Cardinals are beloved songbirds known for their striking red plumage and melodious tunes. If you want to attract these beautiful birds to your yard or garden, providing them with the best cardinal food is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll introduce you to eight tried-and-tested picks for the best cardinal food, helping you create a welcoming haven for these avian wonders.
Black Oil Sunflower Seeds
Black oil sunflower seeds are often considered the top choice when it comes to feeding cardinals. These seeds have thin shells, making it easy for cardinals to crack them open and access the nutritious kernel. Cardinals are particularly fond of sunflower seeds, and offering them black oil sunflower seeds will likely attract these birds to your feeding station.
Safflower seeds are another excellent option for feeding cardinals. Many bird enthusiasts prefer safflower seeds because they are less likely to attract squirrels and other unwanted guests. Cardinals readily consume safflower seeds, and they provide a high-energy food source for these birds.
Nyjer (Thistle) Seeds
While Nyjer seeds are more commonly associated with finches, cardinals have been known to enjoy them as well. These tiny, oil-rich seeds are packed with energy and can be offered in a separate feeder alongside other cardinal favorites.
Unsalted, shelled peanuts are a favorite treat for cardinals. You can offer them in a peanut feeder or as part of a mix with other seeds. Peanuts are a great source of protein and healthy fats, providing cardinals with the nutrition they need.
Suet cakes, especially those containing insects or fruits, can be a delightful addition to your cardinal feeding station. Cardinals are attracted to the high-fat content in suet, which provides them with essential calories, especially during the colder months.
Cracked corn is a budget-friendly option that cardinals readily eat. You can offer it on platform feeders or scattered on the ground. However, keep in mind that cracked corn may also attract other bird species and wildlife.
Fresh or dried fruits like apple slices, grapes, or raisins can be a delightful treat for cardinals. These fruits provide a burst of sweetness and are rich in vitamins and minerals. Ensure that the fruits are fresh and free from mold.
Best Cardinal Food
Live or dried mealworms are a protein-rich option that cardinals enjoy. They are particularly valuable during the breeding season when cardinals require extra protein to feed their young. Mealworms can be offered in a separate dish or mixed with other foods.
Providing the best cardinal food is a rewarding way to attract these stunning birds to your outdoor space. By offering a variety of cardinal-friendly foods, you can create a welcoming environment that encourages cardinals to visit regularly. Remember to maintain clean feeders and a fresh water source to keep your feathered guests healthy and happy.
Observing cardinals in your yard or garden can be a source of joy for bird enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting, creating a cardinal-friendly feeding area is a wonderful way to appreciate the beauty and song of these charismatic birds. With the right selection of foods, you’ll have the pleasure of hosting these vibrant visitors year-round.