Cardinals are one of the most famous, widespread, and easily recognized birds in America. It has also been introduced to other places including Bermuda, Hawaii, and Southern California. These birds are non-migratory; meaning you will enjoy their presence all year long. If you live in a place where there is a huge population of cardinals, you can enjoy their presence more by using the best bird feeder for cardinals.
Watching birds is not just a hobby; as a matter of fact, it is also considered therapeutic for some people who are dealing with stress in their everyday lives. If you are an avid bird watcher, you know that you will need a high-quality bird feeder so that you may enjoy their stay a little longer. By placing a reliable bird feeder, you can help them thrive especially during the winter season when food is hard to find. I have done the heavy lifting for you by testing various cardinal bird feeders and weighing their advantages and disadvantages. So without further ado, here are my recommended bird feeders for cardinals and bluejays.
Table of Contents
- Top 16 Best Bird Feeder for Cardinals
- 1. Perky-Pet C00322 Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 2. Perky-Pet 312C Copper Panorama Bird Feeder
- 3. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder, Platform Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 4. Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
- 5. Perky-Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder
- 6. Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder
- 7. Perky-Pet 338 Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House Bird Feeder
- 8. Gray Bunny GB-6890 Hanging Bird Feeder
- 9. Perky-Pet RSB00343 Red Seed Ball Wild Bird Feeder
- 10. Nature Gear XL Window Bird Feeder
- 11. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder, Hanging Tube Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 12. Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 13. Squirrel Buster Plus Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
- 14. Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
- 15. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF3 Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder
- 16. Perky-Pet 312 Panorama Bird Feeder
- What To Look For When Buying Bird Feeders for Cardinals
- Other Important Factors To Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 16 Best Bird Feeder for Cardinals
1. Perky-Pet C00322 Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
If you are looking for a bird feeder that could easily attract a bird’s attention, the Perky-Pet C00322 Red Cardinal Bird Feeder might be the one that you are looking for.
What I love about this cardinal only bird feeder is its shape and color. The seed chamber’s tapered shape can easily store the seeds without spilling them. The narrow portion is the seed chamber’s entry point while the broad portion is attached to the base. The circular ring is strong enough to support the weight of the feeder, seeds, and the birds at the same time. Also, the mesh wall allows the right amount of seeds to come out for the cardinal’s convenience.
The design is simple yet elegant. There is a small roof that protects the seeds. The base has enough space for the birds to perch. As a plus, the color easily catches the birds’ attention and draws them in.
The material used in manufacturing is metal, which is great since it is highly durable and can withstand elements such as dust, sunlight, and water. It won’t easily break if by any chance it falls to the ground.
What I don’t appreciate about this particular bird feeder is its lack of water tray. Birds will stay longer if there is a water source to quench their thirst or bathe. Another item that is missing is a perch. Its circular shape can easily tip the whole feeder if the birds gather on one side only.
- Its tapered shape can store the seeds conveniently
- The color red can easily get the birds’ attention
- Highly durable
- Easy to clean
- No water tray
- No perch
2. Perky-Pet 312C Copper Panorama Bird Feeder
One look at this bird feeder and you’ll have one word in mind: elegant. With its beautiful copper finish, this feeder is very pleasing to the eye. If you’d like to attract wild birds like cardinals in your garden but don’t want something that looks tacky, this should definitely be your first choice.
This feeder attracts cardinals nicely, so you will begin to see birds flocking over it within a few days. They can easily access the food and the dispenser keeps the tray filled with food so I don’t have to go over every time to check. As it can hold up to two pounds of birdseed, I don’t have to refill the feeder until after a week or two.
It has a Sure-Lock cap which secures the cover, preventing squirrels from opening the lip and getting some seeds. As the cover is made of metal, persistent squirrels won’t be able to chew through it, unlike with other feeders. I also love that this feeder is very easy to open up, disassemble and clean.
What I don’t like about this feeder though is that rain water tends to seep through the cover through the Sure Lock cap. When water seeps through, the bird seeds inside tend to clamp together, like forming a soft brick. Although there are drainage holes at the bottom, they tend to get clogged by small bird seeds. This results to pooling and wet seeds.
