The Best Cardinal Bird Feeders and Birdseed

Updated: Mar. 09, 2023

Cardinals are beloved backyard birds. To attract more redbirds, fill these cardinal bird feeders with their favorite types of birdseed.

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Despite being fairly common, cardinals can be a bit elusive. Cardinals often come to feeders as the sun is setting, when their red feathers are muted under low light conditions. Here’s how to choose the best cardinal bird feeders and birdseed to attract these beloved redbirds.

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Best Cardinal Bird Feeders

Tube bird feederVia Merchant
Tube bird feeders are good for cardinals

Triple Tube Feeder

Begin with a tube feeder to welcome cardinals, finches, chickadees and titmice almost immediately. Those species seem to recognize the shape of the feeder, and their presence attracts other birds.  High on our list of the best tube bird feeders, this Perky-Pet Triple Tube bird feeder provides multiple birds a spot to perch and eat.

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Audubon Tube FeederVia Merchant

Metal Tube Feeder

The Woodlink Audubon metal tube feeder is another good choice for cardinals and other backyard birds like finches and chickadees.

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red cardinal feederVia

Red Cardinal Feeder

Or try this circular mesh Red Cardinal Feeder (above), which holds 2.5 pounds of sunflower seed!

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Backyard Essentials Wildlife And Bird Feeder Ecomm Via Amazon.comvia merchant

Backyard Essentials Tray Bird Feeder

Cardinals also like to eat from platform or tray feeders. Try the Backyard Essentials Ground Tray Feeder, which you can mount to your deck railing.

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Bird feeder that looks like a red barnVia Merchant

Squirrel-Be-Gone Feeder

If squirrels are an issue, try this Squirrel-Be-Gone Country House feeder with a weight-sensitive perch. It even has a cute redbird perched on top of the feeder!

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Best Birdseed for Cardinals

cardinal eating sunflower seedCourtesy Sarah Geiger
Northern cardinal eating sunflower seeds

“I’ll sprinkle seeds directly on the ground or the sidewalk to give cardinals easy access to a meal,” says Mike Havlik, a naturalist for the Dallas County Conservation Board in central Iowa.

At feeders, cardinals prefer to eat sunflower seeds and safflower seeds and often shelled, unsalted peanuts. Seeds and nuts are no match for their hefty pink beaks. Cracked corn is worth setting out, too.

“I recommend safflower seed because the squirrels leave it alone, but cardinals, woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice and grosbeaks love it,” says Susan Perry of Edgewater, Florida.

Next, learn more ways to feed and attract cardinals.