Updated at: 06-08-2022 - By: Jane Brody

In order to attract Northern Cardinals, a bird feeder should be placed in an open area where the birds may easily reach it.

The most popular type of bird feeder for cardinals is a seed feeder. Either one large perch or a tray surrounding the base is required. Feeders stocked with sunflower seeds are ideal, as this species of bird enjoys eating them. In the event of an emergency, a hopper seed feeder or any other open-top platform feeder will do.

What Kind Of Bird Seed Do Cardinals Like

Because they aren’t the tiniest of backyard birds, Northern Cardinals will have a hard time using a wobbly hanging seed feeder.

Cardinals will eat from seed feeders, but only if the feeder is sturdy and has a perch large enough for the birds to use while they feed.

Cardinals need more room to lean over when eating seeds, so perches are fine.

A seed feeder in the shape of a hexagon or a panoramic design will serve your needs well for many years to come. This hanging bird seed feeder is fairly stable, even when loaded down with a variety of seed blends.

Only sunflower seeds, and not any other kind, should be given to Cardinals as food.

Cardinals prefer sunflower seeds, and there are special feeders for them that let them to perch comfortably on a plate designed to catch the seeds.

Despite the fact that a Northern Cardinal was seen pressed up against the cage of this squirrel-proof seed feeder, seeds placed in an open dish are more advantageous to Cardinals.

If you have any other sorts of bird food, what are they? Feeding suet cakes or balls to Northern Cardinals is not recommended, instead provide a variety of seeds, fruit, or insects in a cage feeder.

A bird food dish attached to a bracket or a branch, or a platform feeder with an open top, are all suitable locations for supplying birds with dried mealworms.

As ground-feeding birds, Cardinals are a good candidate for starting your bird-attracting efforts at ground level. To ensure that birds like Cardinals and others always have access to food, set up a ground feeder with an open top.

As illustrated in the featured image, if a hanging seed feeder is deemed too precarious for Cardinals to use, you can easily solve the problem by placing the feeder on a level surface.

Cardinals like seed feeders

Due to the fact that they are seed eaters, Northern Cardinals will spend more time at any type of bird seed feeder in the yard.

Not just any seed feeder, either; cardinals are too large to perch on the smaller perches often found on long-tube seed feeders.

A seed-filled bird feeder that is considerably longer and wider; with a tray or dish attached to the base of the clear plastic tube feeder – as this allows room for them to expand their wings – is the solution to this problem.

Do not be fooled; Northern Cardinals will try to use smaller, more constricting hanging seed feeders if they can. In these feeders, they may be able to perch, but they will be unable to feed correctly.

You can provide significant benefit to Cardinals by extending their range of motion by squeezing a long twig or branch through these access points.

Cardinals are known to frequent hopper-style seed feeders that may be hung or fixed on a post, as well as those that are hexagonal in shape or panoramic in design, or even large, open platform feeders with roofs.

Sunflower seed filled feeders a favorite

What Kind Of Bird Seed Do Cardinals Like

Sunflower seeds are the most popular type of bird food for Northern Cardinals.

Even though mixed-seed bird feeders can be utilized, sunflower seeds are the most popular choice.

One solution is to fill a bird feeder designed specifically for sunflower seeds to the brim with the larger seeds. Cardinals will have a much simpler time filling their bellies with sunflower seeds thanks to specially constructed feeders.

Sunflower seeds are typically stored in wire feeders, from which birds extract individual seeds by poking their beaks through the mesh.

Since it has already been shown that Cardinals cannot cling to the side of a hanging, unstable bird feeder, sunflower seed feeders will necessarily be larger, making them heavier, and will also feature a dish mounted to the base, allowing birds to perch while they feed.

Larger birds, such as Northern Cardinals, might benefit from the seed trays attached to the bottom of mesh sunflower seed feeders and other types of seed feeders.

Easy to access feeders only

Northern Cardinals are large, common backyard birds, so it stands to reason that they would benefit from having ready access to a seed-filled bird feeder.

For convenience, most bird feeders feature a long perch that extends upwards of 4 inches, while a seed tray attached to the feeder’s base works just as well.

Forget the long, skinny transparent plastic tube seed feeders and convert to the shorter, broader tube feeders with trays on the bottom, which provide a more stable perch for Cardinals.

As a result of having a perch, less usual hanging bird feeder visitors like Blue Jays and Crackle Feathers can enjoy feeding time.

Cardinals can be seen squished up against the plastic window of a side feeder due of the narrow dish trays that surround it. However, they would have plenty of room to eat if they had a tray that was extra wide.

If a bird feeder is too high or too far away from a perch, cardinals won’t utilize it, therefore making sure the feeder is simple to reach is crucial.