- Beautiful copper finishing
- Can hold up to 2 lbs. of bird food mix
- Easy to disassemble and clean
- Rain tends to penetrate through the Sure Lock and wire gap
3. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder, Platform Cardinal Bird Feeder
If you are looking for a simple and compact bird feeder that you can place in your garden or in the wild, the Droll Yankees Bird Feeder, Platform Cardinal Bird Feeders with Roof Cover is the one that would give you the ultimate bird-watching pleasure.
What I like about this bird feeder is its simplicity. It has a simple cover that protects the seeds against rain, snow and large birds. The seed tray is exposed and easy to refill. Because of the dome-shaped cover, squirrels find it difficult to get the seeds and eat them. They just slip and slide down back to the ground.
The seed tray is easy to clean. Just a splash of water will remove the dirt and spoiled seeds. Because the whole unit is lightweight and durable, it doesn’t break even after falling from a high place.
I find that small distance between the dome cover and the seed tray will deter squirrels from looting the seeds. This also prevents larger birds from getting to the seeds.
What I don’t like about this product is the absence of a perch. The birds have no choice but to step on the seeds on the tray as they eat them. If you’ve been feeding birds for quite some time now, you would know that birds poop on where they stand. Bird food mixing with bird poop is very unhygienic, so you would have to regularly clean this bird feeder.
Also, its lightweight makeup and solid dome makes it very easy to sway when the wind blows. Some seeds fall to the ground when this happens. Since the seed tray is only protected by an umbrella-like cover, it is still somewhat exposed to natural elements such as rain and snow when it blows hard.
- It has a fully adjustable dome to accommodate birds and prevent squirrels from accessing the seeds
- Easy to clean
- No perch
- It doesn’t completely protect seeds against a heavy rain or snowstorm
4. Squirrel Buster Standard Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
Bird feeders are designed to serve food to wild birds only. If you are searching for a dependable bird feeder that can easily deter squirrels without losing a single seed inside, this bird feeder will surely satisfy your needs.
There are plenty of things that I really like about this particular bird feeder. The first one is how the seeds inside stay fresh even after being exposed to sun and rain for a long time. This is because of the patented seed ventilation system that allows fresh air to enter inside the seed chamber, preventing humidity build up. This is a great way to prevent the seeds from clumping and getting molds.
Another thing that I truly appreciate is the chew-proof materials that make up the whole bird feeder. I find persistent squirrels really annoying when they chew on everything on their path just to get the food that they want. This bird feeder cannot be easily accessed by these unwanted animals. If you don’t like replacing bird feeders regularly, this one will definitely work miracles.
What I don’t like about this bird feeder is just minor, if you think about it. I thought this bird feeder is dishwasher safe. I washed the seed chamber in my dishwasher, but to my surprise, it got deformed. I guess scrubbing and keeping it out to dry is the best way to clean this one.
- Has a patented seed ventilation system, which keeps seeds fresh
- Has a lifetime care
- Is chew proof
- It is weight adjustable to accommodate all bird sizes
- The seed chamber does not allow squirrels from accessing the seeds
- It has four metallic perches
- Small and soft perch
- Not really dishwasher safe
5. Perky-Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder
If you’re looking for a bird feeder that can last a lifetime, Perky-Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder is what I would recommend. I’ve had mine for more than four years now and it’s still in great shape!
I love this rustic-looking feeder especially since it can hold a lot of bird food. It can carry up to 4.5 pounds, which can last you anywhere from two weeks to two months, depending on the number of birds in your area. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to refill it as regularly as other feeders. Since it has a transparent tube, you will be able to see whether it’s time to refill and clean.
It has two layers, which means more birds can feed on it at the same time. Any bird can eat from it: small to medium ones like finches, chickadees, bluebirds, and cardinals; as well as larger ones such as starlings, jays and mocking birds. Being able to attract large birds can be a problem since these bigger birds basically hoard both perches. Since this bird feeder can hold a lot of seeds, you can be sure that there will be some food left for the cardinals, though of course expect to spend a lot of money feeding even birds you don’t like.
In any case, this is still a great feeder. It has an internal tube that allows bird seeds to flow to the lower up to a certain point. This ensures that both layers have enough bird feed. You can even two different types of seeds to attract different types of birds, if you like. It is also squirrel proof and uses the Sure Lock cap to make sure these critters won’t be able to open the lid.
