The 7 Best Bird Feeders To Attract Cardinals

best bird feeder for cardinals

Cardinals are beautiful and colorful birds that are often attracted to bird feeders. By providing the right type of feeder, offering their favorite seeds, and creating a welcoming environment, you can increase the chances of attracting these stunning birds to your backyard.

Remember that patience is key, as it may take some time for the cardinals to discover and become regular visitors to your bird feeders.

To help you out, we compiled a list of the 7 best bird feeders for cardinals. Each option received rave reviews from bird lovers and we only included feeders that are easy to set up, maintain, and most of all, do their job of attracting cardinals.

Top 3 Comparison Table

Best Overall
Users' Pick
Best Value
  • Eco-friendly design
  • Platform design
  • Holds a significant amount of birdseed
  • The spinning perch is entertaining to watch
  • Squirrel-proof design
  • Attracts cardinals as well as other songbirds
  • Specifically designed for cardinals
  • Visually appealing
  • Can hold a very generous amount of birdseed
Best Overall
  • Eco-friendly design
  • Platform design
  • Holds a significant amount of birdseed
Users' Pick
  • The spinning perch is entertaining to watch
  • Squirrel-proof design
  • Attracts cardinals as well as other songbirds
Best Value
  • Specifically designed for cardinals
  • Visually appealing
  • Can hold a very generous amount of birdseed

Our 7 Top Picks

1. Woodlink Going Green Large Premier Bird Feeder

This option is a very popular bird feeder known for its eco-friendly design, durability, and ability to attract a variety of bird species.

This is a platform-style feeder, suitable for attracting birds like cardinals that prefer flat surfaces to feed on.

The feeder is made from up to 90% post-consumer recycled plastic, making it an environmentally conscious choice for bird enthusiasts.

It provides comfortable perching space for birds, allowing multiple birds to feed at once. It also has a generous seed capacity, allowing it to hold a significant amount of birdseed, which means less frequent refills.

Users appreciate the feeder’s easy-to-remove lid and base, making it simple to clean and fill with birdseed.

Woodlink’s Going Green feeder design is classic and aesthetically pleasing, making it a lovely addition to any backyard or garden.


  • Eco-friendly design
  • The platform design is attractive to a variety of bird species that prefer flat surfaces to feed on
  • Holds a significant amount of birdseed


  • Some users may experience seed waste as birds may flick or drop seeds outside the feeder while feeding
  • The feeder’s large size is a bit cumbersome, especially for those with limited space or who prefer smaller feeders

2. Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Squirrel-Proof Feeder

Users' Pick
Droll Yankees YF-M Yankee Flipper Bird Feeder
  • Motorized perch ring
  • Squirrel-proof design
  • Weight-activated system
  • Large seed capacity
  • Four-seed ports
  • UV-stabilized polycarbonate tube
  • Hanging or pole mounting
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The Droll Yankees wild bird feeder is an innovative bird feeder designed to deter squirrels and larger birds while providing an enjoyable feeding experience for smaller wild birds.

This bird feeder is made from durable materials to withstand various weather conditions, ensuring its long-lasting performance.

The Yankee Flipper has a motorized perch that spins when triggered by the weight of a squirrel or larger bird, causing them to flip off the feeder. This motion effectively deters squirrels from accessing the birdseed. The flipper mechanism is powered by batteries, ensuring that the feeder remains squirrel-resistant even when you’re not around.

The perch can be adjusted to accommodate different bird sizes, making it suitable for various bird species. This feeder is designed to attract a variety of smaller wild birds, such as cardinals, chickadees, finches, and other songbirds.

The feeder’s design allows for easy disassembly and cleaning. The wide opening makes refilling with birdseed a simple task.


  • The spinning perch is entertaining to watch, making bird feeding even more enjoyable and engaging
  • Users have praised the feeder’s squirrel-proof design
  • Attracts a diverse array of smaller wild birds, providing birdwatchers with an opportunity to observe various bird species


  • During the spinning action, some birdseed may be scattered or spilled
  • Some users may find it a bit inconvenient to replace the batteries periodically

3. Perky-Pet Red Cardinal Bird Feeder

Best Value
Perky-Pet Red Cardinal Bird Feeder
  • Platform design
  • Red color which cardinals are attracted to
  • Large seed capacity
  • Durable design
  • Easy to clean
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This Perky-Pet feeder is a well-liked bird feeder specifically designed to attract cardinals.