Ground feeders preferred

What Kind Of Bird Seed Do Cardinals Like-1

To collect their food, Northern Cardinals are more likely to forage among leaf heaps, vegetation, or on a lawn than they are to use a constrained bird feeder.

If you want to attract Cardinals to your yard, but don’t want to go with the hassle of teaching them to utilize a hanging bird seed feeder, consider installing a ground platform bird feeder instead.

This ground feeder features a flat, open top that is perfect for scattering bird seed or any of your other favorite treats for the local cardinal population.

All birds, no matter how large or small, are welcome at this ground feeder; the only condition is that the birds must be ground feeders.

The open top also makes it easy for rain to get to the bird food, which is bad in the winter when the birds aren’t as active. A simple solution to this problem is a ground bird feeder with a cover.

Northern Cardinals will benefit the best from a platform bird feeder on a pole or other stable open-top bird feeder placed to a post or wall.

Cardinals appreciate feeders that are easy for them to gain access to, and there’s no easier way than with open feeders.

Cardinals eat at suet cages

A suet feeder placed in the yard will attract several cardinals because they are voracious consumers of the bird food.

You can’t just hang a suet feeder for Cardinals from a tree limb or use an extra bracket at a bird feeding station. A suet feeder that can easily be blown over by the wind is not suitable for the Northern Cardinal’s needs.

Instead, you’ll need some creative thinking to make sure your Cardinals have access to suet while also letting other birds use the feeder without hassle.

You can attract Cardinals by providing a special suet feeder for them and a hanging suet cake feeder for the other common birds.

Cardinals will consume suet, so providing it for them is likely to be worth the effort and cost.

You can save yourself the trouble of finding a sturdy branch or bracket to hang your suet bird feeder from by just pressing the feeder flush against the branch or angling it slightly on the bracket.

To attract Cardinals, turn the suet feeder on its side and set it on a platform feeder with a hole in the top. The birds will perch above it and peck at the fatty suet.

While suet cakes and balls are fine to leave out, a suet cage is the best method to keep larger birds and other typical garden pests from making off with your hard work.

Mealworms can be offered

While seeds make up the bulk of a Northern Cardinal’s diet, insects are just as important to its survival in the wild.

Insects, such as specially dried or live mealworms, can be used as a source of nutrition for Cardinals.

Remember how I said that Cardinals need a wire mesh feeder instead of a clear plastic one so that they can easily perch on it to eat sunflower seeds? Well, you can also add dry mealworms to that kind of bird feeder.

The majority of the food that a Northern Cardinal consumes comes from the insects it finds while foraging on the ground.

A ground platform bird feeder, or any kind of open top bird feeder, is the best spot to put a handful of dried mealworms to attract Cardinals.

If you have a bird feeding station pole or Shepherd’s hooks setup, there is such a thing as a wire mesh mounted bird food tray. Simply tightening a bolt secures the tray to a pole of varying widths.

Cardinals can happily perch on the rim of this wire tray dish while other birds make use of the more compact hanging bird feeder.

Northern Cardinals prefer dried mealworms, although they will also eat live ones if given the chance. Cardinals may still be able to get to dry mealworms in an open tray if the feeder is stable enough to dangle from the ceiling.

To summarize

Cardinals prefer bird feeders that provide a variety of food options, such as a combination of different types of wild bird seed.

Sunflower seeds, being larger, are the birds’ preferred food, thus those are the ones you should focus on putting in there.

Cardinals can perch on the short perch of a seed feeder for smaller, more nimble birds, but they have difficulty feeding at the same time. Cardinals require a tray that completely surrounds the base of any bird seed feeder.

Northern Cardinals enjoy sunflower seed bird feeders due to the birds’ preference for the seed, but this wire mesh bird feeder is more convenient for bird watchers of all ages.

Remain mindful of Cardinals not being birds that cling in any direction on the side of a bird feeder, thus a wide tray and therefore not a single short perch is compatible with the larger bird species.

Feeders for Cardinals must by the easy to access seed bird feeders. Create a seed feeder with a hopper, a panoramic window, or a hexagonal window.

Similarly, Cardinals prefer an open top platform bird feeder on a pole, either hanging or mounted.

Even better, Cardinals are ground foragers at heart, thus a ground bird feeder will benefit Cardinals more than any other sort of bird feeder in use today… well, will also keep your yard tidy.

Cardinals will consume suet from a suet feeder, but they won’t use this hanging cage until you turn it on its side and set it on top of a platform feeder.

Finally, since insects make up a sizable portion of a Cardinal’s diet in the wild, dried mealworms can be provided to them in a specialist sunflower seed bird feeder, or piled on an open top platform feeder.

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