With its instantly noticeable reddish tan or bright red plumage and cheerful head crest, the northern cardinal is one of the most popular backyard species in North America. In this article, you’ll learn how to build or buy the right Cardinal bird house.
These birds prefer staying in dense woodland and riparian regions but can easily be seen in suburban areas if adult trees are available.
Male Cardinals are known for their aggression, which can be seen through the dominance of the feeder or chasing other Cardinals away from different regions. However, they can be shy around other species, significantly giant birds.
The boldly colored Cardinal is a famous icon from the St. Louis Cardinals baseball crew to countless minor league teams, businesses, and even schools. Besides, this bird is the state bird of seven states, the maximum of any state bird.
They are omnivorous and are dependent on various food sources, including seeds, nuts, insects, fruit, sap, cracked cone, berries, and suet. Cardinals are the first birds to visit in the morning and the last to leave in the evening.
About Cardinal Bird Houses
Cardinals enjoy nesting on the tree’s branches instead of crevices in the trunk. Building an enclosed wooden bird house for a Cardinal will most probably be in vain, as the bird will neglect it, while other birds such as House Sparrows and Wrens will occupy it.
A simple-looking nest design may attract a female to form a nest. A bird house variety such as the platform is a more suitable alternative to offer.
It is essential to identify its nature to get why this is so. Cardinals mate for life and their standard chosen breeding habitat contains thickets, shrubby areas, or areas with highly dense understory.
So, How can we support these birds and discover nesting places if we don’t have suitable trees in our backyard to build a nest? An answer can be a nesting shelf, wire cage or bird feeders.
You can set them on or near barns or houses as Cardinals don’t mind living near people. Nesting shelf is a better and secure option as it protects nests from mighty wind, and reduces the possibility of losing eggs or young. And they provide a reliable roof that keeps the nest drier.
Cardinals will not use the same nest place again, so you should consider migrating an old nest platform to a new site at summer’s end.
Size of Cardinal Bird Houses
Nest platforms for Cardinals usually need just a few scrap wood pieces and standard workshop tools like nails and a hammer.
The most suitable bird house kits to make are the nesting shelves to draw these birds to your yard. Nesting ledge dimensions are 8 “x 7” (floor), 9 “(height).
Place these shelves at a quiet spot, preferably near the trees or brush. Hang at a minimum height of 5 to 15 feet from the ground to prevent ground predators.
Building numerous platforms at multiple heights in different trees and shrubs may increase the odds of a pair choosing to stay in your yard and raise their young.
Cardinal Bird House Maintenance
These are some steps you can follow to maintain the nesting shelves or bird feeders and make your yard more Cardinal-friendly.
● Remove old nesting stuff from shelves or feeders before each new nesting season begins.
● Place feeders to several areas of the yard, so if Cardinals occupy one, they can have another option for easy feeding. With more food supplies, more birds will take pleasure and enjoy the backyard without overcrowding.
● Cover reflective surfaces such as car mirrors, shining windows, and chrome accessories that could distract Cardinals. If not covered, they will charge their own reflections and might harm them.
● Discard the old nest only with your gloves on because it may have parasites. Remove everything inside the nest into a sealable garbage bag.
● Give the nesting shelves a good cleaning with the bleach solution, make sure to get every crevice and corner.
● Fix the bird house in sunlight and let it dry for some hours to ensure no liquid is within. It will help stop the growth of mold and fungus.
● After it’s dry and clean, provide it with an excellent inspection to ensure nothing broke during the cleaning process.
Building or Buying Cardinal Bird Houses
We’ve reduced all your stress by choosing a list of the best plans for a Cardinal bird house. The nesting shelves and feeders will work as wooden bird houses.
● Devin’s Cardinal house Plans: Cardinals don’t like enclosed places, but you can make them a shelf space ledge preferably. Devin provides you all the measurements in the video and explains to you how to install them together.
● Mourning Dove Platform: This beautiful, slightly larger-looking design is perfect for the larger platform nesters: Cardinals, Doves, and Robins. This platform has an 8″x 8″ base, almost an 8″ ceiling, an open front, and partly open sides. Made from cedar, pine, or nearly every softwood.
● The Robin Platform: The Robin platform is also somewhat identical to the Mourning Dove platform design. Made from pine, cedar, or softwood. You can install Robin nesting shelves under the porch roof, the house eave, barn, garage overhang, barn, or other similar structures.
● Woodlink Absolute II Bird Feeder: Absolute II Hopper Style Feeder is our overall most reliable Cardinal
feeder because it comprises all the necessary things to look for in a feeder.
● Cardinal Nesting Shelves by Duncraft: Duncraft has introduced a nesting shelf specially for Cardinals. It may
take some time for your Cardinals to realize the benefits of making their nest in one. After all, this is something that no one has tried earlier!
Cardinal Nests in Bird Houses
Cardinals typically nest in thick shrubs like the pokeberry, spicebush, blueberry, flowering dogwood and juneberry. However, They are also seen to nest in dense vines like the trumpet creeper, making excellent and secure hiding places.
One of the unique ways of attracting Cardinals to one’s garden is to plant bushes. They are mainly enamored of multi-flora roses. The Cardinal’s nests are cup-sized and formed from plant stems, bark strips, twigs, and other plant materials. As platforms are open from all sides, they can comfortably accommodate the nest. Only the female Cardinal forms the nest, while the male sticks nearby to guard their territory.
Female usually makes the nest in four layers: common twigs (and sometimes pieces of trash) enclosed in a leafy mat, then lined with grapevine crust and finally stems, grasses, pine needles, and rootlets. The nest usually takes 3 to 9 days to form. After the product gets completed, it is 2-3 inches high, 4 inches wide, with an internal diameter of nearly 3 inches. These birds normally use their nests only once.
Cardinals are socially monogamous. They typically raise two broods a year, beginning from March to late May or July. Breeding pairs may stay together year-round or may breed together for some seasons. You can set goals to bird-watch for these Cardinals after you have placed your bird house in your backyard and record your results.