The feeder has a circular perch that accommodates the larger size of cardinals and allows them to feed comfortably. It’s all-metal construction enhances its durability and weather resistance.

The feeder can hold a generous amount of birdseed, reducing the need for frequent refilling. Users appreciate its easy to disassemble and clean. The wide opening makes refilling with birdseed a simple task.

The red color and cardinal-themed design of the feeder make it an eye-catching addition to any backyard or garden.


  • Many users have reported successfully attracting cardinals to the feeder, which is the primary goal for those interested in this specific bird species
  • The red color and cardinal-themed design of the feeder are visually appealing
  • The feeder can hold a very generous amount of birdseed


  • A few users noted that the feeder might not provide the best protection against heavy rain, and seed could become wet during wet weather conditions

4. Birds Choice Recycled Fly Thru Platform Bird Feeder

Birds Choice Fly-Thru Feeder
  • Recycled materials
  • Fly through design
  • Removable tray
  • Drainage holes
  • Versatile feeding options
  • Easy to hang or mount
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The Birds Choice platform bird feeder is a popular choice for birdwatchers looking to attract a variety of bird species, including ground-feeding birds like cardinals.

The feeder is constructed from recycled plastic, making it an eco-friendly and sustainable choice for bird enthusiasts and bird lovers who prioritize environmental conservation.

The open design of the feeder allows birds to approach from all sides, making it suitable for ground-feeding birds like cardinals that prefer to feed on open surfaces. The platform provides ample space for multiple birds to feed simultaneously, encouraging social interactions among different bird species.

It also includes drainage holes to prevent water from accumulating on the platform, keeping the bird food dry during rainy weather.

This option can be hung from a tree branch or hook, or placed on a flat surface, giving you flexibility in its placement.


  • The open design allows users to observe their feathered visitors up close
  • Fly-through feeders are often more efficient in minimizing seed wastage compared to enclosed feeders
  • Recycled plastic is typically easy to clean and maintain, simplifying the upkeep of the feeder


  • As with any open feeder, it can be more challenging to prevent pests or larger birds from accessing the food

5. Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder

Brome Squirrel Buster Plus Bird Feeder w/Cardinal Ring
  • Squirrel-proof design
  • Adjustable settings
  • Chew-proof construction
  • Perches for birds
  • Seed ventilation
  • Easy to disassemble
  • UV-stabilized components
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The Brome Squirrel Buster Plus feeder is a highly effective bird feeder designed to keep squirrels and larger pests from accessing the seed while allowing cardinals to feed comfortably.

The Squirrel Buster Plus uses innovative technology to prevent squirrels and larger birds from accessing the seed. When a squirrel or heavy bird lands on the feeder, the weight activates a mechanism that closes the seed ports, denying them access to the food.

The feeder’s seed ventilation system keeps the seed fresh by allowing air to circulate, preventing mold and spoilage.

The Squirrel Buster Plus can hold a substantial amount of seed, reducing the need for frequent refilling.

The feeder’s design allows for easy disassembly and cleaning. The wide opening makes refilling a breeze.

Brome offers a lifetime warranty on the Squirrel Buster Plus, which adds to its appeal and demonstrates the manufacturer’s confidence in its product.


  • The ability to adjust the perches to different bird weights allowed users to attract a wide variety of bird species while excluding unwanted larger birds and pests
  • Cardinals were seen feeding comfortably from the adjustable perches
  • The lifetime warranty is a guarantee of how durable and long-lasting this option is


  • The feeder’s large size might not be ideal for smaller or more confined spaces; if you have limited space or prefer a smaller feeder, this could be a consideration
  • Compared to basic bird feeders, this option is a bit more expensive

6. Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Wild Bird Feeder

Perky-Pet Copper Panorama Bird Feeder
  • Circular perch design
  • Sure-lock cap system
  • Holds different seed types
  • Evenseed technology
  • Transparent seed compartment
  • Built-in drainage holes
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The Perky-Pet Copper Panorama bird feeder is a popular and attractive bird feeder designed to attract a variety of birds, including cardinals.