One thing I don’t like about this feeder is that the brown paint faded in just a month. If you display your bird feeder for your guests to see, this can be a bit disappointing since it’ll look old fast. Its performance doesn’t deteriorate even with the fading though.
- Very durable
- Can hold up to 4.5 pounds of bird feed
- Can accommodate a lot of birds
- Can attract larger birds
- Color fades fast
If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to provide food to wild birds, the best feeder that you should be looking for is the Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder Model GGPLAT.
What I appreciate about this product is its simplicity. Unlike other bird feeders that are sold in the market these days, it’s not a sophisticated feeder that requires a complicated setup. Just fill the tray with seeds, hang it anywhere you want, and presto – you have a functioning bird feeder!
The whole feeder itself is made from recycled plastic materials, which is good news for all environmentally conscious bird watchers. It is very easy to clean and refill. My wife is into recycling and she found the design of this particular bird feeder clever and amazing. I didn’t need any kind of tool to set it up. Very compact and lightweight, it is durable and can withstand intense heat during summer and blistering cold during winter. Just one look and I know that this feeder will last for a very long time.
I like the simple drainage system that is made up of a metal screen bottom. When it rains, water would just simply drain down, preventing the seeds from getting soaked. It also allows fresh air from drying the seeds. Finally, the color is very relaxing to the eyes.
What really don’t like about this bird feeder is how flimsy it is. Just a light breeze will shake the whole feeder and spill all the contents to the ground. Also, I have observed that the squirrels and chipmunks can easily get their way around this particular bird feeder. Larger birds can also feast on your bird seeds.
- Made from 100% recycled plastic materials
- Easy to clean
- It has a good drainage system which prevents water from staying inside the tray
- Due to its lightweight makeup, it can be easily shaken by a breeze
- Doesn’t deter squirrels and larger birds
7. Perky-Pet 338 Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House Bird Feeder
If you are looking for a reliable bird feeder which is not only good for providing seeds to your favorite birds, but also serve as a decoration in your garden or property, the Perky-Pet 338 Squirrel-Be-Gone II Country House Bird Feeder with Weathervane is what I would recommend.
What I like most about this bird feeder are its outward features. It is different compared to other feeders that are currently sold in the market these days. In terms of shape, this bird feeder follows a small house that has glass windows and a door. The red color easily attracts the attention of birds such as cardinals, wrens, chickadees, purple finches, goldfinches, nuthatches, sparrows, and titmice. The green roof, on the other hand, serves as a good cover for the seeds and is very easy to human eyes.
In addition, this bird feeder has something that other bird feeders don’t: an innovative design that prevents squirrels from getting the seeds. The perch is a part of a trap mechanism that locks away the seeds once a squirrel, a raccoon, or a chipmunk mounts it.
The weathervane on top of the roof is an additional charm which makes this bird feeder look fantastic. It easily spins about as the wind blows. I found refilling the seed chamber quite fun. The roof is easy to remove and return. This product is available on plastic and metal, which makes it very durable and weatherproof.
What I don’t like about this bird feeder is the way it mounts. I have a group of persistent squirrels knock it over and got access to the seeds inside. I think that it can’t handle three or more squirrels at the same time.
- Has a perch
- It has a trap mechanism which secures the seeds inside when a squirrel tries to get some
- The sleek design is also good for decorative purpose
- A group of squirrel can access the seeds
8. Gray Bunny GB-6890 Hanging Bird Feeder
Easy to fill and clean – these are two of the most important characteristics of this feeder. This is because this hanging bird feeder by Gray Bunny is an open type feeder. It uses a metallic mesh to hold the seeds, and has a metallic chain that holds the tray in three points. You just need to place about two cups of bird seed mix and you’re done. When it gets dirty, you can just turn it over and spray with water. You would just need to scrub it once every one to two months. In short, it is not high maintenance.
Being an open feeder means you can attract all kinds of birds that eat whatever bird food you place on it. This can be a good and a bad thing. It’s good because you will see a lot of wild birds coming in to partake for some bird food; it’s bad because you can’t necessarily focus on providing food for just cardinals. It also attracts squirrels, so I suggest you hang it at least two feet away from the nearest possible jump-off point of a squirrel.
