When it comes to cardinals, regular bird feeders aren’t always the best. What kind of bird feeders should you be looking for then?
If that’s the question that you have been asking yourself, then our today’s material will surely be helpful for you! We are going to present you with 10 feeders that we consider the best bird feeders for cardinals. To help you a little bit with understanding which bird feeder you should choose for attracting cardinals, we have also prepared a buying guide explaining everything you need to know!
The Top 10 Bird Feeders We Reviewed
- Perky-Pet No/No Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
- Squirrel Buster Plus Wild Bird Feeder with Cardinal Ring
- Roamwild PestOff Red Squirrel Proof Cardinal Bird Feeder
- Perky-Pet 325S
- Planted Perfect Crystal Clear Bird Feeder
- Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder
- Droll Yankees Bird Feeder
- Droll Yankee DCF Dorothys Cardinal Feeder
- Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder with High Pitched Roof
- Nature Gear Window Bird Feeder
10 Best Bird Feeders For Cardinals Review
The first feeder on our reviews of best bird feeders for cardinals has an iconic appearance: Perky-Pet No/No cardinal bird feeder comes in red color, which is the color of cardinals, if you didn’t know.
The name No/No comes from the fact that this cardinal bird feeder has no wooden or plastic components. Instead, it is completely built from metal. This allows for good durability, as well as some protection from chewing of squirrels, though keep in mind that this feeder isn’t designed to be squirrel proof.
No/No Red Cardinal Bird Feeder holds 2.5 lbs. of black oil sunflower seed, which can allow you to worry about refills less frequently. This bird feeder has a mesh that is specifically designed to allow birds to take out sunflower seeds. You could also easily use smaller bird seed if you want though!
No/No cardinal bird feeder has a rather roomy perch that can accommodate as many as 15 birds at once. Apart from that, this bird feeder is equipped with a large overhang that functions as a rain shield. Even if rainwater manages to get to the seeds, the drain holes at the bottom of the feeder won’t allow water to accumulate.
- Feeds up to 15 birds at once.
- Good sunflower seed capacity.
- Durable all-metal design.
- Easy to refill and clean.
- Has built-in drain holes.
- Equipped with a large overhang.
- Not the best choice if you have a squirrel problem.
Up next on our reviews is Brome Squirrel Buster Plus with cardinal ring. This is a rather nice choice of a cardinal bird feeder. But apart from feeding birds, it also has some means to protect the seeds from squirrels and large birds!
The weight-activated squirrel protection of the Squirrel Buster Plus gets engaged under excessive weight, closing the feeding ports of the feeder. Additionally, you could adjust the weight sensitivity of the protection for it to get triggered from lighter or heavier weights.
Apart from that, the Squirrel Buster Plus is made from chew-proof materials, which can prevent squirrels from just chewing through the feeder to get access to the seeds.
What makes the Squirrel Buster Plus suitable for cardinals? The answer is the included cardinal ring that allows them to easily feed through one of the 6 feeding ports of the bird feeder.
In terms of capacity, the Squirrel Buster Plus is rather nice as it can take in about 5.1 lbs. of seeds!
Another advantage of the Squirrel Buster Plus is that taking it apart doesn’t require any tools, which in its turn makes cleaning or refilling this bird feeder extremely easy.
Interestingly, this cardinal bird feeder has a seed ventilation system, which makes sure that the seed stays fresh and doesn’t rot over prolonged periods of time.
- Great seed capacity.
- Has squirrel protection.
- Equipped with 6 feeding ports.
- Made from durable materials.
- Easy to take apart and clean/refill.
- Has seed ventilation system.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Can get messy when hanged due to the design of the feeding ports.
Roamwild cardinal bird feeder is a nice choice if you have not so large cardinal traffic in your area. Why so, you may ask?
This bird feeder comes with 2 feeding ports, which will surely be insufficient for a big number of birds. However, that won’t be a problem if there are not that many birds in your area in the first place!
Speaking of the feeding ports, they are equipped with weight-triggered squirrel protection that blocks off the ports once squirrels or large birds land on the feeder’s perches. Squirrel protection will surely be a nice addition if you have a squirrel problem in your area!
