Cardinal Sightings....Where Are They?

johnfromperrycopa(zone 6 scPA)December 14, 2008

It's been awhile since I've visited this site - one of the best to gather expert advice or insight IMHO. So, why haven't I seen but one pair of cardinals at my feeder this fall/winter so far? Do I need to wait until the first real snowfall for them to come around? I can't remember the timing from years before; but, perhaps it was later in the winter that they visited - sometimes 6 or 8 individual birds at a time. Maybe I am just anxious for some color to brighten up the landscape. Most other birds are visiting - downies, titmice, juncos, finches, yellow-bellies now and then.

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pinwheel(SE PA)

I'm in SE PA. Typically I get only one pair of cardinals at my feeder. It's my understanding that they are territorial, and they certainly act that way when another cardinal pair arrives.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 11:57AM
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bella_trix(z6b SE PA)

It might be your seed/feeders. I've found that my cardinals love Safflower seed, but it needs to be good quality seed. When I run out of the high quality seed and buy emergency seed at the grocery/pet store, they go elsewhere. If you are in SE PA, an absolutely fantastic bird feeding store is Birds and Beyond in Collegeville. They have everything you would ever need for attracting birds, really fresh/high quality seed and are a family business, not a chain.

I also noticed that my cardinals like to eat from some sort of tray that is off the ground. They are most often eating from a safflower tube feeder that has a large seed catching tray on the bottom.

Hope you cardinals show up soon,

Here is a link that might be useful: Birds and Beyond

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:41AM
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johnfromperrycopa(zone 6 scPA)

As the weather turned colder and some snowy weather arrived, we have seen more at the feeder now. I use good quality seed and they do feed mostly from the seed spilled on the ground (they are ground feeders) but once in awhile will land on the feeder as well. I think we need a good snow storm to bring them all back.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2009 at 2:58PM
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I had six males and a couple of females at/around my feeder a couple of minutes ago. They seem to be taking turns at the feeder.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 4:25PM
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Oh, they are here. You just need the right food to bring them in. Something with sunflower seeds or nuts should work.

I have them at my cage feeder (twice the size of a suet feeder)that you insert the bricks of food in. They love it!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 7:46PM
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chescobob(z6b SEPA)


The cardinals here spend much of their time in the brush. In January and February, they appear in numbers--just like you are seeing now. Last year, I had 13 male cardinals sitting in different parts of the woods at the same time. I think I counted up to 9 this year so far. Its usually about 4 or 5 males and 4 or 5 females. Last week, I put feed in a feeder on my deck because of the ice on the hilly lawn. The deck was filled with male and female cardinals.

A good feeder for cardinals is a "no-no" feeder with black oil sunflower seeds in it. They sit on the rim, pull seed out of the feeder, and munch until they are full.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:42AM
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You know, I noticed a lack of cardinals this year, too. Last year we probably had a dozen pair coming daily. I've only seen two or three pair at a time this year. I have also seen: downy & hairy woodpeckers, red bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse, dark-eyed junco, tons of sparrows, carolina wren,chickadeeedeedees, a couple of mourning doves. We have only ever put out black sunflower seeds & suets.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 11:49PM
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Found this old thread through a search.
I haven't seen one cardinal at the feeders so far this fall.
I usually have a yard full.
We have had unusually warm weather here in Ohio this fall so hopefully they will come around soon.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:15PM
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Sorry, I assumed this was the birdwatching forum.
Thanks in advance for any replies though.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:21PM
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