One thing I love is that you won’t have the problem of bird seeds clumping together when it rains. The wire mesh drains water effectively, and allows air to properly pass through, drying the seeds up in an instant.
The weakest point of this feeder is at the hook that connects the chain to the brackets. The hooks are thin and would bend under heavy load (which can happen when big birds feed on it).
- Easy to clean
- Easy to refill
- Doesn’t cause water pooling
- Not squirrel proof
- Connecting hooks are a bit flimsy
9. Perky-Pet RSB00343 Red Seed Ball Wild Bird Feeder
If you are environmentally-conscious and would not want your feeder to have any plastic material, you can go for Perky-Pet’s Ball Feeder. It’s categorized as No/No, which means it has no plastic and no wooden parts.
Upon seeing mine when I unboxed my order, I knew instantly that this feeder would last a while. The metal mesh of the ball feeder is not made of thin wire mesh – it is definitely of thick metal material. The gaps in the mesh are big enough to hold sunflower seeds.
Birds take to it instantly. This is great for smaller birds like cardinals and chickadees because these are the types that can cling while feeding. Larger birds usually need a perch, so this bird feeder effectively shoos them away. But because of its small size, even with just smaller birds eating from it, I had to refill it at least once a day. It can only hold up to six cups (or more than one pound of seeds).
You don’t have to worry about pooling and molding seeds. Water drains quickly and easily, and it allows the air to pass through hence the seeds dry up fairly easily. And again with its small size, the birds eat up everything in a day! You can be sure then that you are providing fresh food every time.
The biggest downside with this ball feeder is that squirrels can easily get to the bird food. The chain is attached to the top sides, while the top cover is not attached to anything. When squirrels slide down to it, they are able to immediately figure out how to open the feeder and eat bird seed by the handfuls. You can secure the lid by tying it up after every refill, but squirrels can still ease some seeds out from the sides. The best solution would be to add a baffle.
- Very attractive for small birds
- Keep large birds away
- Made of durable materials
- Not squirrel proof
- Can only hold more than a pound of bird feed
10. Nature Gear XL Window Bird Feeder
If you’d like you and your family to enjoy bird watching up close and personal without scaring the birds off, then you should get a window bird feeder for cardinals. Nature Gear’s extra-large window bird feeder is a great choice.
It is made of really clear acrylic that doesn’t get smudged up as time goes by. Even after several months up, mine is still crystal clear. It is very much weather-proof as it stays ups even through rainy, windy and sunny days. The feeder has a large hole in the middle, allowing you to view the birds clearly. This hole likewise prevents dew or moisture from building up between the glass window and feeder. Even though it has four suction cups, they don’t interfere with your view.
Refilling is a zilch as you just need to slide out the feeder tray at the bottom. If in case there’s any rain, you won’t have any issue with pooling as the feeder tray has drainage holes that removes the water effectively, but not large enough to let seeds fall through, which is great.
One thing I don’t like about this feeder is that it’s not really squirrel proof. Don’t place it too low from the ground or near any possible jump off point for squirrels. I once had a couple of squirrels inside mine, fighting against each other, which resulted to the window feeder getting dislodged from the window and falling five feet to the ground. Thankfully, the feeder was still intact, with hardly a scratch. Although this event proved that the feeder is not squirrel proof, it also proved that it is very durable.
- Crystal clear acrylic walls
- Suction cups work great with a drop of oil on each to reinforce the suction
- Has a nice black perch for birds to sit on
- Not squirrel proof
11. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder, Hanging Tube Cardinal Bird Feeder
Well known for producing high-quality bird feeders, Droll Yankees have come up with their own version of a cardinals bird feeder. This hanging tube feeder is made of a UV-treated plastic tube and metal accessories. The top cover, bottom base and even the port holes are made of metal. In its entirety, this feeder is finely made even though it is just an entry-level feeder.
I call it entry-level because this is something that even beginners will find easy to use. It is easy to disassemble and clean. With its transparent tube, you will be able to see when it’s time to refill. Refilling can be quite often though since this feeder can only hold half a pound of bird seeds mix. If there are only a couple of cardinals and smaller birds in your area, this feed will last you one to two days. If there are a lot, then you might have to refill once or twice per day.
