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!

 

The unafraid red-breasted nuthatch will eat seed from the palm of your hand.

The Nuthatch — Unafraid of Humans

Keeping the Beautiful Nuthatch Happy in Your Yard

Penguins aren’t the only birds who know how to get dressed up. The Nuthatch is distinguished by his blue-gray topcoat and dapper striped head.  This little suited fellow also has another interesting trait:  he will walk head-first down tree trunks.  Besides being fun to watch, this bird is also excellent for the health of your yard.  You’ll need some special bird feeder plans to get this bird to visit, but you’ll be glad you did.

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Strolling Down the Tree Trunk

Nuthatches are favorites of bird lovers because they are so pleasant to be around.  Unlike aggressive and territorial birds, like the woodpecker or bluejay, or overly skittish birds, like the cardinal, the nuthatch is largely unafraid of humans.  If you attract them to your backyard, you can enjoy watching them, and even try your hand at teaching them how to eat out of your hand.

Nuthatches patrol your trees, head-first, looking for caterpillars, wood borers, beetles, and other insects that can harm your trees.  They also love suet.  You can supplement their diet of bugs with a log feeder with peanut suet plugs.  What is this?  It’s a great DIY project!  Bird feeder plans for a log feeder are easy to follow and effective at drawing nuthatches.  Simply find a small log (2.5 – 4 inches in diameter, 12 inches long), and bore some round holes in it. Fill the holes with peanut butter-suet and hang.  This appeals to nuthatches because the food is high in oil and calories, which is essential, particularly in the winter.

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DIY – Fill With Peanut Butter or Suet Plugs

A log feeder is essentially a simple tube feeder, and you can find tube suet bird feeder plans all over the internet.  They really are quite easy to make, and even better, they are effective.  Birds sometimes burn as much as half their calories just trying to stay warm, so you will be virtually guaranteed a nuthatch visit if you provide them with nutrient-rich suet and peanut butter.

Go here for more suet bird feeder plans, or just make one yourself like the one on your right.  Then get ready for these delightful visitors!

If you’d rather just go ahead a buy a suet feeder, try one of our sponsors, Perky Pets.  There is a savings code in their ad in the upper right hand side bar.  If you are an Amazon.com fan, the best sellers are at the top under products on the menu or simply use the new Amazon search bar at the top.

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