Attracting Cardinals To Your Yard

Great Tips on Attracting the Northern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal

Here we go again with another exciting topic on wildlife gardening, these gardens are truly amazing and have caught the attention of so many homeowners and weekend warriors who love to connect with nature in this way.

I believe that wildlife gardening is so exciting because with these garden types you can experience nature up close and in such a unique way, the great part is you would have provided a home for them right from your backyard as you watch them in their natural habitat helping to bring balance to the ecosystem.

So how do we attract cardinals to our backyards? want to find out then continue reading to see how this is done you will be so excited to have your feathered friends pay your garden a visit.

Attracting Cardinals to your yard

The Nothern Cardinal

The Northern Cardinal is a bird that has very unique features. As a child, I always wondered about them because of their color and appearance which really caught my attention. Cardinals are said to be monogamous mating with the same partner during each breeding season.

Northern Cardinals inhabits overgrown fields, landscapes, forests, backyards, thick shrubs, and marsh thickets. The male cardinals are said to be very territorial and can get pretty aggressive.

These birds feed on corn, buckwheat, seeds, fruits, insects, blackberry, mulberries, and so on. The life expectancy of a cardinal is 3 years even though some have been reported to live for more than 15 years.

6 tips to attract the Northern Cardinal

  • Providing Shelter
  • Providing a water source
  • Prevent frozen water
  • Providing the right food
  • Providing a bird feeder
  • Where to place the feeder

Providing the right food source

One of the first things to consider when seeking to attract northern cardinals is providing the right food. When you provide the right foods you are sure to get their attention, here are a few food sources that will work wonders.

  • Apple Chunks
  • Peanuts
  • Shreds of suets
  • Cracked Corn
  • Fresh Berries
  • Safflower Seeds
  • Black oil sunflower seeds
  • Striped Sunflower

Providing a water source

Providing water is just as important as proving a food source for the northern cardinal, installing a birdbath is a great way to provide fresh clean water for your feathered friends. The birdbath which is chosen should be large enough to accommodate these birds. To avoid dirt buildup and algae keep the birdbath clean this way cardinals will always have fresh water available to them.

Prevent frozen water

The last thing you want is for the water to become frozen because these birds need to take occasional drinks. The use of adding a heated birdbath or monitoring the water to ensure that it does not freeze by changing will help greatly.

Providing Shelter

The use of evergreen trees and shrubs or bushes will help in making your garden so inviting for the northern cardinal, evergreen trees and shrubs will help in providing a

  • Nesting Site
  • Protection from the winter chills

To encourage a nesting site you will also need to provide small twigs, grass clippings, and pine needles.

Providing a bird feeder

Providing the proper bird feeder for your cardinal is a must, the feeder which is chosen should be large and strong enough to accommodate your feathered friends.

Where to place the bird feeder

The bird feeder should be placed in an area that is safe and secure from dogs, and cats. A great place to install a bird feeder is high enough where dogs and cats can’t reach.

Additional Information

1. The use of chemicals in your garden should be a NO-NO because chemicals can be harmful. It is best to go organic for the safety of these birds.

2. As said earlier and just a reminder, the feeders should be high above the ground in a protected area away from predators such as cats, dogs, etc…

3. It is said that because of the cardinal’s aggregation of being territorial they will attack their own reflection thinking it is another bird that can lead to stress, it is advised not to have bird feeders and nesting sites close to windows or other surfaces which may reflect their image.

4. It is also good to place food on the ground near areas such as bushes or shrubs to provide a place for them to escape if their safety is threatened.

10  fun facts about the northern cardinal

1. The northern cardinal is used as a mascot for many sports teams.

2. The foods which cardinals consume gives them their red color.

3. The northern cardinal searches for food from early in the morning until late in the evening.

4. The northern male cardinal has bright red feathers

5. It is believed that a male cardinal can sing more than 150 songs in an hour’s time.

6. The northern cardinal will occasionally go bald.

7. It is believed that when a female cardinal sings from her nest she is usually letting her mate know that she needs food.

8. The female cardinal lays up to 3-4 eggs and will remain with them incubating them for up to 11-13 days.

9. The northern cardinal is featured as the state bird of Indian, North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia.

10. The northern cardinal’s mean diet does not only consists of fruits and seeds but also has a liking for insects.

The final word

Turning your backyard into a home for the northern cardinal through backyard gardening is a great way to connect with nature. Watching these birds move about in their natural habitat is something you will come to appreciate and enjoy. So go ahead and create an environment that will not only attract the northern cardinal but have your garden buzzing with excitement as they grace your garden area with their presence.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.