- 1. Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Feeder
- 2. Roamwild Pest Off Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder
- 3. Perky-Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder
- 4. Nature Gear XL Window Feeder
- 5. Best Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups
- 6. Belle Fleur – Bird Feeders 50147
- 7. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder
- 8. Birds Choice 2-Cake Hanging Suet Feeder
- 9. Perky-Pet Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer 783, Blue
- 10. Perky-Pet 305 Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder
- Cardinal Feeder Selection Tips
- Types of Cardinal Feeders
- Top Cardinal Feeder Brands
- Feeding Cardinals Questions and Answers (Q&A)
Little is known about Cardinals, the gorgeous, enchanting and striking bright red birds that often frequent most parts of the southwest of the United States of America. A rare sight for avid bird watchers, and a wildly protected bird by several organisations fighting for the protection of endangered species, the Cardinal represents more than just color, grace and pure splendor. It is so adored that it is the official bird for more than 8 US states. Seeing one is therefore a distinctly unique moment, let alone an entire flock. So it isn’t surprising that you will go out of your way to get lovely treats to attract them, just for that special experience of seeing them on your doorstep. Here’s our list of top cardinal feeders recommended to give you that awe-inspiring encounter with one of the most highly esteemed birds in the whole world.
1. Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Feeder
With a truly elegant and experimental circular design, this glass and copper feeder is pure class. When you catch a mere glimpse of it, it's no wonder why this feeder is flying off the shelves. With one of its most utilitarian features being its glassy transparency, the Cardinal doesn't have to second guess itself, the food is plain to see! Seed evenly dispenses into the underlying tray simultaneously at the rate of feeding, ceasing once the tray is full, so the tray always stays full.
* Feeding from Angles. The ingenious circular design and tray feeding port allows shared feeding, thereby attracting more birds and avoiding the kind of scramble that wastes feed.
* Keeps hungry squirrels out with its sure-lock cap.
* Rust resistance courtesy of its copper finish.
* Impressive capacity, able to carry 2 pounds of seed.
* Drain pool to prevent water retention during the rainy season.
* The only backdrop to this feeder is that it doesn't come with a water collector to complement the drain pool.
2. Roamwild Pest Off Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder
Coming a close second is the Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder. Made from plastic and metal, this cylindrical and upright feeder tops the list when it comes to how it ingeniously prevents squirrels from stealing a bite at the cherry. Despite filling it only requiring you to pop open a lid, this doesn't make it easy to manipulate for larger birds, rats and squirrels. With an automatic spring loaded hatch, the moment there's an intrusion, the perch hatch moves quickly downwards, thereby blocking access to seed. Shortly thereafter, it then returns to the open position once the intruder has left. In addition, it is built with a weather guard to keep feed fresh and crispy throughout the torrid rainy months, nipping the all too familiar problem of clogging in the bud.
* All weather proof -- seed stays fresh and dry.
* Automatic settings adjustment.
* Simple to fill and use.
* Impressive capacity of 3 lbs. For most of us who've become accustomed to the earlier feeder models, it sometimes feels like having a second child. However, the capacity of this feeder allows you to forget having to make endless trips to the feeder just to fill it up.
* The rather unfortunate thing about this feeder is that it isn't as effective at warding off larger pests as those made from glass. So it does happen -but not always- that pests can chew through the plastic and gain access to seed, thereby making it completely useless. Nonetheless, this is a rare occurrence.
3. Perky-Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder
Powered by Evenseed technology, it makes considerable use of 2 individual compartments for multiple feeding. This distinctly innovative feature is the sole reason why it has quickly become something of a pure obsession for bird lovers alike, as it charms all kinds of bird species besides the Cardinal. Coming with a tray fashioned feeding port and a circular perch, this extraordinary feeder makes it possible for birds to eat from several angles. What's more, it is equipped with a sure-lock cap that keeps the lid in place to keep rats and squirrels out. Going for what a lot of people consider a bargain, you need only part ways with $22 -a giveaway price when you take into consideration its delightful appearance, durability ( its made from glass and metal) and spectacular functionality.
* Decent price.
* Hassle-free cleaning.
* Excellent durability.
* Easy to fill and clean.
* Great capacity, with a capability of holding 2 lbs of bird seed at any given time.
Finding fault with this awesome feeder requires a needless stretch of the imagination. Its only drawback is perhaps that it's better suited to carry sunflower seed than mixes.
