If your hobby is bird watching, the best way to attract cardinal birds to your yard is to leave out food for them in cardinal bird feeders. I have prepared 10 best bird feeders to choose from and a little guide on how to attract them.
Birds are not only beautiful to look at and the sound of them gets you to Zen mood immediately, but they are also planet Earth’s natural alarm clock. By getting the best feeder and choosing the right sort of food you can attract even more of these colorful beauties to your yard. I think that Cardinal birds are real trophy birds among bird watching community.
Couldn’t you just look at them for hours? The way that they move and fly is different than other birds, and do we even need to mention the colors, so deep and vibrant. The easiest way to attract them to your garden is by choosing right type of feeder and food. When trying to attract these beautiful creatures into your garden you should consider the following points.
Make Sure Your Feeder is at the Right Place
Cardinal birds are extremely territorial and like to be fed in a closed-off space where they are able to defend themselves from the predators. If you want to see them eating, you’ll either need to get up very early in the morning or to stay awake very late. You won’t be seeing them much during the day because they are the first bird to eat in the morning and the last to eat at night.
However, if you wish to attract any cardinals to your garden at all, you won’t be putting a feeder in an open space. Put your feeder near some hedges or shrubs, bushes will provide them shelter from larger birds or cats and they’ll feel way safer. Cardinal birds are also more careful then other birds, they are generally shy and it’ll take some time to get their trust. While other birds would just fly up to the feeder to eat, cardinals prefer to watch the feeder and the food from the safety of their bushes until they are certain that nothing bad is going happen.
Choose the Right Food
Okay, after we had put our feeders into right place, next thing is to put right food in them. This step is crucial because Cardinals like all birds know what they do or do not like.
Cardinal’s Favorite Food List:
- Sunflower seeds
- Black oil sunflower seeds
- Crushed peanuts
- Cracked corn
- Dogwood seeds
- Wild grapes
Make sure you’re checking if your feeders are filled on a regular basis, especially early in the morning or late in the evening when these birdies prefer to eat. Once Cardinals realize that they have found a reliable food source, they’ll make your garden their permanent home.
Cardinals Need to Have a Water Source
Cardinals are very clean birds. They do not only use water for drinking but also for bathing. You can satisfy this need by providing birdbaths or bird waterers. Since they are larger birds, they need to have bath 2 or 3 inches deep at their deepest point. You may also consider adding drippers to your birdbath to keep the water moving.
Keep in mind that the water should be changed regularly and vessels should be cleaned often to prevent dirt buildup. Another very important thing to know is that Cardinals stay in the same place all year and that includes winter too. You’ll need to check on their water more frequently during winter months because water will freeze if the temperature goes low enough. Add some warm water to their birdbath and they’ll appreciate your effort by bringing even more Cardinals to your garden.
What to Avoid When Attracting Cardinals?
Reflective surfaces: Cardinals are very protective of their territory and they are known to attack their own reflections sometimes. If you want your birds to live long and happy life without any stress you’ll try to keep their feeders as far from the windows as you can, cover car mirrors with paper bags, when not in use.
Dangerous chemicals: Avoid using any chemicals, like insecticides, herbicides or fertilizers near the cardinal feeding area because they can contaminate food and water. This could end up in a fatal way.
Keep your pets away from Cardinal feeding areas: If you have any pets and you let them play in the garden, try to keep them as far from the cardinal feeding areas as you can. You should also avoid placing feeders near low shrubs or hedges or anywhere else where predators could easily get to them.
Top 10 Cardinal Bird Feeders
1. No/No Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
This strong and long lasting feeder is called a No/No Cardinal Bird Feeder because it is neither made of plastic nor wood. It is in fact made of metal, which most people consider the best material for bird feeders since it lasts longer, it is easy to clean and it prevents predators, like squirrels or cats to get to their food. Metal is uneatable material, unlike wood or plastic and squirrels won’t be able to chew right through it.
This feeder can hold up to 2.5 pounds of bird food, and this means that it doesn’t need constant refilling. The best thing about this feeder is that it’s wide-based which means that it can fit 15 birds at a time. This is a perfect feeder for true bird lovers. Can you even imagine that amount of Cardinals living at your garden! And this feeder is totally affordable, costs only 23.87$. This feeder is ideal for smaller seeds.