Roamwild PestOff red cardinal bird feeder has 2.6 lbs. of seed capacity, which works just right with the two feeding ports. Combined, they make pretty good of a bird feeder for areas with not so many cardinals.
Roamwild cardinal bird feeder has two overhangs, which allow for protection from rain, as well as make it more difficult for squirrels to just hang down from the feeder to avoid the weight-triggered squirrel protection. Apart from that, the materials of this cardinal bird feeder are weather-, rust-, UV-, and chew-proof.
In terms of cleaning and refilling, Roamwild PestOff bird feeder is rather convenient as it can be taken apart with no tools, so looking after this bird feeder will be a breeze!
- Squirrel proof.
- Nice seed capacity.
- Durable and weatherproof materials.
- Built-in overhang.
- Tool-free disassembly for easy refilling and cleaning.
- Has only 2 feeding ports.
Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder is quite a unique feeder thanks to its interesting and sturdy design. This bird feeder has two tray-style feeding ports, which allow several birds at once to eat from the bird feeder. Apart from that, Panorama Bird Feeder has 8 seed dispensing ports in total that keep the trays filled with seeds. Each of the trays has its own circular perch to allow cardinals, as well as other birds to feast.
You might think that if the trays are located on different levels, then there will be problems with seed supply. That isn’t the case because Perky-Pet Panorama Bird Feeder is equipped with two separate seed compartments. The good capacity of 4.5 lbs. allows you to think about refills not as frequently.
A remarkable feature of this bird feeder is its SureLock cap that is designed to prevent squirrels from accessing the seeds from the top. However, while the cap is rather effective against squirrels, this bird feeder isn’t the best choice if you want to get a cardinal bird feeder with squirrel protection.
- Two tray-style feeding ports.
- Two separate compartments to supply both ports with seed.
- Secure cap.
- Holds 4.5 lbs. of seed.
- Not very pest proof.
Now comes the first window bird feeder on our reviews of best bird feeders for cardinals! The main advantage of window bird feeders is that they allow you to have an up-close look at cardinals, but that isn’t everything great about window bird feeders!
This window bird feeder is equipped with two powerful suction cups to hold the feeder in place. While the suction cups are secure, you would have to make sure to install this bird feeder in a location that will allow you to clean and refill it without taking the feeder off, as it may compromise the suction power.
The roofed design provides the seeds with rain and wind protection. In terms of seed capacity, Planted Perfect window bird feeder isn’t the best feeder you can find as it accommodates 2-3 cups of bird food. It will work better for areas with low bird traffic.
Planted Perfect window bird feeder can also be completely squirrel proof if you install it in the right location. Otherwise, you can’t be sure that the seeds will be secure from those little pests as this bird feeder isn’t equipped with any means of squirrel protection.
- Powerful suction cups.
- Provides a nice view of the birds having fun.
- Easy setup and cleaning.
- Has drain holes.
- Provides the seeds with rain and wind protection.
- Can be completely squirrel proof if mounted in the right place.
- Might be a bit difficult to refill.
- Doesn’t hold many seeds.
- Isn’t truly squirrel proof.
If you liked the previous window bird feeder but wanted more capacity, have a look at Nature’s Hangout Window Bird Feeder! This one has about twice the capacity of Planted Perfect’s bird feeder, but that isn’t the only difference!
Another interesting feature of this window bird feeder is that it comes with a removable seed tray. Such a design can allow you to simply remove the tray when you need to refill it with seeds or to simply clean. However, bird seed can get stuck between the seed tray and the feeder’s body, which can be quite annoying as you will need to take care of them. Apart from that, the tray could just slide out because of the birds moving around.
Nature’s Hangout bird feeder is also equipped with drain holes that won’t allow rainwater to stay inside the feeder.
A bigger window bird feeder is heavier, so Nature’s Hangout added 3 suctions cups for the feeder to be able to hold on your window securely. Apart from that, the manufacturer nicely included 3 spare suction cups!
