The 5 Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals

birds Cardinals May 2, 2022
Written by | Updated May 3, 2024
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best cardinal feeders


The 5 Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals

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Cardinals are known for their brilliant red coloration which is particularly noticeable during the winter when other birds have gone south.

Because cardinals don’t migrate, they are forced to search for food in the cold winter months when it can become scarce.

If you want to help out your local cardinal population, or simply enjoy the presence of these beautiful birds in your garden, consider adding a cardinal bird feeder to your yard.

In this article, we’ll talk about tips for feeding cardinals and provide some insight into choosing the right feeder. We’ll also show you our top 5 picks for the best bird feeders for cardinals.

At a Glance: Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals

Overall Best
Perky-Pet Cardinal Wild Bird Feeder

1. Perky-Pet Cardinal Wild Bird Feeder

Runner Up
Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder

2. Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder

Best Affordable
Nature Gear XL Window Bird Feeder

3. Nature Gear XL Window Bird Feeder

Best Durable
Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder

4. Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder

Premium Choice
Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Bird Feeder with Suet Cages

5. Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Bird Feeder with Suet Cages

Tray, window
Tray and suet
2.5 pounds
2 pounds
4 cups
10 lbs. & Above
5 pounds seed
Zinc-plated metal
Plastic, antique copper
Recycled plastic

What To Look For In Bird Feeders For Cardinals?

Cardinals feed primarily on seeds and fruit like wild grape, buckwheat, grasses, sedges, blackberries, and more. These birds will eat just about any type of birdseed, though black oil sunflower seed is their favorite.

While cardinals might feed from whatever feeder they can find, there are certain things that make a bird feeder ideal for a cardinal.

Here are some important things to look for in a cardinal feeder:

  • Large enough for several birds. Though cardinals can become very territorial in the spring and summer, they don’t hesitate to eat food that is readily available, so provide a feeder large enough to accommodate several birds at once.
  • Big, sturdy places to perch. Cardinals are a fairly large species, so they need a larger and sturdier perch than smaller birds to rest comfortably while they feed.
  • Hopper or platform style. These are the two styles cardinals are most comfortable with because they offer the right combination of size and sturdiness for perching.
  • Easy to refill. Once the cardinals in your area learn that there’s a feeder in your yard, they will start to frequent it. Keeping it full is important because if it stays empty for too long, the birds may look for another more consistent food source elsewhere.

Our Top Picks For The Best Bird Feeder For Cardinals

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in cardinal bird feeders, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best bird feeders for cardinals.

Overall Best

Perky-Pet Cardinal Wild Bird Feeder

Product Info

  • Type: Round
  • Capacity: 2.5 pounds
  • Materials: Zinc-plated metal
  • Large feeder that holds 2.5 pounds of seed
  • Easily accommodates several birds at a time
  • Large overhang keeps seeds and birds dry
  • Not designed to resist squirrels or raccoons
  • Some users found that their cardinals didn’t use it
Cardinals are not small birds and they can get territorial at times. If you want a large feeder that will accommodate several cardinals without a problem, try the Perky Pet Red Cardinal Bird Feeder.

Made with a durable zinc-plated finish, this round feeder stands up to the elements and the large overhang keeps your seed and your birds safe and dry.

Plus, it holds up to 2.5 pounds of black-oil sunflower seed, any cardinal’s favorite treat.
Runner Up

Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder

Product Info

  • Type: Tray-style
  • Capacity: 2 pounds
  • Materials: Plastic, antique copper
  • Attractive copper finish resists rust
  • Holds up to 2 pounds of seed, good for different types
  • Round perch accommodates several birds at once
  • Lid may not close tight enough to completely keep out rain
  • Some metal surfaces are not coated to resist rust
If you don’t like the cheap look of many plastic bird feeders, this Perky Pet Copper Panorama Bird Feeder might be the first solution. This feeder has an attractive copper finish that also resists rust.

The feeder itself holds 2 pounds of seed and the opening at the base is wide enough to accommodate seeds as large as sunflower seeds.