The Copper Panorama bird feeder has a circular perch design, which allows multiple birds to feed simultaneously from different angles. It features a brushed copper finish that adds a touch of elegance to any backyard or garden.

The feeder is equipped with a built-in seed diverter, which helps direct the seed to the feeding ports, reducing seed waste and ensuring easy access for birds. This feeder can hold up to 2 pounds of birdseed, reducing the need for frequent refilling.

The feeder’s innovative Sure-Lock cap system keeps the lid securely closed, preventing squirrels and larger pests from accessing the seed. It also ensures even seed distribution to all feeding ports.

This option is designed for easy filling and cleaning. The removable cap and base make refilling and maintenance simple.


  • Cardinals enjoy the circular perch design and easy access to fresh seed
  • The built-in seed diverter received positive feedback as it helps direct the seed to the feeding ports, reducing seed waste and ensuring even seed distribution
  • Easy to fill and clean, thanks to the removable cap and base


  • Some users found that the feeder was not entirely squirrel-proof, as particularly persistent or agile squirrels were still able to access the seed
  • Perky-Pet Red Cardinal Bird Feeder

7. Homebird Window Bird Feeder with Strong Suction Cups

Best For Windows
Homebird Window Bird Feeder
  • Window-mounted design
  • Transparent acrylic construction
  • Removable tray
  • Drainage holes
  • Perching space
  • Sturdy suction cups
  • Easy to install
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The Homebird window bird feeder is known for its durability and effectiveness in attracting birds to your window.

The feeder is made from clear acrylic material and designed to attach securely to windows using strong suction cups, providing a clear view of the feeding birds from inside your home.

It offers a spacious perching area, which is suitable for cardinals and other bird species that prefer flat surfaces to feed on.

The feeder has a generous seed tray. The removable tray design makes cleaning and refilling the feeder from inside your home easy.


  • Users appreciate the clear acrylic design of the feeder; it allows for a close-up and enjoyable birdwatching experience
  • The spacious perching area and flat surface of the feeder are cardinal-friendly
  • Easy to clean and refill, thanks to its removable tray design


  • The suction cups might lose their grip over time, especially during extreme weather conditions
  • In some cases, condensation might accumulate on the interior of the feeder, obstructing the view and creating a messy appearance

What Kind of Bird Feeders Do Cardinals Like Best?

The best type of bird feeder for cardinals is a platform feeder. Cardinals prefer to feed on flat and open surfaces.

Platform feeders provide a spacious and comfortable feeding area, allowing cardinals to easily access their favorite seeds and feed with ease.

What’s Important When Choosing Cardinal Bird Feeder?

When choosing a cardinal bird feeder, there are several important factors to consider to attract and accommodate these beautiful birds effectively.

Cardinals have specific preferences for feeding, and a well-designed feeder can enhance their feeding experience while also making birdwatching more enjoyable for you.

Here are some key considerations:

  1. Platform Design: Cardinals prefer flat and open surfaces to feed. Look for a platform feeder that provides a spacious and unobstructed feeding area, allowing multiple cardinals to perch comfortably.
  2. Size: Choose a feeder with sufficient size to accommodate the cardinal’s large size and long tail. Cardinals may be hesitant to use small or cramped feeders.
  3. Feeding Ports: If you opt for a tube feeder, ensure that the feeding ports are large enough to allow cardinals to access the seeds easily. Some feeders have adjustable perches or trays that can cater to different bird species, including cardinals.
  4. Seed Type: Cardinals enjoy sunflower seeds and safflower seeds. Look for a feeder that can hold and dispense these seeds, as they are highly attractive to cardinals.
  5. Construction and Durability: Choose a feeder made of sturdy materials that can withstand outdoor conditions and last a long time. Cardinals can be frequent visitors, so a durable feeder is essential.
  6. Drainage System: A good cardinal bird feeder should have drainage holes or a seed tray design to prevent water from accumulating and spoiling the seeds during rainy weather.
  7. Squirrel Protection (Optional): If squirrels are common in your area and pose a problem for bird feeders, consider getting a feeder with squirrel-resistant features like baffles or weight-sensitive mechanisms.
  8. Visibility: Place the feeder in a visible and open location, making it easier for cardinals to spot and access the food. Cardinals prefer open areas with some nearby shrubs or trees for cover and safety.
  9. Ease of Cleaning: Regular cleaning is essential to maintain a healthy feeding environment. Look for a feeder that is easy to disassemble and clean.
  10. Mounting Options: Consider how you want to mount the feeder – hanging, pole-mounted, or freestanding. Choose a method that works well for your backyard and allows for easy access for refilling and maintenance.
  11. Feeder Capacity: Cardinal feeders with larger seed capacities will require less frequent refilling, which is convenient for birdwatchers.
  12. Attractiveness: Some feeders are designed with bright colors or cardinal-specific motifs to catch the attention of these birds and make the feeder more appealing to them.