- Equipped with 3 suction cups.
- Has bottom drain holes.
- Comes with a removable tray for easier refilling and cleaning.
- 3 spare suction cups included.
- All-weather design.
- Seed can get stuck between the tray and the feeder.
- Not squirrel proof.
Up next on our reviews of best bird feeders for cardinals is the first platform bird feeder we are going to be examining! This isn’t exactly a classical platform bird feeder in terms of appearance, but the concept is the same.
Because Droll Yankees Platform Bird Feeder doesn’t have any kind of squirrel protection, it will be a great choice if your area doesn’t have a pest problem. On the other hand, this platform bird feeder is quite good in terms of weather protection as it has an adjustable UV-resistant baffle and tray.
Speaking of the tray, it has quite a good capacity, which allows it to hold about 3 – 4 cups of bird seeds. This should allow this platform bird feeder to accommodate several cardinals at once without the need of too frequent refills.
Although the wide baffle protects the tray from rainwater, some still might get in. For such cases, Droll Yankees Platform Bird Feeder has drain holes to prevent the water from collecting in the tray, so the bird seed won’t rot and potentially harm your cardinals!
A big advantage of platform bird feeders is that they are exceptionally easy to refill and clean, and this bird feeder is no exception. After all, what does it take to just wash a couple of surfaces?
- Has an adjustable baffle.
- Equipped with drainage holes.
- UV-resistant tray and cover.
- Easy to take care of.
- Covered by a lifetime warranty.
- No squirrel protection.
- A little bit expensive.
This one is yet another Droll Yankee platform feeder for cardinals! DCF is pretty much identical to the previous Droll Yankee feeder, apart from the baffle, which has a semi-sphere form with this model. While such a design doesn’t necessarily mean that the baffle will work better against weather, it certainly makes DCF bird feeder pretty appealing.
Like the previous Droll Yankee bird feeder, the baffle of this one can be height adjusted. Lower positioning will allow you to exclude larger birds that you don’t want to feast on the seeds you put in the tray for the cardinals.
In terms of capacity, DCF is identical to the previous Droll Yankee platform bird feeder: it has a quart of seed capacity, which is equal to what most of the tubular bird feeders can offer. The tray also has drain holes that won’t let rainwater collect in the bird feeder.
- Large and adjustable baffle.
- Nice seed capacity.
- Easy to clean and refill.
- Has drain holes.
- A bit pricey.
- Not squirrel proof.
If you liked the Nature’s Hangout window feeder but weren’t quite satisfied with its capacity, then this one might be the right choice.
The tray of this bird feeder can accommodate about 4 cups of bird seeds, which is a rather good amount to feed cardinals without frequent refills with. Speaking of refills, they are very easy to do with this bird feeder as the tray can be removed for refilling, as well as for cleaning. Apart from that, the tray has two separate sections for you to put different kinds of seed in them.
On the other hand, as you already know, the downside of trays is that bird seeds can get stuck between the tray and the feeder.
A window bird feeder obviously is greatly capable of protecting the seeds from rain and wind. Besides, the tray is equipped with drainage holes that make sure that rainwater escapes the feeder.
Bigger capacity makes this bird feeder heavier, so no wonder that it is equipped with 4 powerful suction cups.
And in case you don’t like this bird feeder in the end, you can return it for a full refund thanks to its lifetime money back guarantee.
- Has a removable tray.
- Has drainage holes.
- Easy to clean and refill.
- Equipped with 4 powerful suction cups.
- Good seed capacity.
- Lifetime money back guarantee.
- Not suitable for squirrel-rich areas.
- Seeds can get between the tray and the feeder.
And the last feeder on our reviews of best bird feeders for cardinals is a rather interesting model by Nature Gear!
As you could have noticed, this bird feeder features an opening in its rear. If you place the bird feeder in the right place, it might allow you to refill the tray without removing it. Even if you are not able to do that, an apparent advantage of the hole is that it can allow you to clearly view the cardinals even in rain when the inside walls of the feeder get covered by condensate.
