As we head into the middle of September and inch closer to the official start of fall, the birding world is a busy place to be. In addition to late nesting birds such as our American Goldfinch, or our migrants who are already departing us, the anticipation of embracing our winter birds is becoming top of mind.

With a little over a week until the official start to the fall season, it is a wonderful time of year to get outdoors, clean up the yard and keep those feeders filled. When it comes to fall and winter birding, there is perhaps one species that gets more attention than most (heck, it’s in our logo!) and that bird is the Northern Cardinal.

Striking red in plumage, these birds are a welcoming sight, particularly when positioned against the white snow that will soon grace the ground in our neck of the woods. These birds are a treat to behold and we are often asked how to attract them and keep them in our customers backyards. While there is no cut and dry solution to attracting cardinals (and keeping them around), there are definitely a few ways you can increase your odds.

Feeder Locations

We have mentioned many times that a fly-through feeder or platform feeder is your best bet for feeding cardinals in your yard. With that figured out, identifying the best location is often next. Cardinals are what we call “low-level” birds. This means that they are not only ground feeders, they also nest very close to the ground, often in bushy shrubs and small trees. Positioning a feeder close to this type of habitat will give these birds a little added security and possibly entice them to take up permanent residence nearby.

Other Feeders

In addition to our platform-style feeders, there are a select few others that are equipped to handle perching birds such as cardinals. Among our most popular products are our Squirrel Buster line of bird feeders. In addition to keeping squirrels and other unwanted visitors at bay, these feeders are also equipped with the aptly-named Cardinal Ring. This ring is large enough to allow for birds like cardinals to safely perch, giving you yet another feeding option in your yard and one that can protect against squirrels!