It only has two ports, so other birds tend to either wait their turn or fly away. Also, the perches are too small for cardinals. Although they are able to use it, you can see that they are experiencing some difficulty when feeding. It’s a great feeder for smaller birds though.
- Made in the USA
- Material is of high quality
- Great for beginners
- Can only accommodate two birds at a time
- Better for smaller birds than medium-sized ones like cardinals
12. Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder
If you are tired of chasing away unwanted animals that want to get access on your bird feeder, the Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder is the perfect product for you.
What I like about the Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder is of course its design. It was made to prevent squirrels and other animals such as chipmunks, rats, and raccoons to get access to the seeds reserved for the birds only. Another thing that I like about this bird feeder is the transparent plastic seed chamber. I can easily see the contents inside and tell if it’s time to refill it. Furthermore, it has a small perch that prevents bigger birds such as doves from feeding on the seeds.
One thing I don’t like about this cardinal feeder is that it only has two perches, which means it can only accommodate two birds at a time. Other cardinals who would like to eat sometimes fly away to find food elsewhere, which is disappointing.
Another thing that I don’t like is how brittle the plastic seed chamber is. I have accidentally knocked the bird feeder off while I was refilling it. Although the seed chamber did not completely shatter, it now has some cracks which I fixed using duct tape. It still works, but it doesn’t look as pleasing as before.
- Has a perch
- Weatherproof and waterproof
- The seed tray is deep enough so there’s no need to constantly refill it
- Easy to refill
- Easy to clean
- Only has two perches
- The seed chamber is not as durable as expected
13. Squirrel Buster Plus Squirrel-proof Bird Feeder
Bird feeders that can deter squirrels and other unwanted animals are apparently on high demand. If you want your bird feeders to supply seeds exclusively to cardinals and other small birds, then this one is for you.
What I love about this bird feeder is how it can prevent squirrels from eating the seeds away. The design is sleek and doesn’t provide enough footholds for any animals to climb over with. I also love how easy it is to assemble without the help of any tool. This is important especially if you don’t have tools available around when you receive this product, or if you want to use something straight out of the box.
Another thing that I appreciate about this bird feeder is its lifetime care. Most bird feeders only have a warranty for six months to one year. After that, you cannot expect free service for any of your feeders in the future. However, this one will be taken-cared of by the company that manufactured it for life. This is good especially if you don’t plan on buying too many bird feeders. This feeder also has a free cardinal ring that serves as the perch for Northern Cardinals.
If you have a lot of cardinals and other small birds in your area, you will be glad to know that this feeder can accommodate up to six birds at a time, which is plenty already.
However, I have observed that this bird feeder is prone to tilting. This happens when several birds perch on one side and leave the other side empty. The seeds fall to the ground are not wasted because bigger birds get to them, but that can be painful for your pocket.
- 100% Squirrel-proof
- Lifetime care
- Can be assembled without using tools
- The seed chamber can hold plenty of seeds
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a cardinal ring
- The perch can only accommodate two to three birds at a time
- The bird feeder is prone to tipping
14. Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder
If you are searching for a flexible and highly reliable bird feeder that you can install in your garden even without branches to hang on or posts to mount on, then the Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is the right product for you.
What I like about this bird feeder is that it already comes with its very own pole. At the bottom of the pole is an auger that drills deep into the soil, and three extension arms that keep the pole balanced. In addition, the auger is perfect for any type of soil. I also like how the company added an additional threaded metal to allow another bird feeder to be mounted on top of the other.
Hanging bird feeders usually have the tendency to tip due to wind blows or if the birds perched on one side only. This one, however, is very stable. No seeds are wasted because the feeder is steady. The seeds are protected by an umbrella-shaped transparent plastic cover.
The seed chamber is also made from a hard and transparent plastic material. I can easily see the amount of seeds left inside of it from a distance. The chamber can hold up to 7 lbs. of seeds. The seeds are dispensed evenly on the tray that is designed as the base of the bird feeder.
The plastic is durable enough to withstand the test of time. After placing this bird feeder directly under the sun for a few months, the plastic material is still crystal-clear and did not turn yellow. I found that squirrels have a hard time climbing on the pole to get a taste of sunflower seeds inside the seed chamber.
