When did you take this photo?
Feb. 12, 2011
Where did you take this photo?
Outside the Birdwatching Dot Com store and office, in rural Iowa
How do you attract northern cardinals to your backyard?
The main attractant is unfrozen water in winter. Cardinals love to stop in for a drink and a bath.
We also offer sunflower seeds and safflower seeds in hanging feeders. Cardinals like a feeder that they can land on and reach straight ahead. They don't cling, and they don't like to have to turn their heads to get at the seeds.
And we leave some wild bushes among the trees, for a natural look and to attract birds. It makes them feel safe to approach the house and feeders if there are trees and bushes nearby to flee to.
In winter, we often have eight or ten cardinals in view at once. Wild habitat is best for wildlife.
Tips and Tricks
- Always try to provide a heated bird bath, especially in cold climates.
Melissa Mayntz, Birding / Wild Birds Guide, says:
Heated bird baths are essential for bird-friendly landscaping in the winter, and they can attract an amazing variety of birds that too many birders only associate with warmer months. They're only part of the picture, however, and good habitat and appropriate winter bird foods are just as important.
See the complete northern cardinal profile.