Which Bird Feeder Plans Are Best for Cardinals?

It is no wonder why cardinals are a favorite backyard visitor for people, particularly in the north. It is a site for sore eyes indeed to see

This combination clear sided, hopper bird feeder with suet cake areas at each end are perfect for attracting cardinals with black oil sunflower seeds and suet cakes.

Red Cedar Hopper and Suet Bird Feeder

its brilliant flash of red and dignified crested head when the landscape has yet to show its colors.  These birds are notoriously skittish, though, and drawing them to your yard can be challenging.  Here are some tips that can help.

Your cardinal bird feeder plans should certainly include black oil sunflower seeds. These have high oil content, which appeals to cardinals, as well as other backyard birds, including chickadees, finches, sparrows, and bluejays.  This is an excellent choice if you want to draw a variety of wild birds – and you want to do it economically.  They are a terrific value.  While cardinals will eat a variety of fruits and insects, especially during the mating season, as well as seed like millet, they have been known to pick through all the seed in a feeder to find the sunflower seeds.

Another important aspect in attracting the cardinal is using a hopper bird feeder that has clear sides.  Because these birds can be timid, it helps attract and keep them if they can see the seed.  Positioning the bird feeder correctly also helps ensure that the cardinals will come.

Place it in an open area, and if you can, make sure there are berry-producing shrubs nearby.  Yards with thickets or hedges are favorites of cardinals because they nest there.  You can also increase your odds of attracting these

Beautiful bright red, male, cardinal posing as the regal bird he is.

The Cardinal

birds by giving them a water source for drinking and bathing.

Remember, cardinals aren’t migratory birds, so feeding them in the winter is important.  Instead of purchasing a pre-made feeder, you can find a variety of bird feeder plans for hopper and platform feeders that will be just as effective and much easier on your wallet.  For the cardinal, my favorite is the type pictured here which is a hopper style feeder with suet holders at each end of the hopper.  If you build it yourself, you can be sure they will come!

 

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Sure, Unless You Want the Same Bird Feeder Plans You Saw In a Picture

The story of my life, you see something you like and you go looking for it and you just can’t find it.  Regardless, I did find this little set of free suet bird feeder plans for an upside suet feeder.  It’s a bit late in the season to go on and on about suet feeders, but I just love them and the colorful birds they attract.  If you live in the northern states and put your suet feeder into a shady area of  the yard this summer, it will probably do just fine.  If you live in Florida like I do, you’ll do best if you make a dense suet cake, keep it in the shade as much as possible, and check it periodically to make sure it hasn’t gotten rancid.

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Pesky Squirrel Trying to Raid a Basic Suet Feeder

Suet feeders are a Godsend to the birds struggling to find food in the winter time up north.  Not only does the fat keep the metabolism high in the birds keeping them warm, but it is very nourishing to them as well.  Suet is solid white beef fat and you can probably get some from your butcher for little or no cost.  I’ll be covering exactly how to make a suet cake in a later article, so for now just know that you can make very inexpensive suet cakes for your backyard birds.

The birds that eat suet generally eat insects or worms so the animal fat, suet, attracts them to the feeder.  The colorful birds like the cardinal, the blue jay, blue birds, the woodpecker and others like the suet.  The pesky little starlings do too, but they don’t like to hang upside down to eat, hence the need for the upside down suet bird feeder. The cage itself dissuades the starling as well.

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Bluebirds at a Basic Caged Suet Feeder

The suet bird feeders are almost always a form of cage into which the suet is placed.  This type feeder is certainly easier and less expensive to buy than getting suet bird feeder plans and starting from scratch.  It is this cage that seems to be the only way to keep the squirrels away.  The squirrel has a very difficult time raiding the upside down suet feeders too.  The picture of the squirrel on the basic suet feeder cracked me up, so I had to share it with you.

Suet cakes with peanuts or peanut butter work really well to attract the colorful birds as do suet cakes with bird seed within, or just mix it all up because they seem to love it.  The birds which like the suet also enjoy black oil sunflower seeds too, and there is an excellent set of suet bird feeder plans which is a combination feeder with a tray feeder for the seed.  There are so many more kinds of suet bird feeders plans available, let’s just agree to meet again soon so I can share with you the upside down suet feeder as well as the window suet bird feeder.

 

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