What color is best for a cardinal bird feeder?

The best color for a cardinal bird feeder is red or a similar shade. Cardinals are attracted to the color red, and many bird feeders designed to attract cardinals often feature red elements.

The bright red color is known to catch the attention of these beautiful birds and can serve as a visual cue for them to find the feeder easily.

If you already have a bird feeder and want to make it more attractive to cardinals, you can add red accents. This could be red ribbons, red decorations, or red decals applied to the feeder.

What kind of food do cardinals eat?

Cardinals are primarily granivorous birds, which means they primarily eat seeds. Their diet consists of a variety of seeds, fruits, and insects.

Here are the main types of food that cardinals eat:

  • Seeds: Cardinals are particularly fond of sunflower seeds, especially black oil sunflower seeds, which are high in fat and provide a good source of energy. They also eat safflower seeds, which are another favorite among cardinals.
  • Fruits: In addition to seeds, cardinals also consume fruits. They enjoy eating fruits such as berries, cherries, and grapes. Offering chopped apples or oranges can be a delightful treat for cardinals.
  • Insects and Invertebrates: Cardinals supplement their diet with insects and other invertebrates, especially during the breeding season when they need additional protein to feed their chicks.
  • Suet: Cardinals may visit suet feeders, which provide high-energy suet blocks made from animal fat mixed with seeds, nuts, and insects. Suet is a valuable food source, especially during colder months when insects are less abundant.

How do cardinals prefer to eat?

Cardinals prefer to eat by foraging on the ground or on flat surfaces. They have a unique feeding behavior compared to some other birds, and their preferences for feeding are influenced by their physical characteristics.

Here’s how cardinals prefer to eat:

  1. Ground Foraging: Cardinals are primarily ground-feeding birds. They are comfortable and agile at hopping on the ground, where they search for fallen seeds and insects. They use their strong beaks to crack open seeds and their sharp eyesight to spot potential food items.
  2. Feeding on Flat Surfaces: In addition to ground foraging, cardinals also enjoy feeding on flat and open surfaces. They prefer bird feeders with platform designs or hopper feeders with trays where they can easily access seeds.
  3. Perching on Sturdy Branches: While they do feed on the ground and flat surfaces, cardinals also perch on sturdy branches or shrubs to eat fruits or to rest between feeding sessions. They are known for their distinctive behavior of hopping and perching rather than clinging to branches like some other birds.
  4. Cracking Seeds: Cardinals have strong, thick beaks that are well-suited for cracking open hard shells of seeds. They can efficiently open sunflower seeds and extract the nutritious kernel inside.
  5. Avoiding Hanging Feeders: Cardinals may be less inclined to use hanging feeders with small perches or feeding ports. They prefer more stable perching options, such as flat platforms or hopper feeders with larger perching areas.
  6. Using Bird Baths: Cardinals also enjoy visiting bird baths for drinking and bathing. Having a nearby water source can further attract them to your backyard.

Creating a feeding setup that mimics their natural foraging behavior is essential for attracting and accommodating cardinals. Providing a platform feeder or a hopper feeder with a tray will allow cardinals to feed comfortably.

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