When did you take this photo?
Where did you take this photo?
Waconia, Minnesota. The bird was on my deck, and I took the photo from my living room, through the glass on the door. I live in a small development that backs up to a pond with lots of reeds. Most of the yards in the neighborhood have mature trees. Several nearby yards have evergreens, where the cardinals nest each spring.
How do you attract northern cardinals to your backyard?
The cardinals that frequent my yard seem to prefer ground feeding rather than using the hanging feeders. At various times of the year, they will gobble down black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, grapes, and - rarely - safflower seeds. They like the bushes, trees and brush pile for cover. As with all the birds, they appreciate a supply of clean, fresh water.
Tips and Tricks
- The best advice for attracting northern cardinals is to provide their preferred food on the ground or in feeders set on the ground rather than in hanging feeders or feeders atop tall poles; and always provide a source of water and good cover so the birds can avoid predators.
- The best advice for photographing them is patience. Other than that, you need a good background so the bird shows up, you need a fast shutter speed to freeze action, and you need to focus so the background is blurred or muted, but the bird is in sharp focus.
Melissa Mayntz, Birding / Wild Birds Guide, says:
What a great range of tips! A bird-friendly backyard is essential for attracting all birds, including cardinals, and that should include plants to provide food and shelter for the birds, different food sources, fresh water and nesting sites in the appropriate season. If the birds come readily to the yard, getting great photographs like this one will be even easier.
See the complete northern cardinal profile.