What I don’t like about the Droll Yankees Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder is it cannot be placed easily on uneven ground. When I transferred this bird feeder on another part of my property where there is no bird feeder, I found it difficult to set up the pole. I ended up not using the stand and instead fixed the feeder by tying the pole up on the fence.
- It is pole-mounted, so the feeder does not sway
- It has an extra threaded metal on top of the pole, so you can add another feeder
- The plastic material is transparent, so you can see the contents easily
- The pole cannot be installed properly on uneven ground
15. Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF3 Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder
Are you looking for a maintenance-free bird feeder? If yes, then the Nature’s Way Bird Products CWF3 Cedar Platform Tray Bird Feeder will be perfect you!
What I like about this particular bird feeder is its simple design. It may be just a simple wooden cedar tray but it can easily attract birds. The materials used in manufacturing are truly awesome. The cedar wood is both rot and insect resistant, which means the feeder will be around for many years to come. The hardware that comes with it is made of vinyl-coated steel screws and nylon cord, which makes it rust proof. Moreover, the feeder itself didn’t need much maintenance once I hang it out in the open.
This feeder also has an innovative drainage system that prevents the left-over seeds from getting spoiled. This is particularly advantageous, especially during the rainy season. The water would just simply go down. Since the tray is open, fresh air can easily flow and dry the seeds. Also, the tray lifts easily for cleaning or refilling. Even my children can work around it without hassle.
What I don’t like about this feeder is how it is prone to tilting. When birds flock this feeder, they usually perch on one side, tilting the whole feeder over. The seeds then easily spill and fall to the ground. Also, since this feeder is very open, clever squirrels can access the seeds, especially during night time.
- Made of rot and insect-resistant cedarwood
- It comes with vinyl-coated steel screws and nylon that is used for hanging the feeder
- Easy to clean tray
- Has an innovative water drainage system
- Prone to tilting
- Not squirrel-proof
16. Perky-Pet 312 Panorama Bird Feeder
If you are looking for a maximum bird-watching experience, you need a bird feeder that will make bird food easily accessible for your avian friends. Perky-Pet 312 Panorama Bird Feeder is the one that you are looking for, as it attracts and holds a lot of birds at a time.
What I like about this bird feeder is how easy it is to assemble. Even my kids can do it without looking at any instructions. The biggest plus to this product is how the birds can gather around the feeder and get their fresh share of seeds. This will provide a spectacular view if placed in a strategic location.
This bird feeder is weatherproof and waterproof; you won’t have to think about replacing it soon. The seeds are protected against rain and other natural elements, so they can last a long time without getting spoiled. Because of its transparent tube, you can see if it’s time to refill. Also, I love how this product is so easy to clean.
What I don’t like about this feeder is its lack of water tray. The birds have to go away for a drink after they had their share of seeds. Also, this bird feeder is very prone to tilting. Since this feeder has an open round perch, other bigger birds can feed on seeds offered on the tray. Once the feeder tilts because of their weight, some seeds spill and fall to the ground.
- Easy to assemble
- Weatherproof and waterproof
- Easy to clean
- The locking mechanism that ensures the seeds stay inside
- The seed chamber holds up to 2 lbs. of seeds
- Has a nice round metallic base that serves as perch
- The chamber dispenses seeds evenly on the tray and stops once the tray is full
- The metallic base and roof easily break the plastic seed chamber
- The feeder is prone to tilting since larger birds can also access it
What To Look For When Buying Bird Feeders for Cardinals
Shopping for a cardinals’ bird feeder is definitely a daunting task. If this is your first time buying one, there are things that you need to look for to ensure that the cardinals in your area are going to enjoy it for a very long time.
Here are the things that you need to include in your checklist:
- Make sure that the bird feeder has a perch. Bird feeders with perch will get more visits compared to ones that don’t. The perch will also provide a place where they can rest for a while.
- Look for a bird feeder that has a deep seed tray. Deep seed trays mean more birds can enjoy feeding on it. If a seed tray easily depletes its supply, the cardinals will move on to another place where they can get their food.
- Look for bird feeders that are both sturdy and weather-resistant. These bird feeders will be placed outside all year long, meaning they will be exposed to elements such as water, dust, snow, and sunlight. If the bird feeder is made from flimsy materials, it will easily fall apart once it reached its limits.
