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How to feed cardinals this winter

By: Garden Gate staff
Love to see cardinals in your backyard in winter? Here’s how to invite them in!

How to feed cardinals this winter

Since cardinals don’t migrate, they need a good winter food source. If they find it in your yard, you may end up with a flock, called a “conclave” or “Vatican.” Cardinals love black oil sunflower and safflower seeds. Use a stationary or platform feeder 5 ½ to 7 feet off the ground near shrubs or a tree where they can take cover if necessary — they don’t like hanging feeders that sway. Ensure feeders are filled early in the morning and late in the evening since cardinals are often the first and last birds to visit each day. Fill the feeders before heavy snowstorms, too. Cardinals are also ground feeders and won’t easily find food covered by a blanket of snow. Also keep in mind that cardinals tend to attack their own reflections. Place feeders away from windows and shiny surfaces like car mirrors and chrome.
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