Just like the majority of other window bird feeders we examined, Nature Gear Window Bird Feeder features a removable sliding tray to allow you to easily refill and clean it without the need for removing the whole feeder from your window.
A remarkable feature of this window bird feeder is that its perch isn’t built into the removable tray, like it was with the other window bird feeders we examined. This means that the birds won’t be able to accidentally slide out the tray while moving along the perch.
The perch’s design overall makes this window bird feeder less messy, though the cardinals may still toss some seeds in between the tray and the feeder, which you will have to remove.
- Could be refilled from inside the house.
- The back hole can allow you to observe the birds clearer.
- Has a removable sliding tray.
- The perch isn’t a part of the tray.
- Easy to clean and refill.
- The back hole doesn’t really help with refilling.
- All the downsides of window bird feeders.
Your Cardinal Feeder Buying Guide
Choosing the right bird feeder can be rather confusing, and even more so when you are looking for a good bird feeder for your local cardinals. Although we have examined 10 best feeders for cardinals, you might still be wondering how you should approach the process of shortlisting those bird feeders. Well, if you don’t quite know what to do, let’s see what things you should be looking for when buying bird feeders for cardinals!
There are four main types of bird feeders for cardinals: platform, hopper/house, tubular, and window bird feeders. All of them can work exceptionally well in attracting cardinals and feeding them, but there may be some requirements of yours that could incline you towards buying one or the other.
Platform bird feeders are the most basic kind of bird feeders. A platform bird feeder essentially consists of a tray for bird seeds and a mount. The Droll Yankee bird feeders we reviewed today are good examples of platform bird feeders. They also show us that apart from the seed tray, platform bird feeders can have baffles for weather protection.
While platform bird feeders are exceptionally easy to install and afterwards clean & refill and also feature quite good seed capacity, they are the least reliable in terms of pest protection. Apart from that, if a platform feeder doesn’t have any roof or baffle, it won’t protect the seeds from wind and rainwater. If these questions are among your concerns, consider buying an appropriate platform feeder or simply avoid this type altogether.
Hopper and house bird feeders typically offer the most seed capacity you can get from a bird feeder. Hopper/house bird feeders consist of a platform/perch for the birds to stand on while feeding, as well as the seed container with a large roof. These bird feeders are pretty easy to refill & clean and also offer a good amount of rain and wind protection thanks to their large roofs.
Some hopper/house bird feeders have pest protection. The protection is typically activated through the weight-sensitive perch that closes the feeding ports under the weight of squirrels, large birds, mice, and rats. So overall, hopper/house bird feeders can offer large capacity, good weather & pest protection, which will surely be of use for feeding cardinals.
Tubular bird feeders are maybe the most common kind of bird feeders you can meet out there these days. As the name implies, tubular bird feeders consist of a vertical feeding tube that is filled with bird seeds. The food is then delivered to the birds through feeding ports installed on the walls of the feeder.
Tubular bird feeders offer low to medium capacity, good protection against weather, as well as pests, given that a tubular feeder has means of protection. For tubular bird feeders, pest protection can be realized through weight-triggering mechanisms, spinning perches, and/or caged design. Overall, tubular bird feeders offer a good balance of price, protection, and seed capacity.
Window bird feeders deliver such features that no other type of bird feeder does: most importantly, window feeders allow you to observe the birds up close while they eat and have fun.
As the name implies, window bird feeders are installed by mounting the feeder on your window, which is done via the inbuilt suction cups. Window bird feeders offer not so much bird seed capacity, but because you won’t have to go far from the home to refill such a feeder, you might not even need to worry about the low capacity.
Speaking of refills, window bird feeders can have features that can aid you in taking care of the bird feeder, i.e. cleaning and refilling it. One of them is the removable tray that can be taken out of the feeder for refilling and washing when necessary. Without a removable tray, cleaning and refilling a window bird feeder might be much more difficult depending on the location you put it into.
However, with window bird feeders with removable trays, you may encounter the issue of bird seeds getting tossed around by the birds and stuck between the tray and the feeder. If left unnoticed, those seeds will rot and become harmful to the birds.