2. Perky Pet Panorama Bird Feeder
This feeder is not only beautiful but also highly functional. It can hold up to 2 lbs. of seeds even larger
ones, like pignuts. It can also hold lot of Cardinals on the outer ring. The twist lock cap enables the safety of the food since squirrels won’t be getting anywhere near the seeds. Angled roof provides weather protection which means that your seeds will stay fresh up till the new refill. And this specific feeder is great for other types of birds, not just Cardinals due to the fact that it can fit larger food and nuts in there.
3. Brome 1024
This feeder contains squirrel proof feeders and the best thing about it is that you can adjust the settings for different sizes of birds. You will be able to attract all kinds of feathery friends to your garden by simply twisting the top. It has seed ventilation system that allows humidity and hot air to escape through the ventilation at the top of the feeder and it gets replaced by fresh air. Bird food stays fresher and you also get more birds in your yard. If I had a garden (cry, cry, cry) I would probably get this feeder.
4. Brome 1015
Another amazing Cardinal feeder that is absolutely squirrel proof, it is not called squirrel buster for no reason. Squirrels get blocked but not injured. It is made out of waterproof and rustproof materials, UV protected as well. And it has integrated seed ventilation technology, which means that your seeds stay fresh for a long time. And it is easy to clean.
5. Window Bird Feeder by Nature Gear
This Nature Gear feeder is see-through which allows you to look at the Cardinals while having an early breakfast or a late night dinner. They promise that the condensation will never build up between the feeder and the window, and that view at the birds will never be obstructed. It has a roof which means that the birds will stay dry while feeding. You can refill it by removing just the tray. The only problem I have with this feeder is that it’s opened to the predators. If you buy this feeder refill it on a regular basis and do not put lots of seeds in at one time.
6. Crystal Clear Bird Feeder
This one is great for true Cardinal lovers, it enables you to see the birds very clearly since it’s see-through. You can get amazing photos with this one. It is not squirrel proof, but you’ll get instructions and if you follow them they guarantee that you won’t be having problems with squirrels. Set up and cleaning is really easy, you can use soap and water. The only downside to this feeder is that it’s really open to the elements and to the predators as well. If you choose to get Crystal Clear try not to put a high amount of seeds in at one time.
7. Panorama Bird Feeder
This Perky-Pet feeder is great for not only attracting Cardinals but a wide range of other wild birds to your garden. It can hold up to 4.5 pounds of seeds, peanuts, fruits, etc. It has a Sure-Lock cap system that allows easy refill and prevents squirrels to access the seeds. They recommend checking this feeder once a week for and mold and insets. Clean it every few weeks with soap and water.
8. Wild Bird Care Platform
This feeder, although it’s wooden, has durable hangers and base that makes this feeder to stay put and to last a long time. Feeding tray allows great access to the birds and it’s easy to clean. It is also open to the predators and elements like the previous feeder that I reviewed so try to save your money by not putting huge amount of seeds in at one time. This platform however offers excellent sight at the birds and it is easy for Cardinals to eat from.
9. Peanut Wreath Feeder
This feeder has its pros and cons. Let’s start with the good news first. This feeder is great for attracting Cardinals from bushes and it can hold a decent amount of peanuts or any other larger seeds that you like to use. Downside to this feeder is that it’s great for squirrels too. I personally would not get this one; I would be scared that the squirrels would take over my yard. If you however have a few predator-proof feeders, you can get one of these to try to lure Cardinals from the bushes. But still “Planet of the Squirrels” would be a scary movie to watch, especially when it’s happening live in your own garden.
10. Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder
This Perky Pet feeder is an excellent choice for the people who own a lot of antique things. This gorgeous feeder can hold up to 2 lbs. of seed; it is secured by lock cap system and can only be reached from the top. It also has UV inhibitor to protect it from the sun and prevent fading. However although it looks like it’s made of glass, that’s actually plastic, but they assure us it is really though. And it is easy to clean.
Conclusion: Extra Tips on Attracting Cardinals
Cardinals are shy birds, so avoid putting feeders near the places you spend a lot of time in. They are also very territorial, so put your feeders closer to the ground but near the bushes, just so they feel protected. Cardinals are scared of their own reflection, so do not put your feeders anywhere near windows, mirrors, etc. You may also try putting different types of seeds and nuts until you’re sure what they enjoy eating the most. Once they get used to eating from the feeders, make sure that they have access to food at all times, and they’ll keep coming back.
Know Something We Don’t?
Hello dear reader! Did we forget to mention something important? Would you like to share with us your input and experiences? Awesome! Leave a comment down below and join the debate! Don’t forget to share this article with the other Cardinal bird lovers you know. Have a great day!