What kind of birdhouse do cardinals like?

Answered by Frank Schwing

Cardinals, being cavity nesters, do not typically use birdhouses. However, they do appreciate nesting trays or platforms that can be attached to a sturdy structure, such as a tree or a pole. These nesting trays provide a flat surface for the cardinals to build their nest upon.

When choosing a nesting tray for cardinals, it is important to consider a few key factors. First, the tray should be made of a durable material, such as wood or metal, to withstand the elements and provide stability for the nest. Avoid using flimsy materials that may break or sway in the wind.

Size is another important consideration. The nesting tray should be spacious enough to accommodate a cardinal’s nest, which can be around 8-9 inches in diameter. A tray with sides that are at least 2-3 inches high will help prevent the eggs or fledglings from rolling out.

Cardinals prefer nesting trays with a shallow depth, typically around 6-8 inches. This allows the birds to easily access the nest and tend to their eggs or young. Additionally, providing a tray with drainage holes can help prevent water from accumulating and causing damage to the nest.

It is recommended to place the nesting tray at a height of 10-15 feet above the ground. This height provides some protection from predators while still being easily accessible for the cardinals. Placing the tray in a location with plenty of green cover, such as near shrubs or trees, can offer additional protection and create a more suitable nesting environment.

To increase the chances of attracting cardinals to your nesting tray, it is beneficial to introduce it a year before they start nesting. This allows the birds to become familiar with the structure and view it as a potential nesting site. Providing food sources, such as bird feeders, nearby can also attract cardinals to the area.

Cardinals do not typically use birdhouses but prefer nesting trays or platforms. These trays should be made of durable materials, have a spacious and shallow design, and be placed at a suitable height with plenty of green cover nearby. Introducing the nesting tray a year in advance can increase the chances of attracting cardinals to nest in your backyard.