A general disadvantage of window bird feeders is that birds might need to go through empty shells of the seeds eaten previously by other birds. With other types of bird feeders, the seeds exit the feeder’s container while the birds eat, allowing them to dispose of the shells by just releasing them onto the ground. That isn’t the case with window feeders as the birds won’t bother turning around and throwing the shells out of the feeder, which might eventually make other birds’ eating so difficult that they may just leave. Hence, it is rather important to constantly take care of window bird feeders.
Another thing you won’t get with window bird feeders is pest protection. Window feeders almost never come with any kind of protection against squirrels and large birds, which makes these feeders unsuitable for areas with pest traffic. However, you can simply install a window bird feeder in a location that squirrels are never able to reach. Larger birds will still be a problem though if they can fit themselves on the perch.
Overall, a window bird feeder would a great choice for cardinals if you don’t mind taking care of it often and if you don’t have a pest issue in your area.
What Are Some Stuff To Look For?
Materials are rather important with any bird feeder. First of wall, materials dictate the structural integrity, as well as the durability of the bird feeder. The best materials such as powder-coated steel (which is what most of the bird feeders are made from) make bird feeders resistant to rust, corrosion, yellowing by UVs, as well as protect them from damage. In general, that’s what you should be going for.
Another aspect of durable and high-quality materials is the level of pest protection they deliver. This mostly relates to the material’s susceptibility to being chewed through or just broken apart, which is what you will have to worry about if your area is filled with squirrels.
Even if you don’t need all that additional protection, go for a bird feeder made from good materials as it will serve you much longer.
The size of the bird feeder is rather important with cardinals. They are not the smallest of birds, and their free space requirements are set accordingly.
A bird feeder that is made specifically for cardinals won’t have any problems with the free space it provides for cardinals. For example, a really small window bird feeder would obviously be unsuitable for cardinals. On the other hand, because manufacturers develop bird feeders for as many kinds of birds as possible, you probably won’t have any issues with cardinals. However, you might want to check anyway for whether or not a bird feeder can accommodate them.
A thing you should pay special attention to is the perch of a bird feeder. Bird feeders for cardinals come with large perches, and there is a reason for that: as we mentioned, cardinals are more or less large and need space. With tubular and house bird feeders, if the perch isn’t large enough, cardinals simply won’t fit on them.
In case you like a bird seeder that doesn’t have a large perch, worry not as manufacturers typically offer add-on perches for larger birds such as cardinals.
Larger birds need more food to be satisfied. Apart from that, the capacity plays a huge role in the frequency you will be refilling the bird feeder with. The bigger the capacity, the less frequently you will have to refill the bird feeder with seeds, and vice versa.
If you don’t want to be bothered that much with frequent refills, get a bird feeder with as much capacity as you might possibly need. Another factor you should be taking into account is the bird traffic in your area: obviously, the bigger it is, the more capacity you want to go for. However, capacity isn’t the only thing you should be looking for if your area has a lot of cardinals and birds in general. The more important feature is the number of feeding ports.
Number of feeding ports
The necessary number of feeding ports is dictated by the bird traffic in your area quite directly. Needless to say, the more birds you have in your area, the more feeding ports you want to have on your bird feeder. That is because if there are a lot of birds in your locality but your bird feeder hasn’t got enough ports, the birds will have to literally stand in line for food. Moreover, they might simply get bored of waiting and leave for the search for other bird feeders, and if they find a good one, they won’t come back for your feeder.
Hence, if there is heavy bird traffic in your area, go for a bird feeder with many feeding ports. The number of feeding ports generally goes from 1 – 2 to as many as 12 and even more.
With bird feeders for cardinals, you might either need or not need pest protection. This will be dictated by the presence of squirrels, large and undesirable birds, mice, and rats in your area. If your area has none of them, you don’t really need pest protection.
Otherwise, pest protection will be a must-have because getting seeds from unprotected bird feeders will be a piece of cake for pests. You might want to get a bird feeder for cardinals with pest protection anyway because pests could move to your area in the future.
