Northern Cardinal

One of America’s favorite and brightest birds, Cardinals are very common in the east. Our only bird with a red crest, male Cardinals are unmistakable when spotted in the wild. Females tend to be duller in color but share the crest and large pink bill. Cardinals are often spotted in forests, suburbs, swamps and backyards as long as there is some dense low cover as they tend to forage on the ground. Unlike many bird species, both male and females sing and generally travel in pairs. Listen for bright, clear whistles like “what-cheer, whatcheer” and these colorful birds are sure to be nearby.

Favorite Foods

Loved by Cardinals but not by squirrels, Safflower is a problem solver and helpful in discouraging furry visitors. FeederWise,® our premium, no-millet blend is formulated to attract a wide variety of colorful birds like Cardinals. PatioWise® our no-shell blend is another sure winner!

Perfect Feeders

As ground feeders, Cardinals primarily prefer hopper or platform feeders which allow them to sit peacefully while eating. We have many options in both wood and synthetic lumber. Tube feeders with seed catch trays underneath to sit on are another great option for these beautiful birds.


Cardinals typically nest no higher than 10 feet in a tree and fill their nests with twigs, leaves, barks and grasses. They usually lay 2-4 eggs of gray or blue, heavily marked with brown, gray and purple. Look for the young to hatch in 11-13 days with fledglings leaving the nest after 9-10 days. Young Cardinals often associate with adults for several weeks after that.

Did You Know?

Unlike many other songbirds in North America, both the male and female cardinals can sing. Usually, only a male songbird is capable of singing.