The Northern Cardinal is one of the most famous birds in North America. The male’s bright red feathers, noticeable crest, and orange bill distinguish this bird from other red birds in the United States. If you want to have these species’ attention, there are seven useful tips for you. Check out now!
1. Create an ideal habitat for Cardinals
A common sight with bird feeders is that cardinals build nests in their houses’ backyards. Instead of making an enclosed birdhouse for them, you are encouraged to let a pair of cardinals make their nest on a simple open-concept platform, properly placed a good distance from the ground.
Cardinals prefer building nests in tree branches rather than in holes in the trunk. Making a birdhouse for cardinals will be in vain because the bird will ignore it. On the other hand, cavity-nesting birds such as wrens and house sparrows will move into it.
Like other living things, Cardinals need food, water, and shelter to survive. By meeting all of these needs and appealing to the Cardinals’ specific preferences, you can make your backyard a favorite habitat for these lovely creatures.
2. Choose the right food
The second step to attract birds is to offer them the food they enjoy. Northern Cardinals feature a strong, thick beak, which is perfect for large seeds and other hearty foods. Safflower seeds, black oil sunflower seeds, and white milo are among a Northern Cardinal’s favorite seed options.
In addition to large seeds, Cardinals enjoy eating crushed peanuts, corn, and berries. During the winter, small chunks of suet are another great choice. Remember to check regularly that the feeders are filled or not, particularly in the early morning and late evening. Once Cardinals realize that your backyard offers a year-round, reliable food source, they will likely make it a permanent residence.
3. Use proper feeders
Besides food, you need to select the proper types of feeders to suit your Cardinal friends. Your feeders need to be sturdy enough to support the birds. The weight of a Cardinal is approximately equal to 9 U.S. nickels (1.5 ounces), which is actually heavy for a bird feeder.
In fact, you should avoid lightweight or hanging feeders because they may sway under a Cardinal’s weight. Basic feeders and bird feeders with built-in trays that provide enough space for Cardinals to perch are acceptable. Since these birds are broader, full-breasted birds, they require more space when visiting a feeder.
4. Consider food placement
Choosing the ideal place to put Cardinals’ food is another way to attract these animals. Northern Cardinals prefer to have a protective cover while they are eating. Therefore, you should place food sources near trees and shrubbery in your backyard.
They will enjoy the foliage and feel safer with these hiding spots nearby. If squirrels aren’t a problem in your yard, you can also scatter seeds on the ground for the shy Cardinals.
5. Provide Water Sources
Cardinals need easily accessible water sources for both drinking and bathing. Providing birdbaths or bird waterers is a perfect way to satisfy this need. Similar to feeders, a birdbath needs to accommodate the size of these larger birds.
Baths with a depth of 2 to 3 inches are usually the most appropriate ones. To attract Cardinals using your birdbaths, you may consider adding drawers to keep water moving. However, whichever method you choose, the water should be changed every day. You also need to clean them frequently to avoid dirt buildup.
6. Prevent frozen water
Cardinals live in the same place all year, even during the winter months. To ensure that water is available in freezing temperatures, you should regularly refresh the water or add a heated birdbath. With that, your yard definitely becomes a hotspot for the Cardinals.
7. Offer protective shelter
As mentioned above, the Cardinals enjoy secluded areas surrounded by thick foliage with lots of trees and shrubs. Planting trees and bushes with high density will help these songbirds feel safe and protected. Make sure to include evergreen trees and other plants that will be able to provide Cardinals cover during the sparser winter months as well.
Even if you don’t have space to attract birds, it doesn’t mean they can not be around you. You still can buy a cardinal bird pop pop card to set up in your house. Moreover, a pop up gift card with the symbol of cardinals is also a helpful learning tool for kids.