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Old 12-29-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,885,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
Any suggestions for attracting cardinals? Are the males mostly ground feeders? I have several small females around the yard, and they seem to like the sunflower seed mix, but the males are indifferent. Also have 3 or 4 different kinds of suet and haven't seen any males after that yet either. (All bought at the Wild Bird specialty store, and/or Audobon Society seed.) Maybe I should get them bargain basement seed. I would like the Bluejays to choose another yard though ... they'll fight with anyone and are PITA.
Seems to me I see more female than male Cardinals, maybe the females are just a little braver.

I believe Cardinals are basically ground feeders, although they will eat off of elevated platforms or trays. I never see them clinging to the side of a wire feeder, that's for sure. Have never seen them eat suet either. But they really do like sunflower seeds.
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:10 PM
 
11,116 posts, read 16,015,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Seems to me I see more female than male Cardinals, maybe the females are just a little braver.

I believe Cardinals are basically ground feeders, although they will eat off of elevated platforms or trays. I never see them clinging to the side of a wire feeder, that's for sure. Have never seen them eat suet either. But they really do like sunflower seeds.

Thanks. Yes, the femaled are little gobblers. Think I'll get some seed mix blended for Cardinals, and give them their own dining room out there.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,004 posts, read 12,796,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Seems to me I see more female than male Cardinals, maybe the females are just a little braver.

I believe Cardinals are basically ground feeders, although they will eat off of elevated platforms or trays. I never see them clinging to the side of a wire feeder, that's for sure. Have never seen them eat suet either. But they really do like sunflower seeds.
On the subject of the black oily sunflower seeds: I was once told by our Game Commission that bears could smell a teaspoon of the seed a mile away. I know that many animals love the sunflower seeds besides birds - including bears, deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, rabbits, rats and mice. In my state, once a bear moves into your neighborhood, we have to pull in our feeders or we could be prosecuted for feeding the bear. Actually, by the time we realize that bear are in our area, we have already had an expensive feeder destroyed. Many times, people that feed all year long, will attract mice and sometimes rats to their homes.

I was always curious how farmers, that grow these bird foods, control the unwanted wildlife year after year? The longer they grow seed, from the same land, the more they attract freeloaders - they also have to contend with unwanted birds. Many times we have purchased bags of seed, from our feed stores, with holes chewed in the bags.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:46 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
12,787 posts, read 32,963,815 times
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The chew holes are from mice & rats getting into the bags at the feed store. That's what I was told by the people that work their. And Farmers Don't grow Bird Seed! They grow people food animals & birds get the leftovers. Food that doesn't pass inspection.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
16,004 posts, read 12,796,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
The chew holes are from mice & rats getting into the bags at the feed store. That's what I was told by the people that work their. And Farmers Don't grow Bird Seed! They grow people food animals & birds get the leftovers. Food that doesn't pass inspection.
Of course most holes are chewed in the feed stores.

By the way; farmers do grow bird seed: American Farm :: More farmers in state grow sunflowers for birdseed. I don't think that any of them think of growing bird seed or deer feed as not farming. They go through the same process - except for the higher standards for human food.
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Old 12-31-2013, 04:55 PM
 
1,500 posts, read 2,461,902 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Don't you realize that ....yadda yadda yadda... The pure arrogance of people that feed wild animals and birds simply don't think, probably because it is all about them, not the nature they claim to like so much.
That was needlessly unkind. The OP is asking because he/she does care about nature.

I'd tell you that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar but I wouldn't want to give the flies a false sense of security.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:59 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 15,885,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
On the subject of the black oily sunflower seeds: I was once told by our Game Commission that bears could smell a teaspoon of the seed a mile away. I know that many animals love the sunflower seeds besides birds - including bears, deer, raccoons, opossums, skunks, rabbits, rats and mice. In my state, once a bear moves into your neighborhood, we have to pull in our feeders or we could be prosecuted for feeding the bear. Actually, by the time we realize that bear are in our area, we have already had an expensive feeder destroyed. Many times, people that feed all year long, will attract mice and sometimes rats to their homes.

I was always curious how farmers, that grow these bird foods, control the unwanted wildlife year after year? The longer they grow seed, from the same land, the more they attract freeloaders - they also have to contend with unwanted birds. Many times we have purchased bags of seed, from our feed stores, with holes chewed in the bags.
Thankfully I'm too far south in my state to worry about bears! Although we do have 'possums, raccoons and other critters but honestly while I suppose they come over at night to check for leavings on the ground, it's not an issue. I'm quasi-rural, so the critters are going to be around whether I'm feeding birds or not, I guess.

Interesting question about farmers deterring wildlife. I have grown sunflowers as ornamentals and the birds have mostly left them alone. At the end of the season I cut off the heads and scrape the seeds out. Then, they eat them.
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:35 AM
 
Location: Canada
6,232 posts, read 4,653,769 times
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We fed our wild birds black sunflower seeds. Raccoons came every night to eat, so we started putting out our leftovers for them. We enjoyed watching them as much as the birds and they got used to seeing us watching them. They even started bringing their babies because they knew we wouldn't harm them.

As for squirrels, we put flat pans of sunflower seeds out for them to sit in while they ate. We even had flying squirrels show up after dark. They are beautiful creatures with sweet faces and large eyes (to see at night)

One thing about feeding birds that is a real downer: rats. We had them at our old house and they took up residence by digging holes under the foundation of our sunroom. After we moved, I wanted nothing to do with feeding the birds again because unfortunately, I know rats would show up.
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,665,326 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
Any suggestions for attracting cardinals? Are the males mostly ground feeders? I have several small females around the yard, and they seem to like the sunflower seed mix, but the males are indifferent. Also have 3 or 4 different kinds of suet and haven't seen any males after that yet either. (All bought at the Wild Bird specialty store, and/or Audobon Society seed.) Maybe I should get them bargain basement seed. I would like the Bluejays to choose another yard though ... they'll fight with anyone and are PITA.
Cardinals tend to be rather shy, and they like thickets nearby. They frequently come to my feeders, males and females, at dawn or dusk before or after other birds. When they come during the middle of the day, it's more likely when there are few other birds at the feeders, although there is one male who seems to hang with a flock of sparrows.

I bought a peanut feeder and feed the blue jays whole peanuts, which keeps them busy so that they leave the other birds alone.

I have been feeding birds, mostly black oil sunflower seeds and suet year round, for years and have never had rats or skunks. I don't feed cheap bird seed which is mixed with filler seed that birds don't like so they scatter around and which attracts rodents. Around here, even though I live in the city (in a walkable city neighborhood no less!), deer, raccoons, and possums are regular visitors. There have even been bears sighted in the neighborhood occasionally.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:46 AM
 
3,438 posts, read 4,933,567 times
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My back yard feeders are loaded with cardinals.

I think it depends more on where you live than if you purchase your seed at.........."the Wild Bird specialty store"

( I purchase mine at Walmart )

The cardinals don't seem to care ) .
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