- Look for a chew-proof bird feeder. Squirrels are a persistent little bunch that would try every possible means to access the seeds inside the feeder. This means that they will chew on every possible barrier, compromising the overall structural integrity of the bird feeder.
- Make sure that it has a water tray. Most bird feeders don’t have a water tray. Birds tend to stay longer if they can find a source of water to quench their thirst or bath for a while.
- If you want a suction cup-mounted bird feeder, make sure that it is made of crystal clear plastic so that you could see from every possible angle in your house. It is pointless to install a bird feeder in your window if you’re not able to enjoy the view of the cardinals feeding on it. Look for the ones that have one-way mirror to ensure that the birds won’t see you on the other side.
If you are shopping for a bird feeder online, make sure that you read the reviews thoroughly. This way, you will know the sentiments of the people who have tried using it first-hand. By reading online reviews, you can also get a glimpse of the quality of a particular brand of cardinal bird feeder that you are eyeing. What are the pros and cons of this and that product? Will this particular bird feeder brand last a long time in my area?
By taking the time to read all of the reviews before placing them on your shopping cart, you will not have any regrets once you receive the product on your doorstep. All that’s left then is to fill it with seeds, hang it on a place where you can get a good view, and enjoy the sight of the birds feeding on it.
Other Important Factors To Consider
What is a cardinal bird feeder?
On the surface, a cardinal bird feeder may look like any other bird feeders that are being sold in the market these days. But on a closer look, a cardinal bird feeder is designed to accommodate only small birds. They usually have a small perch for this purpose. Sometimes, it has a cover that is lowered enough to only let small birds in, making it very hard for large birds to get access to the seeds inside the container.
How does it work?
A cardinal bird feeder works by attracting wild birds with its looks and food supply. There are three different ways to provide food to birds via a bird feeder. The first way is by hanging it. Hanging the bird feeder on a high place easily attracts birds. They don’t need to come down to the ground just to access the seeds inside the feeder. However, hanging bird feeders are highly prone to tilting due to wind or imbalance brought by birds perching on one side. Squirrels and other unwanted animals can also tilt a bird feeder. If a bird feeder tilts, the seeds will spill and fall to the ground.
The second way is by attaching it to a pole. This provides a more steady position which prevents tilting. However, most poles are only 5 to 6 feet, meaning the birds would have to come down to eat the seeds. This type of bird feeder should be placed where humans do not frequent in order to make sure that the birds would regularly visit.
The third way is by attaching it on a suction cup or Velcro. This method is usually found on window bird feeders. By attaching it on a window or ledge, you will get an intimate view of the birds that are feeding on it. You can also easily monitor the number of seeds remaining on the seed tray.
What are the different types of bird feeders for cardinals?
The different types of cardinal bird feeders are as follows:
– Hopper Feeder. This particular feeder protects the seeds from water and bird droppings. If moisture found its way to the seeds, the contents will become spoiled. Usually, a perch is made to let the birds get access on the seeds.
– Tray or platform feeder. Tray feeders are usually the open type. The seeds are exposed in the open so that the birds would immediately see and access it. However, the remaining seeds can also be exposed to water especially during the rainy season. In addition, this type of feeder is prone to squirrel looting. If left unchecked, squirrels, chipmunks, and rats can raid the seeds at night and leave nothing for the birds the next day.
– Window Feeder. If you want to see the cardinals feeding at a close distance, the window feeder is the perfect feeder for you. This is usually attached to a suction cup or Velcro. However, because the feeder is near where humans and other animals such as cats frequent, it doesn’t immediately attract a bird’s attention.
– Tube Feeder. Tube feeders have a hollow chamber where you place the seeds inside. This is somewhat squirrel-resistant due to the locking mechanism which traps the seeds. The contents are dispensed evenly to make sure that the supply will last a long time without having the need to refill it daily.
Why do you need a cardinal feeder?
If you love bird watching, particularly cardinals, a good feeder is required to keep them coming back to your property. Why? Because a good cardinal feeder will ensure that the cardinals get fresh and delicious seeds regularly. Because of the rapid destruction of the environment, the source of food for birds is becoming scarce. Feeding birds can help them find food immediately, therefore saving from starvation.
