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Cardinals are the bright red, crested birds often depicted on Christmas cards and winterscapes. The male is pure, bright red with a small black mask. The females are a more diluted orange-red color. These birds do not migrate, making them a year-long treat. Once they learn that your yard is a consistent place to find good food, they will return often.
In winter, it is important to keep your feeder full since this is when cardinals need food the most. In spring, take delight in cardinal courtship as the male passes a seed to the female. If you are lucky, you may spot some juveniles at your feeder in summer. Juveniles can easily be confused with the females since they are very similar.
Cardinals are alert, medium-sized birds. This makes them prefer hopper and platform feeders that provide room for both their tails and space to look around. Sometimes they will even eat on the ground.
Generally, these birds are not picky eaters and will eat a range of seeds and berries that suit their beak size. This includes safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, and broken peanut pieces. They will occasionally eat suet and mealworms and are attracted to dark-colored berries like mulberry and blueberry.
Since hopper and platform feeders are open, you may want to search for squirrel proof feeders or squirrel resistant accessories to protect the seeds you use for your bird feeder.
For more information on attracting these fascinating birds to your yard with the best cardinal bird feeders, check out this video here.