There are three main types of pest protection in bird feeders:
- Weight-triggered protection. Weight protection is triggered by the weight of the pests. In general, weight-activated protection mechanisms close the feeding ports as soon as a squirrel or a large bird lands on the perch of the bird feeder. However, some smart pests might be able to bypass the protection by just hanging down from the roof of the feeder, which could be prevented if the feeder has a roof with a good overhang. Apart from that, some bird feeders allow for the adjustment of the weight that triggers the mechanism, and this could help you mitigate the risk of the pests figuring out ways of getting round the perch.
- Spinning perches. Bird feeders with spinning perches also rely on a weight trigger, but the mechanism is completely different. As soon as a pest lands on the perch, the inbuilt motor starts spinning the perch, which eventually forces the pest to let go of the perch.
Because feeding ports quite often spin along with the perch, a bird feeder with a spinning perch may just scatter the seed around, pretty much making the efforts of pests fruitful. This could be somewhat negated by just installing the feeder on a pole.
- Cages. The last kind of pest protection relies on cages. Cages are commonly used with tubular bird feeders. Such feeders are basically enclosed by a cage, which is located at a distance from the feeding tube in order to prevent pests from just reaching in for the feeding ports. Some caged bird feeders lack that distance between the feeding tube and the cage, making it easier for the pests to just reach for the ports. You should avoid those if you want to be more secure.
In case of caged feeders, you should also ensure that the cage doesn’t have any openings in the wiring that could get the birds’ feet trapped. If the feeder does, you could just cover them with tape.
A protective baffle/roof is another thing you might want to be looking for. First of all, baffles provide the feeding ports of the bird feeder with protection from rain. You don’t want rain to get into the seeds because they will rot, unless the bird feeder has water drain holes (more on them next).
Apart from that, baffles/roofs with good overhang prevent squirrels from hanging down the bird feeder in order to bypass its protection mechanism. Generally, look for a bird feeder with a good overhanging roof.
Water drain holes
Water drain holes is a nice feature to have, though they are not mandatory. Well, if you will be taking care of the bird feeder often and remove the wet and rotten seeds from it. Otherwise, water drain holes will help you avoid rotting of the bird seeds because they won’t allow rainwater to collect in the bird feeder.
Benefits of Buying a Bird Feeder For Cardinals
More room for cardinals
Cardinals are no small birds, and they need more free space to conveniently eat from bird feeders. Bird feeders for cardinals are large enough and are equipped with roomy perches, allowing these birds to freely move around while eating. If cardinals feel comfortable, they will surely come back to your bird feeder in the future!
Can offer pest protection
You could just make a bird feeder for cardinals yourself, but will it be able to protect the seeds from pests? More often than not, it is much easier to simply go and buy a bird feeder with pest protection. Apart from saving your nerves and providing the birds with as much food as intend, a feeder with pest protection can save your money in the long run because if squirrels get the birds’ food, you will have to refill it more frequently. And if the pests just chew through the feeder, you may need to buy a new one.
You might have a scientific interest, or maybe you are just curious about the behavior of cardinals. If so, a bird feeder for cardinals will provide you with great opportunities for learning about cardinals’ food habits, behavior, and whatnot!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to attract cardinals?
There are a lot of factors that could influence this. In general, you should make sure that you put high-quality bird food in your bird feeder. Apart from that, ensure that the bird feeder is large enough to allow cardinals to feed freely. And last but not the least, follow the general guidelines of installing bird feeders, e.g. put a water source nearby, keep the feeder away from cats and dogs, etc.
Will a red bird feeder attract more cardinals?
It may, but the color is certainly not the most important thing that attracts cardinals. Instead, pay more attention to the location you install the feeder in, the quality of the bird food, etc.
Will a bird feeder for cardinals attract other types of birds as well?
Absolutely, though it will depend on the bird food you serve them.
Did you find the absolute best bird feeder for cardinals? If so, do not hesitate and go get it! Otherwise, continue looking for one, and don’t forget all the points we described in our buying guide!