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Tips for Attracting Cardinals

Bring beautiful cardinals to your backyard with the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Known for their bright red feathers and beautiful songs, cardinals are a favorite among bird watchers. Even the fawn-colored females are easily recognizable by their song and red highlights. Cardinals are actually fairly easy to attract to your backyard. With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet, you can bring cardinals to your backyard all year long.

Tips for Attracting Cardinals
While they’re enjoyed all year round, the bright red cardinal truly stands out against the white snow of winter. To attract these beautiful songbirds to your backyard, use these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Cardinal Feeder & Feed

Cardinals aren’t picky eaters. Their favorites are black oil sunflower seed and safflower seed. Their large, thick beaks are able to crack open tough sunflower seeds. Cardinals also like suet, cracked corn, fresh berries and peanut pieces. You can even buy bird seed blended specially for cardinals.

Whatever type of feed you choose, use a flat feeder. Cardinals are ground feeders, so they don’t do well with tube feeders. If you choose to use a tube feeder, you’ll need to attach a platform for the birds to be comfortable. A hopper bird feeder or platform style bird feeder will work well. The birds will have plenty of room to perch and feed.

Fill the feeders early in the morning and late in the evening to increase your chances of bringing in a cardinal. In order to get them to keep coming back, you want them to know they have a reliable food source at your feeders.


A cardinal will stop at a bird bath for both drinking and bathing. Due to their larger size, you’ll a deeper bird bath. If you live in an area where your bird bath will freeze over, you may want to invest in a de-icer or even a heated bird bath. If possible, place the bird bath on the ground. The birds will feed on the ground and the water will be right there waiting for them. Be sure to change the water every two to four days.


You won’t need birdhouses as cardinals like secluded shrubs and vines for shelter. As far as nesting, they choose shrubs, grapevines and dogwood for nesting sites. If you leave out nesting materials like grass clippings and small twigs, cardinals might build their nests close to your backyard.

It’s also important to note that cardinals are notorious for attacking their own reflection. Cover up any shiny, reflective objects like car mirrors, chrome lawn equipment or glaring windows.

With over 60 years of experience in animal care, our expertise branches from the farm to your backyard. You can trust Blain’s Farm & Fleet to help you give your backyard birds the best care. For more tips on attracting wild birds, visit our Wild Bird Care blog.


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