What are the BEST bird feeders for cardinals?
It’s a common question asked by both experienced and beginner bird watchers. But why? Well, I think it’s because the Northern Cardinal is one of the most stunning birds around. It’s arguably the most popular bird native to North America. And personally, cardinals have a VERY IMPORTANT role at our house.
They are my daughter’s favorite type of bird! (See video below)
EIGHT BEST bird feeders to attract cardinals.
#1. Absolute II Cardinal Bird Feeder
This is one of the best overall feeders in my backyard! Northern Cardinals feed on it daily and love landing on the perches to get some food.
- This large hopper bird feeder is the centerpiece of my backyard feeding area. It is where I put my general bird seed mix (sunflower, peanut pieces, safflower, and white millet) designed to attract as many species as possible, in addition to Northern Cardinals.
- It holds a lot of seeds, up to 12 pounds (5.5 kg) if filled to the top!
- Cardinals were feeding on this feeder within the first HOUR of hanging it up. Watch the video below from my backyard to see Northern Cardinals feeding on the Absolute II!
- It is “squirrel resistant.” The feeder is designed to close if there is too much weight on the feeding perches (such as a squirrel). So far, it’s working, and the squirrels have not figured it out.
- Very sturdy – the body is made of steel and should last a long time. There is also no chance that squirrels or raccoons will be able to chew through it. *I have owned my Absolute II for almost five years, and it’s still going strong.*
- My Absolute II is hanging freely but can also be mounted to a pole. However, use a heavy-duty one because the feeder is heavy when full of seed!
- It’s super easy to refill. The top lid unlatches easily to open.
- The seed is well protected from the rain. I have had no problems with mold or seed clumping due to moisture or dampness.
#2. Droll Yankee Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder
- This feeder is versatile and has many purposes in my backyard. Northern Cardinals love it because it provides a big, open area to land and feed. The large tray gives them plenty of space to feel comfortable.
- The dome over the feeding tray helps to keep rain and snow off the seed. And the water that does get onto the seeds will drain away through the small holes in the tray.
- This cardinal feeder is constructed of sturdy and durable polycarbonate plastic. It is very tough, sturdy, and resistant to cracking or breaking. No worries if this accidentally falls to the ground.
- Dorothy’s Cardinal Feeder is made by Droll Yankees, who have a fantastic reputation for quality bird products. Made in America (as are all their products!) and backed by their Lifetime Warranty, which covers any defective part or damage caused by squirrels.
- Since it is made from clear plastic, this cardinal bird feeder is not the most decorative or aesthetically pleasing in my yard. However, this is not something that I care about because it works well and attracts cardinals.
- The plastic tray doesn’t hold much food. I have to refill this feeder daily.
#3. Woodlink 3-in-1 Platform Feeder
Did you know that Northern Cardinals LOVE feeding on the ground? Because of this fact, I recommend giving them a place to eat below your feeders. I use a wooden tray feeder, and it is one of the best feeders for Northern Cardinals that I own!
Check out the LIVE view of my tray feeder for a chance to see a cardinal right now.
- This is an excellent, multi-purpose tray feeder and a favorite for cardinals. Just spread their favorite foods, like sunflower seeds, on top! I usually put treats and food on the tray for other birds, such as whole peanuts, corn kernels, fruit, and mealworms.
- It’s solid and well constructed – made from cedar and screwed together well. Of course, you can buy much cheaper platform feeders, but you typically “ALWAYS get what you pay for!”
- The metal screen bottom provides excellent drainage. Your birdseed and food will never be soaked in water.
- The tray can be used in three ways. It can be placed on the ground, hung with a wire, or mounted to a pole. I have this feeder sitting on the ground underneath my feeders, as you can see in the video above.
I also have it mounted to my feeder pole to give birds a large area to feed!
- The metal screen bottom is removable and slides right out. This makes the feeder very easy to clean!
- It’s big and can hold lots of birds at one time. (16.4 x 13.2 x 2.4 inches or 41.6 x 33.6 x 6.0 cm)
#4. Woodlink Hopper Bird Feeder
- This simple, open design allows many cardinals to feed comfortably at once and from both sides.
