and shrubbery in your yard, providing protective cover for Cardinals while they feed.
4. Provide Water Sources
Cardinals need access to water for drinking and bathing. Use birdbaths or bird waterers that can accommodate their larger size.
5. Offer Protective Shelter
Create secluded areas with thick foliage, trees, and shrubs in your yard to provide shelter and make Cardinals feel safe.
6. Encourage Nesting Sites
Cardinals prefer nesting in dense plant life. Providing readily available nesting materials can attract them to nest in your yard.
What to Avoid When Attracting Cardinals
1. Reflective Surfaces
Eliminate reflections of windows or mirrors near nesting and feeding areas to prevent Cardinals from attacking their reflections.
2. Harmful Chemicals
Avoid using chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers near bird feeders and birdbaths, as they can harm Cardinals.
3. Predator-accessible Feeding Areas
Keep pets away from Cardinal feeding areas and avoid placing feeders or scattering seed near low shrubs and bushes where predators may hide and attack them.
Some Noteworthy Cardinal Feeders
1. Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder
Eco-friendly and sturdy, this feeder provides a comfortable space for Cardinals to feed.
2. Dorothy’s Cardinal Platform Feeder by Droll Yankee
Designed specifically for attracting cardinals, this feeder offers a spacious perch and a secure feeding area.
3. Droll Yankees New Generation Tube Feeder
Combined with the Droll Yankees 10.5″ Seed Tray, this feeder provides a unique solution for attracting Cardinals to a tube-style feeder.
In conclusion, creating a Cardinal-friendly backyard involves more than just the right feeders and seed. Remember to make your yard a safe and comfortable environment for these beautiful birds. Happy birdwatching!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is the best type of bird feeder for Cardinals?
Cardinals prefer platform or tray feeders and large hopper feeders with ample space to perch. They tend to avoid feeders that sway, so ensure that your feeder is sturdy.
Q2: What types of food do Cardinals prefer?
Cardinals love to eat sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and shelled, unsalted peanuts. They also enjoy cracked corn, berries, and small chunks of suet.
Q3: Where should I place my bird feeder to attract Cardinals?
Cardinals prefer quiet, secluded areas, so place your bird feeder near trees and shrubs, away from busy pathways or windows. They also appreciate feeders placed near protective cover for quick escape from predators.
Q4: How can I keep squirrels away from my bird feeder?
Consider getting a squirrel-proof feeder like the Squirrel-Be-Gone Country House feeder, which has a weight-sensitive perch to deter squirrels. You could also place your feeder at least 10-12 feet away from trees or buildings from which squirrels can jump.
Q5: Do Cardinals feed on the ground?
Yes, Cardinals are also ground feeders. Scatter some seeds on the ground, particularly under shrubs or trees, to cater to this preference.
Q6: Do Cardinals need water?
Yes, like all birds, Cardinals need fresh water for drinking and bathing. A birdbath or bird waterer that can accommodate their larger size is ideal. In winter, ensure water availability by using a heated birdbath or refreshing still water frequently.
Attracting Cardinals to your backyard is a delightful and rewarding experience. By choosing the right feeders and offering a diet tailored to their preferences, you can enjoy the sight of these beautiful birds all year round. It’s also important to consider their safety by offering them protective shelter and ensuring a predator-free feeding space. Additionally, make sure to provide them with fresh water, especially during winter. Happy birdwatching, and may your backyard become a favorite spot for Cardinals!