Looking for the perfect birdseed to attract those vibrant red cardinals to your backyard? Look no further! We've scoured the market to bring you the top contenders for the best birdseed for cardinals.


After extensive research and testing, we've found that the Wagner's 62059 Greatest Variety Blend offers the perfect combination of sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and other ingredients that cardinals love.

Plus, it's backed by consumer reviews, with satisfied customers reporting an increase in cardinal sightings after switching to this premium blend. So, if you're ready to bring a pop of color to your birdwatching experience, grab a bag of Wagner's 62059 and get ready for some stunning cardinal visitors.

Related: Best birdseed for summer

Black-Oil Sunflower Seed

If you are looking to attract cardinals to your backyard, then a great option for you is to provide them with black-oil sunflower seed. This popular type of birdseed is rich in healthy fats and provides birds with plenty of energy, making it an excellent choice for both the winter and summer months.

Cardinals prefer large seeds for food, and black-oil sunflower seeds are one of their favorite options. The meatier seed is softer than regular sunflower seed and is ideal for attracting numerous birds including finches and chickadees. Cardinals' large red beaks are designed to crack through tough outer seed shells like sunflower and safflower, making black-oil sunflower seeds an attractive option to the cardinal species. Its high fat content provides the nutrients needed for birds to sustain their energy throughout the day.

One great feature of black-oil sunflower seed is that it can be easily purchased at most pet stores and garden centers. This means that you don't have to go out of your way to find it, making it a convenient option for those looking to attract more birds to their backyard.

Also read: Best bird seed for crows

It's important to note that cardinals are drawn towards sturdy feeders that can hold the weight of their heavy bodies. Bird feeders with built-in trays and platform feeders are best suited for Cardinals, and they should be checked regularly in the early morning and late evening, the times when cardinals prefer to eat. Additionally, Cardinals prefer to have protective cover when feeding, so it's recommended to place food sources near trees and shrubbery to provide a natural and safe-feeling environment.

While black-oil sunflower seeds are an excellent option for attracting cardinals, it's important to note that they can also attract other birds you may not want in your yard, such as house sparrows and European starlings. To avoid attracting unwanted birds, try using feeders with smaller openings or choose a birdseed that is less attractive to these species.

Overall, black-oil sunflower seed is a healthy and easy-to-eat option for cardinals and other bird species. Its nourishing properties make it a popular choice among bird enthusiasts, and its wide availability allows for easy access to bird feeders across different regions. So, if you're looking to attract more cardinals to your yard, consider adding black-oil sunflower seed to your bird feeding regimen.

Safflower Seed

When it comes to attracting Northern Cardinals, one of the most important things is choosing the right birdseed. Safflower seed is another popular seed in cardinal mixes, and many birders swear by this tasty white seed. In our testing, we found that safflower seed is an excellent choice for anyone looking to attract these vibrant red birds to their backyard.

One of the benefits of safflower seed is that it's less likely to be eaten by squirrels and blackbirds, who tend to dominate other types of birdseed. This is because safflower seed has a thick shell that can be difficult for some birds to crack open. However, cardinals have uniquely shaped bills that allow them to crack these shells with ease, making safflower seed a perfect option for attracting them.

In addition to being squirrel and blackbird-resistant, safflower seed is also high in fat, which is why it's such a popular food option for many bird species. This high-fat content makes safflower seed a great option for birders who are trying to attract cardinals, as these birds require a lot of energy to maintain their vibrant red feathers.

It's also worth noting that safflower seed is a food that many other birds simply ignore. This is particularly useful for people who live in areas with high bird populations, as it can help deter birds that compete for food. For example, house sparrows are known to be particularly aggressive about food, but they tend to avoid safflower seed due to its thick shell.

Overall, our testing has found that safflower seed is an excellent option for anyone trying to attract Northern Cardinals. It's squirrel-resistant, high in fat, and often ignored by other bird species, making it a great choice for birders who are trying to attract cardinals to their backyard. You can find safflower seed at most pet stores and garden centers, so if you're looking to attract cardinals, be sure to give it a try.

Striped Sunflower Seed

If you are looking for the perfect option for birdseed to attract Northern Cardinals, striped sunflower seed could be an excellent choice.

One of the benefits of the striped sunflower seed is the fact that it has thick shells, which many birds cannot crack open. This alleviates competition from other types of birds, such as house sparrows, which can be less desirable backyard birds for bird enthusiasts.

Moreover, striped sunflower seeds are larger, and their hard shells are difficult to crack, making them an excellent option for birders who want to attract woodpeckers, jays, and other larger birds.

Cardinals have a "cracking" beak that fits into grooves to place a vice-like grip on the seed, which enables the bird to crack open the thick hulls easily. Therefore, Cardinals have no problem cracking and getting to the striped sunflower seed's meaty goodness.