Plus, with the round perch all the way around the base, this feeder easily holds several cardinals at once.
Best Affordable

Nature Gear XL Window Bird Feeder

Product Info

  • Type: Tray, window
  • Capacity: 4 cups
  • Materials: Plastic
  • Large size and generous 4-cup capacity
  • Sliding feed tray drains easily
  • Extended roof helps keep feed and birds dry
  • Some birds won’t use a feeder hanging on a window
  • Suction cups may wear out over time
Cardinals are a beautiful sight to behold, but like any bird, they can be skittish. If you want to view your cardinals up close, consider a window feeder like this Natural Gear XL Window Bird Feeder.

Not only is it extra-large in size to accommodate cardinals, but it is made entirely from clear plastic for unobstructed viewing.

Simply hang it on your window using the sturdy suction cups, fill the feeder, and you’re good to go. It also has an extended roof to keep your seed dry as well as a sliding feed tray that drains easily.
Best Durable

Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder

Product Info

  • Type: Tray
  • Capacity: 10 lbs. & Above
  • Materials: Recycled plastic
  • Made from 90% recycled plastic materials
  • Powder-coated mesh screen drains easily
  • Sturdy construction stands up to the elements
  • No roof or cover to protect feed from weather
  • Not designed to resist squirrels
Cardinals enjoy a variety of foods, but traditional bird feeders don’t accommodate things like insects or fruit. This Woodlink Going Green Platform Bird Feeder features a simple tray design that enables you to offer whatever kind of feed you like.

It has a sturdy construction made from recycled plastic to resist the elements and a powder-coated metal screen bottom for drainage. It also comes with a sturdy hanging cable so you can just fill it and hang it wherever you like.
Premium Choice

Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Bird Feeder with Suet Cages

Product Info

  • Type: Tray and suet
  • Capacity: 5 pounds seed
  • Materials: Cedar
  • Holds both loose seed and suet cakes
  • Made from reforested red cedar
  • Anodized hinges for easy cleaning and refilling
  • Seed may spill out on the edges of the feeder
  • Some customers have issues with birds getting stuck
Many bird feeders are only designed to accommodate one type of feed, but this Woodlink Deluxe Cedar Bird Feeder with Suet Cages holds both your cardinal’s favorite seed and two suet cakes.

It is constructed from reforested red cedar with polycarbonate windows, and it has a sturdy base and a slanted roof to keep your seed safe and dry.

Tips For Feeding Cardinals

It is not difficult to attract cardinals to your yard with the right feeder. In fact, cardinals are often the first birds you’ll see at the feeder every morning and the last birds you’ll see feeding in the evening.

They don’t discriminate between different types of seed, though they do have their favorites.

Here are some simple tips for feeding cardinals:

  • Place the bird feeder in a visible area so you can enjoy it yourself – if you place it near a window, however, make sure it isn’t the busiest window in the house.
  • Stock the bird feeder with a cardinal’s favorite foods – sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and shelled peanuts.
  • Make sure there is some open space below the feeder – cardinals love to eat dropped seed.
  • Refill your bird feeders in the evening – cardinals like to feed very early, so make sure the feeder is full before morning.

Like any animal, cardinals will keep coming back if they find a food source that is available consistently. If you want to attract cardinals all year-round, all you have to do is keep the feeder full.

If you let it stay empty for too long or fill it inconsistently, your cardinals may leave in search of a better food source.

Final Remarks

The bright red cardinal can bring some joy to a dreary winter day and, if you’re good about keeping your feeders full, you can enjoy that splash of color all year-round.

Though cardinals are not the pickiest of birds, they do like a feeder that is filled consistently and they love sunflower seeds. Finding the right bird feeder for cardinals is not difficult, but you should put some thought into it.

If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for cardinal birdfeeders, try out one of the top 5 best bird feeders for cardinals we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
  1. Juliet Cyrus

    Perky-Pet is a great feeder. It's heavy-duty metal with a chain-link mesh siding to it. 100% black oil Sunflower seeds work very well in it (Cardinals love them), but a generic seed mix may not work as well if it has tiny little seeds because they will just fall out of the feeder. The roof is nice, it keeps the rain and snow off.

    • Kate Barrington

      Thanks for the comment, Juliet! That's definitely a helpful note about the seed mix.

      • Juliet Cyrus

        Overall, this is a great product and I love the strong red color a lot since it is attractive for the cardinals too.

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