Tips for Attracting Cardinals to Your Outdoor Area

The Northern Cardinal is a very common bird found in most central and eastern states, throughout the south, and throughout much of the southwestern United States. They can be found in yards, gardens, woods, even deserts and have greatly expanded their breeding range over the past 80 years. The Red Cardinal does not migrate in winter and will therefore provide shelter, appropriate food and fresh water to diligently visit your yard and continue to do so throughout the year.

Northern cardinals prefer densely wooded areas such as forest edges, overgrown fields, hedges, backyards, marshy plains, Mesquite and ornamental landscapes. Cardinals nest in dense foliage ranging from 3 to 12 feet above the ground in many types of trees and shrubs. You will find them nesting in dogwoods, honeysuckle vines, vines, red cedars, spruce, roses, mulberries, elms, sugar maples and boxers. They do not nest in nest boxes or nest boxes.

The diet of these beautiful red birds consists mainly of seeds and fruits for adults and the nests are mainly insects. Cardinals eat many types of bird seeds. The thick, strong beak of Cardinal North is perfect for large seeds. Black sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds and imitation seeds are three favorites. Other great food cardinals include cracked corn, peanut chunks, fresh berries, apple chunks and small pieces of tallow. They will draw your yard or garden to provide a mixture of these in large feeders with perch space. Do not use small tube dispensers unless they have a large tray at the bottom. Deck feeders and flight feeders are also a good choice. Since cardinals are ground feeders, the food source you provide should be kept at ground level or below 5 feet. Out of position cedar bird feeders are a great choice. It is also important to note that due to its bright color, it is safer for the Northern Cardinal to feed very early or late in the evening. They are often the first to feed in the morning and the last bird to feed at night.

Cardinals like all animals need fresh water. Provide water in a bird bath a few meters from the manger. Clean the bird bath at least once a week and add fresh water to keep it attractive to birds.

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