Another significant advantage of striped sunflower seeds is that you can buy them at most pet stores and garden centers.

If you are trying to attract Northern Cardinals, another type of sunflower seed to consider is gray/black striped sunflower seeds. They are larger than black-oil sunflowers, which means that not as many birds can crack the seeds open, but the Cardinals have no problem cracking them open.

Birdseed Mix

Cardinals enjoy crushed peanuts, cracked corn, berries, and small chunks of suet during the winter months. Providing birdbaths or bird waterers for drinking and bathing is also an excellent idea as Cardinals prefer secluded areas surrounded by thick foliage. If you're looking to attract cardinals to your yard, it's important to have trees and shrubbery nearby as hiding spots.

Now, let's get to the birdseed mix options. Many birdseed companies make cardinal-specific mixes, but if you know what kind of seeds cardinals like, you'll know what to look for even if those mixes are unavailable. Most cardinal seed packages will include a mixture of safflower and sunflower seeds. However, some mixes will also include filler ingredients like milo and white millet, which don't do much to attract birds to your backyard. Some companies, such as Kaytee, also use artificial cherry flavoring in their pre-packaged cardinal mixes.

To attract a variety of bird species to your yard, you can opt for a birdseed mix that includes black-oil sunflower seed, safflower seeds, and/or striped sunflower seeds. However, be prepared to spend more on a mix as they tend to be costlier.

If you prefer to create your own mix, you can combine different varieties of bird seeds, such as safflower and black-oil sunflower seeds. This method is cost-effective and enables you to see a variety of wild birds.

In conclusion, the best birdseed mix for cardinals should include safflower and sunflower seeds and should be without any filler ingredients. Though shelled peanuts are an excellent source of protein and fat for cardinals, they are not exclusive favorites and may attract other birds as well. So, try out different options and attract a whole flock of cardinals to your yard!

Questions you might be asking

What type of birdseed do cardinals prefer?

Cardinals prefer sunflower seeds, either in shell or shelled. They also enjoy safflower seeds and nuts, such as peanuts.

Should I choose whole or shelled sunflower seeds?

Either option will work, but shelled sunflower seeds are less messy and more convenient.

Can I feed cardinals other types of birdseed?

Yes, but sunflower seeds are the preferred option for cardinals. You can mix in some safflower seeds or peanuts as well.

Where can I buy birdseed for cardinals?

You can find birdseed for cardinals at most pet stores, garden centers, and online retailers. Look for options that are specifically labeled for cardinals.

How do I attract cardinals to my bird feeder?

Place your bird feeder in a visible and accessible location, and fill it with fresh birdseed regularly. Cardinals are also attracted to water, so consider adding a bird bath or fountain to your backyard.

Can I make my own birdseed mixture for cardinals?

Yes, you can make your own birdseed mixture for cardinals by combining sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and peanuts. Just make sure to use high-quality ingredients and avoid adding any seasonings or additives.

Do Cardinals Eat Peanuts?

Yes, Cardinals do eat peanuts. Adding peanuts to your feeder can attract a variety of birds including the Cardinal.

Do Cardinals Like Cracked Corn?

Yes, Cardinals like cracked corn. It is a great source of nutrition and can be added to your feeder to attract cardinals.

Do Cardinals Like Suet?

Yes, Cardinals do like suet. It is a great source of high-energy nutrition for birds, including the Cardinal.

What Kind Of Feeder Do Cardinals Prefer?

Cardinals prefer a platform feeder, a hopper feeder or a tube feeder. Platform feeders allow birds to feed from all angles, while hopper and tube feeders offer protection from the elements and from other birds.

How to choose the best bird seed for cardinals?

Choose a bird seed that has a high percentage of sunflower seeds and safflower seeds as these are the preferred food for Cardinals.

What is the best bird seed for cardinals?

Black Oil Sunflower seeds are the best bird seed for Cardinals. They are high in fat and protein and provide the nutrition needed for the Cardinal's diet.

Do Cardinals like black sunflower seeds?

Yes, Cardinals like black sunflower seeds. These seeds are high in fat and protein and are great for a bird's diet.

Are sunflower seeds good for Cardinals?

Yes, sunflower seeds are good for Cardinals. They provide the necessary nutrients for their diet, including protein, fiber and fat.

What to feed Cardinals to make them red?

Cardinals get their red color from their diet of foods that contain carotenoid pigments. The best way to ensure that they maintain their red color is to offer them a variety of foods, including black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and fruit such as apples or berries.

Do cardinals prefer sunflower or safflower?

Cardinals prefer both sunflower and safflower seeds. These seeds are high in protein, fiber and fat, providing the necessary nutrition needed for the Cardinal's diet.