A cardinal feeder has also decorative benefits. Placing a good feeder will not only add beauty to your garden or property but can also make it a good place to be in. You can bring your guests to your garden and simply be amazed by the cardinals’ vibrant color, singing, and feeding behavior.
If you have children, bird feeding is also a good way to bond with them. You can talk to your kids without having to rely on electronic gadgets. A good bird feeder will help you teach them how to protect nature and these little birds.
Bird feeders also have therapeutic effects. Some assisted living homes reported that bird feeders have positive effects on their patients. It can also help you deal with depression. The birds’ singing, color, or simply their presence can help you improve your mood. If you want to deal with your stress brought about by modern living, bird watching will help you a lot. Many people, particularly those who have PTSD have found bird watching calming. A spectacular view of feeding birds surely beats any kind of TV show today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are good cardinal bird feeder brands?
The best performing bird feeder brands for me are Perky Pet and Droll Yankees. I have mentioned other brands’ models in my top list of bird feeders for cardinals above, but these two brands are the most reliable makers that I’ve seen.
What is the best bird seed for cardinals?
Knowing what do cardinals eat for food is the most basic information you need to know. Cardinals’ diet consists mainly of insects, berries, and seeds. Although they eat a wide variety of seeds that are available in the wild, they actually have favorite ones. They love to munch safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, Nyjer seeds, mealworms, and peanuts. You can try mixing them up when you refill your bird feeders in order to keep them coming back for more.
The best commercially available mix I’ve found so far is Wagner’s 62032 Cardinal Blend. It is a mix of 60% Sunflower seeds (Black oil type) and 40% Safflower seeds. Within a few minutes of putting this mix out, I attracted a lot of backyard birds, including cardinals of course.
Are cardinals in my area?
You will find these birds in the following states:
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Hampshire
- Maryland, and
You’ll be able to watch and feed these birds all year long since they don’t migrate. So if you are interested in feeding cardinals, make sure to commit doing so for the entire year.
How to attract cardinals?
Attracting cardinals is not that difficult as long as you have their favorite seeds. Cardinals love to munch on safflower and sunflower seeds. Once you have these seeds in your arsenal, you can expect to see these lovely birds in your area every day.
It is also important to place your feeder in areas with dense foliage, as cardinals like to feel protected even while eating. They are very cautious and would hide behind leaves and branches when they feel scared or surprised. Having scrubs and backyard trees in your garden would definitely attract these birds since they are wary of wide, open spaces.
Where to hang a cardinal bird feeder?
Hang your cardinal bird feeder in a place where humans don’t frequent. Wild birds will easily get scared if there are a lot of humans in the area. Hang it on tree branches or feeder posts where other animals such as squirrels won’t easily be able access it.
I would also recommend placing the feeders further away from glass windows. Sometimes birds mistake their reflection as either a potential mate or a potential competitor, so they would approach their reflection. This causes bird accidents on glass windows. So to protect the cardinals, place the feeder at least two feet away.
How to clean?
Cleaning your bird feeder depends on the type that you have. But whether you have the mesh type, the window type feeder, tray feeder, or tube feeder, it’s important that you wash them regularly. You can sometimes use a dishwasher for some types of feeders, but not all are dishwasher safe so make sure to read the instructions first.
When cleaning the feeder, make sure you scrape off any bird poop and get rid of the remaining seeds first.
Mix one part bleach to nine parts water and soak the feeder. After 30 minutes of soaking, scrub it clean. Rinse it well, allow it to air dry, and you’re done!
Where to buy cardinal bird feeders?
You can purchase goof bird feeders at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes and your local pet store. If you are always online, you can shop at Amazon.com and have it shipped the next day. All of the bird feeders I recommended above can be found at Amazon.
Cardinals are lovely birds that are easy to attract and feed. As long as you have the right seeds and the best bird feeder for cardinals, you can surely bask in their presence all year long. All you have to do is to search for the right one that will not only be safe against squirrels and other animals but also add beauty to your garden or property. Once you found it, you will always hear cardinals chirping merrily with your friends, family, and loved ones. Not only will you find a good hobby, but you will also help them find fresh food every day.