4. Nature Gear XL Window Feeder
Splendor, grace and sophistication all rolled in one, but that's just a drop in the ocean as far as descriptions go. Simply put, you need to see it to believe it! The pick of the litter when it comes to sheer creativity and design, this feeder allows you to see the Cardinal from the comfort of your home, as it can be affixed to the windows of your home. It's translucent, sturdy and spacious, great features for prime bird viewing.
* Weatherproof, coupled with tray drain holes just in case there's a rainstorm.
* Extended roof for ultimate feeding comfort.
* Dual seed tray compartments.
* Easy to refill.
* Keeps pests out. With its high elevation, it would be a miracle if a squirrel found its way into the feeding compartment.
* Unrestrained feeding means it will run out of feed faster than most feeders.
5. Best Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups
Made from highly transparent see through acrylic, this is yet another bird feeder with the kind of WOW effect that sends shivers down your spine the moment you lay your eyes on it. It is made from 100% pure acrylic, comes with a comfy bird resting padded grip perch, and also includes a bird house cover to protect birds from rain and snow whilst feeding. In our opinion, it's a true bargain if you're accustomed to forking out up to $50 on bird feeders that don't have half as much charm as this one has.
* Extensive design that woos in a lot of birds.
* Drainage holes for mold prevention.
* Window mounting for indoor bird viewing.
* All weather design for ultimate durability.
* Great capacity: can hold up to 4 cups of bird seed.
* Easy to clean.
Sadly, like most window mounted bird feeders of this nature, feed is easily accessible. As a result, feed doesn't last long, thereby making it very labor intensive.
6. Belle Fleur – Bird Feeders 50147
Forged from metal with an amazing aesthetic mesh design, the Belle Fleur bird feeder takes first place when it comes to unadulterated ingenuity. Combine that with its 2 quart seed capacity, 4 feeding perches, lockable roof lifts and the imposing weather resistant, heavy duty metal, and you have a bird feeder you can one day pass on to your grand kids.
* Can store up to 5 pounds of seed.
* Secure lid that keeps seed fresh, crispy and delicious, therefore making it last longer.
* A tapered pour spout to ensure that nothing is wasted due to the occasional unavoidable spill.
* Fairly priced.
* Unrivaled durability
* Hanging on tether, it happens more often than not that larger crows and squirrels can bring it down, and when that happens, it dismantles, and is difficult to piece together.
7. Droll Yankees Bird Feeder
Simple, efficient and purpose built, this feeder has more to offer than what meets the eye. Besides the hanger, this feeder is 98% acrylic, making it a logical purchase if you don't want the cardinal doubting itself as to whether there's any feed at all. It is built with a dome shaped lid and a cylindrical feeding tray.
* Easy to fill and quick to clean.
* Adjustable distance between the feeder and the dome, making it difficult for larger birds to intrude.
* Wide feeding space and decent capacity.
* Rather tiny, so it's a bit of a turn off for mature cardinals which, at times, love their space.
* Little protection from the elements, particularly the snow.
* Overly priced. There are much cheaper bird feeders with more features than this one.
8. Birds Choice 2-Cake Hanging Suet Feeder
This is a feeder you will certainly buy at the drop of the hat. At the bottom of the list, but a first choice for many bird lovers. Made from wood, and designed with a fence-style feeding carrier, any Cardinal will have the feeling that it's chirruping up the right tree! Unlike most mainstream bird feeders that are made from mostly synthetic materials, this feeder holds true to the cause, a distinct feature that birds are attracted to.
* Natural appeal. For birds, this is drop dead gorgeous! Made from cedar, there's no bird feeder that can lure birds in like this one.
* Huge money saver. Instead of seeds that are swallowed whole, this feeder contains suet cakes.
* Affordable. $17 is the best of both worlds.
* Less than the average capacity, but suet cakes are a real treat.
* Finding the suet cakes can be a grueling task.
9. Perky-Pet Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer 783, Blue
If you asked me what my ideal feeder would be, it would be this one. A water carrier, this isn't your typical feeder, as most people hardly consider that water can be hard to find in the open wild. Couple this with a normal seed feeder, and you'll have the Cardinal flocking your home. The water carrier is Mason Jar styled, with incredible, blazoned birds, whose artistic detail is remarkable. It also has a metal base, a circular perch and a water holding capacity of up to 2 ounces.
* Genuinely attractive and unique.