- The bird feeder is easy to refill thanks to the hinged roof. It holds about 5.5 lbs (2.5 kg) of seed.
- It’s made of 90% recycled plastic and will never rot or fall apart.
- The feeder has a mesh screen bottom that provides excellent drainage.
- It’s not flashy, but it works, which is why it’s one of the best cardinal bird feeders available!
#5. Brome Squirrel Buster Plus
The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus is one of the BEST bird feeders for cardinals that DOESN’T let squirrels eat!
It’s weight-sensitive, allowing Northern Cardinals to feed, but it instantly closes with the weight of a squirrel. It features six seed ports, holds about 5 lbs (2.3 kg) of seed, and has one continuous perch around the entire base. Another thing that I like is that you can adjust the feeding ports to different weight sensitivities. This feature comes in handy if flocks of European Starlings or other large birds are taking over your feeding station. If too many of these birds land on the perch, it will close access to the food inside.
Here’s a great video of the Squirrel Buster Plus in action!
#6. Netvue Birdfy Feeder Camera
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Have you ever wanted to put a camera next to your feeders to watch your cardinals up close?
Well, by using this bird feeder, this has never been easier! Netvue was the first company to manufacture an “out of the box” bird feeder with a camera built into the design! The camera is 1080p, giving incredibly clear video and pictures of the visiting birds!
What’s neat about the Birdfy Feeder Camera is that you can watch Northern Cardinals from your phone! The app makes it easy to record or capture interesting moments that can be shared quickly and easily.
Also, please note that the bird feeder must be close enough to your house to connect to your Wifi to work.
- Learn more about the Netvue Birdfy Feeder Camera HERE! (Use Coupon Code BWHQ850 to save 10%!)
#7. Aspects Tube Feeder
In general, tube feeders are not ideal for Northern Cardinals. They typically have difficulty turning their heads to reach the food while sitting on the perches. But, you can make one minor adjustment to a tube feeder to make it effective for attracting cardinals. To transform this tube feeder into one that cardinals and other larger birds will use, you must buy a tray that attaches securely at the bottom.
- 12-inch tray – Compatible with the Aspects hanging tube feeder featured above.
Here is a video clip of my bird feeding station. You can see a cardinal feeding from the tray of the tube feeder in the back.
Northern Cardinals enjoy landing and finding all the sunflower seeds spilled from the feeding ports above.
Whenever I fill up this tube feeder, I throw a handful of food directly on the tray so my cardinals have something to eat immediately. Between the six feeding ports and attached tray, this feeder is not only great for cardinals but, in general, is one of my favorite bird feeders and attracts a wide variety of species.
#8. Acrylic WINDOW Bird Feeder
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Putting a window bird feeder outside our kitchen was one of my best decisions. My kids love watching cardinals up close, and anyone who visits is immediately attracted to the back windows to see the action.
If I am quiet, I can easily get next to the window to observe each bird’s beautiful plumage or feeding habits.
This window bird feeder consistently has birds feeding on it and works as advertised. A removable tray sits inside the plastic housing that suctions to your window, making it easy to refill the seed and clean.
And don’t worry. The FOUR suction cups do a great job of keeping the feeder attached. I have NEVER had it fall from my window.
If you have never used a window bird feeder before, PLEASE BE PATIENT!
It can take the birds, especially Northern Cardinals, a while to find the new location and feel comfortable enough coming that close to your home.
You can see the bird feeders I’m using to attract Northern Cardinals RIGHT NOW.
Press PLAY below and watch the LIVE camera that streams my feeding station! Depending on the season or the birds’ preference, I’m always rotating feeders, so you never know which of my favorites you will see. 🙂
Conclusion – The Best Bird Feeders for Cardinals
Having your backyard bird feeders full of beautiful red Northern Cardinals should not be too complicated. Just follow the recommendations in this article:
1. Choose a proven cardinal bird feeder.
2. Use food that cardinals can’t resist: Sunflower, safflower, cracked corn, and peanuts.
What bird feeder do Northern Cardinals like best at your home?
Please leave a COMMENT below. 🙂