With its gorgeous, bright red feathers the Northern Cardinal is one of the most sought after birds for any back yard. So, how do you attract these beautiful birds to your feeders? As any bird watcher, or enthusiast knows the key to attracting any birds to your yard is providing them with food, water and shelter. But, what do cardinals prefer to see in your yard?
Cardinals are not particularly picky eaters. Anything with black oil sunflower seeds or safflower seeds should attract them, but we recommend feeding Feathered Friend Cardinals’ Choice, which provides a good blend of those two seeds along with hulled sunflower seeds. The feeder itself is a crucial piece in attracting these birds to your yard. Platform feeders, large hopper feeders and feeders with a tray or perch ring are ideal. If you have a standard sunflower feeder, you can add perch rings or a tray to it to make cardinals more comfortable and willing to visit the feeder.
Providing water for birds is essential to attracting them to your yard. Cardinals especially enjoy deeper birds baths (about 2 inches is ideal), to bath and drink from. Because cardinals are typically ground feeders, providing a deeper bird bath at ground level will create the ideal situation for them. Remember, cardinals do not migrate in the winter so providing water during the cold winter months will not only give you that splash or red against the white snow, but will help them survive the harsh cold.
Birds are always looking for a safe place to feel secure, sheltered, and to make their nests in. Planting shrubs such as blueberries, clematis and dogwoods, just to name a few, will provide cardinals with a thick shelter to hide from predators and make their nests in. Some of these shrubs actually provide a dual purpose, as the berries from these plants will provide a natural food source for the birds as well as shelter.
Providing birds with food, water and shelter not only attracts them to your yard so that you can enjoy them, it also gives them the resources they need to survive and thrive. So, put up a few feeders and a bird bath or two, and enjoy the natural beauty that birds bring to your yard.