* Attracts a wide variety of birds, seeing that it's a great water source.
* Gives your garden that vintage appeal.
* If it does fall to the ground, that's the end of it. However, this can be remedied easily by placing it in the garden, away from hard floors.
10. Perky-Pet 305 Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder
By far the cheapest of the lot, the Holly Berry Gilded Chalet Wild Bird Feeder is a must buy if you're sick and tired of having your heart broken each time your feeder is destroyed. However, it leaves a lot to the imagination why it's so RIDICULOUSLY cheap. There's nothing cheap about this one -besides the feed- as it has the rustic, antique finish that will make you wish you could be a Cardinal for a day, or two.
* Circular perch for all angle feeding.
* Sure lock cap system to keep squirrels out.
* ABSOLUTELY affordable.
* 2 lbs seed capacity.
Because it's cheap, it isn't exactly durable.
It is hoped that your buying experience will be all the more worth it. The Cardinal is a great bird, and as such, it deserves the very best!
Cardinal Feeder Selection Tips
When choosing a cardinal bird feeder, there are a few things about these birds that you would like to remember. These are:
– Cardinals are significantly larger than common songbirds.
– They have thick, strong, and large beaks.
– They like to perch comfortably while eating and like to eat facing forward. Unlike many smaller birds, they don’t feel comfortable twisting their body in order to get to their food.
– Cardinals don’t migrate, so once they become accustomed to your yard, they will keep visiting every day all year round. Which means you’ll be using your cardinal feeder during winter as well.
– Cardinals are ground feeders, too, and they don’t like to eat off feeders that are hung too high for their taste.
Now, once you keep these facts in mind, it’ll be that much easier for you to choose a feeder that cardinals would develop a liking for and to which they would keep coming back.
As we’ll discuss in the next section, there are many different types of cardinal feeders and you can choose one that will be the most convenient for your purpose. However, many feeders that are ideal for feeding cardinals are also good at feeding many other birds as well. For this reason, they are seldom advertised specifically as ‘cardinal feeders’ and this may sometime create doubt or confusion in the buyer’s mind. (Refer to our list above and you’ll see that very few of them are named ‘cardinal feeders’ as such and yet all of them work great when it comes to feeding these gorgeously bright red- or orange-feathered creatures.)
So, here are a few things to keep in mind while selecting a cardinal feeder.
1. Tube and mesh feeders are not at all ideal for cardinals. Firstly, as mentioned, they don’t like twisting their bodies while eating but that is what they will need to do if feeding from a tube feeder. Then, the openings in the meshes are often not large enough to get their food out (they have large beaks, remember?). All the same, if you’ll still like to settle for a tube or mesh feeder (probably because you want other birds to feed from the same feeder as well), make sure the feeder features a large tray at the bottom. This way, the cardinals will be able to perch comfortably and eat off the plate. [Some of these feeders may not come with an in-built tray but will still offer you the option to attach one at the bottom.]
2. By far, simple tray/platform feeders or hopper feeders are best options when it is a question of feeding cardinals. Cardinals thrive on a varied diet and tray feeders are great since they allow you to put an assortment of foods on a single platform (including mealworms, since cardinals like eating insects, too). On the other hand, a hopper feeder is great to use in winter since they offer great protection for the foods and will keep ice and snow out of your feeder. Many hopper feeders (with their locked roofs and weight-adjusted perches) are also great in keeping squirrels away from the feeder.
3. And squirrels are something that you need to be wary of when feeding cardinals. Since cardinal feeders are commonly hung at a low height, they are easier for squirrels to get into. In order to prevent this from happening, you’ll either have to select a feeder that is ‘truly’ squirrel-proof or you’ll have to think of some other means to keep these rodents away from your cardinal feeding station.
4. Since you’ll be feeding the cardinals all year round, it is important that the feeder you choose is made of sturdy material (preferably metal); is rust proof; and so forth.
5. In addition to the feeder, we strongly recommend that you get a separate bird waterer model for your cardinals and place it somewhere close to their feeder. Yes, you may’ve a bird bath in your yard already and usually that ought to suffice. But keep in mind, too, that cardinals are somewhat shy by nature and they would rather have their own water source than having to drink from a common bath. In addition, unless you’re using a HEATED Bird Bath, the water will freeze during winter.
