Popular North American Wild Birds – Cardinal




Northern Cardinal – Cardinalis cardinalis


Northern Cardinals inhabit shrubs near open areas, woods, and suburban yards. They prefer to forage in short vegetation or the understories of tree cover to hide from predators.

Feeding Habits in the Wild

Northern Cardinals feed by hopping around on the ground and searching low shrubbery and trees. They eat insects, spiders, wild fruits, berries, and weed seeds.

Preferred Feeder Types

Cardinals prefer seeds scattered on ground, platform feeders, or tray feeders at the height of low tree branches. However, they would rather forage on the ground than perch on feeders.

Species Facts

The Northern Cardinal is probably America’s most popular backyard bird. Northern Cardinals are basically a seed and fruit-eaters, however, ants and beetles may account for 35% of their diets when available.

Preferred Food at the Feeder

Oil Sunflower, Sunflower Hearts and Chips, Stripe Sunflower, Cracked Corn, Canary Seed, White and German (Yellow) Millet, Safflower Seeds, Roasted Peanut Chips, Peanuts Out of Shell, Dried Fruit (Raisins, Currants and Apple), Squash, Watermelon, Cantaloupe Seeds, Milo, Barley, Wheat, Buckwheat, and Rape Seed (Canola).

Brown’s Recommended Foods