When you have your bird feeder out, one of the most exciting birds to arrive is the cardinals. Not only are the males brightly colored, the females are also beautiful in their own way though a bit more subdued. If you’re trying to attract cardinals to your bird feeder there are a few tips we can share below. We will also give you our recommendation for the best bird feeder for cardinals.
Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals: Woodlink Platform Feeder
- Feeder is made of up to 90-percent post-consumer recycled plastic
- Powder coated metal screen bottom allows for drainage
- Sturdy, screwed together construction; will last for years to come
How Do Cardinals Behave When Feeding?
First, make sure you have a bird feeder where more than one bird can be on it at once. The cylindrical bird feeders are great for most birds. If cardinals are hungry, they’ll gladly eat whatever they can find. However, if your bird feeder doesn’t easily allow for two birds to feed next to each other, you may find cardinals going elsewhere during their courting period.
When males are trying to impress the females, one of their behaviors is to actually feed the female, called ‘courtship feeding’. In a perfect world, the birds will be able to stand on the edge of a bird feeder and eat seed after seed without interruption. Of course birds are hardly able to stay in one place for too long, and they’ll fly off to some other activity. This is why you’ll want to include cardinal’s favorite activities nearby.
How To Develop The Cardinal Bird Feeder Setting
First you’ll want to plant some dense shrubs near the bird feeder. These will preferably have berries. Honeysuckle is a favorite of cardinals, as the red berries help keep them red. Cardinals also love to feed on blueberries and mulberries. Obviously the berries are not always in season, but by having their favorite foods during the berry season, they’ll get to know your yard and make a home nearby.
Next, plan on having a bird bath within an easy flight of the bird feeder. If you have a bird bath which freezes, consider a bird bath deicer. By keeping your bird bath open all year, you’ll attract a number of birds in the coldest days of the year. Additionally, having some tree cover is helpful for all song birds. This will keep them safe from their raptor cousins flying overhead.
Lastly, and most important, make sure your bird feeder is protected from cats. Even if you don’t have a cat, there is likely a neighbor cat who will turn your bird feeder into a hunting ground. Cats are responsible for billions of bird deaths every year. Unfortunately, bird feeders can become baited traps for cats when installed improperly. Make sure you have a non-climbable pole if your feeder is pole mounted. Also make sure that it’s high enough up to prevent a cat from simply jumping onto the feeder.
Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals Review
In our opinion, once you’ve created the ideal cardinal environment, the type that makes the best bird feeder for cardinals is the tray style bird feeder. Though any bird feeder is better than no bird feeder, the tray style feeder gives cardinals room to do their courtship feeding, as well as space to feed alongside the pushier species, like grosbeaks and blue jays.
Cardinals are known to be social with other bird species. However, when too many birds are in the same place, cardinals may move on to somewhere a bit less congested. For this reason, it’s not a bad idea to introduce some additional food sources around your yard. Consider hanging a suet cage in addition to a secondary bird feeder. Fill the different feeders with different foods, and then see what changes. Cardinals are known to prefer black oil sunflower seeds. However, they’ll also peck away at suet given the opportunity.
Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals Summary
The best bird feeder for cardinals is the bird feeder you put up. However, given the choice, a tray style will work best. Make sure you have a good cardinal environment and you’ll have cardinal couples using your yard as their snack bar in no time.