6. Finally, a word of CAUTION: Do NOT use a window feeder to feed cardinals unless you have to. Yes, we know we’ve included two window feeders on our list, but that is strictly meant for folks who do not have a backyard space to feed birds. Well, the thing is, notwithstanding their shyness, cardinals are also known to be fiercely territorial and they are likely to bang on your window glass once they see their own reflection on it. And thereby badly injure their beaks. So, if you ARE using a window feeder for cardinals, we strongly suggest that you put up a WINDOW STICKER on the adjoining glass.
Types of Cardinal Feeders
As we mentioned, not many models are sold as dedicated cardinal feeders. Any of the different types of bird feeders can serve as a feeder for cardinals as long as they fulfill the above-mentioned criteria.
That said, two types of feeders are normally considered as ideal for cardinals.
1. The Hopper Feeders
2. The Tray/platform Feeders
The hopper feeders are great for more than one reason. Most of these models are sturdily built and can be considered as ‘all-weather’ models, especially since their closed structures help keep the food fresh and keep rain and snow away. In addition, many of these models also come as ‘squirrel-proof’ feeders which is, of course, so much the better.
Tray feeders, on the other hand, give you the freedom to place a variety of foods at a single place. With the tray feeders, you also have the liberty to offer different foods at different seasons. However, one shortcoming with this type of feeder that they are not too good at providing enough protection from weather. For this reason, we suggest that you look for a model that will have drainage properties (by way of little holes at the bottom of the tray) and that you also use some kind of protective covering over the feeder, especially during the winter months.
Finally, cardinals also love eating suets. The suet cakes especially act as a good source of energy for the birds during winter. So, if you’ve a SUET FEEDER handy, you can use it to feed cardinals during the cold season. Better yet if you settle for a hopper feeder model that come with snap-on suet baskets at sides.
[Check this great model, for example: https://www.amazon.com/Audubon-Seeds-Hopper-Feeder-7452R/dp/B000E69UC4]
Top Cardinal Feeder Brands
Both Perky Pet and Droll Yankees have some great models that you can use for feeding cardinals. Both these brands enjoy high reputation in the bird feeding world and you can rest assured that you’ll be getting your money’s worth when you’re choosing a model manufactured by one of these brands. At the same time, we’ll also encourage you to check some of the Audobon models offered by different manufacturers, especially in the Tray and Hopper Feeder categories.
– Average Pricing
As with everything, the more you pay, the more you get! You can have many decent models under $20. However, our suggestion is that since you’ll be using the feeder all year round, it is better to invest in a higher-priced model that will come in durable materials and will last long.
Feeding Cardinals Questions and Answers (Q&A)
What attracts cardinals to your yard?
Naturally, the cardinals will be attracted to your yard if you furnish your yard with their favorite foods. And more importantly, if you offer those foods in a manner favorable to them.
For instance, we’ve already mentioned that cardinals don’t like to eat off feeders hung too high. In addition, you must also see to it that the feeder is placed close to some dense thicket of shrubs, bushes, etc. Cardinals are shy by nature, so they normally like to hide themselves in dense but low thickets. Also, if you place the feeder in too open a place, they would feel themselves vulnerable to predators (such as cats, hawks, etc.).
What is the best seed for Cardinals?
Cardinals will eat a variety of seeds (as well as other foods) including Striped Sunflower seeds, Black Oil Sunflower seeds, Safflower and White Milo. The birds will gorge on any of these seeds. However, we recommend that you use either safflower, striped sunflower or a safflower+ sunflower seeds mix for your cardinals (you may prepare your own mix or use some commercial ‘cardinal blend’ offered by different birds).
The thing with safflower is that they are not favored by most birds, including larger birds such as starlings and grackles—and what is more, even squirrels don’t like them either! So, offering safflower would mean that your cardinals won’t be disturbed by other birds or critters.
What do cardinals eat at feeders?
Apart from seeds, cardinals like eating berries, peanuts (as well as nuts of other varieties), cracked corn, suet, etc. Depending on the season and the feeder you’re using, you can offer one or more of these foods at your cardinal feeder. Cardinals like to feast on insects, too, so dried mealworms are another good option, especially if you’re using a tray feeder.
What is the best bird feeder for cardinals?
If you’ll be feeding seeds only, we recommend the Perky Pet 325S Panorama Bird Feeder as one of the best feeders for feeding cardinals. This is a squirrel-proof model that holds a whopping 2 lbs of seeds and features a double perch+ tray design.