How to choose the best cardinal bird feeder

bird feeder

Humans for many years were solely concerned about their survival. Every action taken by us was aimed at making our lives better in one way or another. In the recent past, we have however begun to realize that we cannot live on this planet alone as we can see in this article here. We have realized that we need other creatures to make our world more habitable even for us.

This realization has motivated movements that we now call conservationists and environmentalists. One of the things we find more and more humans now doing is putting out food for other creatures. We are not just referring to domesticated pets. A good example is the feeders that many homes now have which allows them provide food for numerous birds.

In this article, we shall focus on bird feeders for a specific specie. Our goal is to help you choose the right feeder for this specie so you can make your own positive contribution to the collective longevity of our world. We are talking about the Cardinal.

A Little About the Cardinal

bird feeder

When most people talk about this bird, they are usually referring to the most popular variation which is the Northern Cardinal – the Cardinalis cardinalis. Interestingly, these red crested birds got their names from early colonists who likened the bright red coloring of the male’s plum to that of Catholic Cardinals, hence the name.

These birds have a population that is being threatened by urban development which is constantly destroying their natural habitat. You can get more information on these birds here:

Doing Bird Feeding Right

According to some experts, the rise in the bird feeding hobby can be attributed to the Cardinal. That’s just an expert opinion though not backed with any data. That said, being the official bird of about 8 states and that of many sports teams, it is surely one bird that Americans love.

It is one thing to put up a feeder and another thing to actually have the birds you want come to feed there. People who are experienced at bird feeding have found that when they have different types of feeders in their space, species will always gravitate to one type over others.

Here are a few tips you may want to adopt to help you attract Cardinals to your garden this winter.


This is critical for two major reasons. Cardinals are ground feeders so the height at which you place the feeders matter. The second is security. These birds are known to feed mostly at dawn and at dusk. It is thought that they prefer these times because they are better able to hide their bright coloring from predators.

They would not come to feed in a highly exposed location. They prefer a location close to an escape route like a bush where they can dart into should they sense danger. They will not come to feed in a location that has a lot of human traffic. Remember that as far as they are concerned, humans are giants so we will scare them off.

Additionally, ensure you do not use any location close to a reflective surface. The male Cardinals are very territorial and will attack their own reflection thinking it is another male trying to encroach on their territory.

Lastly, do not place the feeder way up in the tree or too far from the ground. Place them close to the ground and scatter some seeds to lead up to the exact location of the feeder.


There are some fundamental criteria that the right feeder should meet. Understand that though you put them out specifically for our two-winged friends, other animals like squirrels will try to have a go at it. Considering this and other factors, the right feeder should possess the following characteristics:

  • Ability to withstand attempts by animals like squirrels to chew through them and get to the seeds. Materials like plastic and wood may therefore not be very suitable.
  • Ability to withstand the weather and elements in general since it will be placed outdoors.
  • Easy to clean and refill.
  • A platform on which the visitors can perch on to feed.

You can check out a few recommendations at

Type of Seed

Just as you a human have favorite meals, so also do these winged friends of ours. There are some seeds that will have them coming back again and again for more. A few examples of seeds that will be greatly loved include: sunflower seeds, dogwood seeds, wild grapes, corn, peanuts and millet.


Finally, be sure to have some water close to the location of their feed. You should also leave twigs and other small plant materials around. This will encourage them to build nests around since the materials for this are readily available.

Hopefully, you have learned a few things here that will help you attract more of these wonderful creatures to your garden.