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     Cardinal Corner strives to give you the latest information to make your backyard birding experiences the absolute best. Questions about attracting American Goldfinches, Northern Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds?
 We give the latest information about squirrel proofing your bird feeders.

Please contact us at Cardinal Corner if you have any problems or questions at 651-455-6556 or 651-459-3880 during regular business hours or email us at Our knowledgeable staff can answer your wild bird questions. Our information below may answer some of your questions.

Battling squirrels is a war that can be won by using a variety of devices and a little thought. There are "squirrel-proof" feeders that promise to accommodate only birds and "squirrel-resistant" feeders that can help keep squirrels off and from destroying the feeder. By placing a squirrel feeding station away from bird feeding stations help keep squirrels full and busy. Skewer some ear corn on a nail driven through a platform or Cardinal Corner carries a chain and screw feeder. There are many types of squirrel feeders available for feeding and entertaining. Squirrels are acrobatic and persistent. They can jump vertically as much as 4 feet and horizontally as much as 8-10'. They can balance on a wire and if they can grip it - they can climb it.
Place your pole-mounted feeders 8-10' away from railings, roofs or trees. Feeders should be no closer to the ground than 4'. By putting a squirrel baffle on the pole prevents them from climbing up the pole.

For hanging feeders, place the baffle above the feeder, making sure the feeder is place 8" away from a jumping platform.
Try placing your feeders on a thin, horizontal wire attached between 2 points. Keep squirrels from walking on the wire by covering it with plastic PVC pipe. The tubing will spin as the squirrel tries to walk on it. You may need to change the location of your feeders a few times before finding that ideal location or you may have to trim a few branches that they are using as launch pads. There are a few foods that squirrels usually will not eat. Safflower, NutraSaff thistle, Hot Pepper Suet cakes, plain suet or our Attractor plugs for our Woodpecker Logs. Place safflowers in feeders that cannot be squirrel-proofed or that squirrels could destroy.
Do Not Mix. 

Deliver an Electric Shock as training
Squirrel and Raccoon proof bird feeder! The Wild Bill's feeder delivers an electric shock when a squirrel or raccoon attempts to feed. The "Stinger" trains the squirrels not to feed from this feeder. They do learn! Birds love this bird feeder including cardinals.  Uses a 9 volt battery.

Wild Bills Bird Feeder comes in 8 or 12 port!    30 day money back guarantee!

Brome Classics squirrel proof feeder 
Close Off the Seed with the family of Brome Squirrel Buster feeders

This Squirrel Buster Feeder uses a cage surrounding the seed reservoir to keep squirrels and larger birds at bay. The cage is weight sensitive, and when animals over four ounces such as: squirrels, jays, or grackles rest on the perch, the shroud drops down over the seed port so they cannot reach the seed. Cardinals will feed from this bird feeder.

Attracting Orioles
Oriole Fest Feeder for fruit, nectar and grape jelly!
Trying to attract these fabulous birds to your backyard is an absolute must in Minnesota. Baltimore Orioles love our tall mature trees and residential neighborhoods. Orioles arrive about the first of May. We like to have our feeders ready and out about the 3rd week of April. Timing may make a difference. Orioles winter in Florida, the Caribbean, Central Mexico and Central America to northern South America and are called Neo-tropical birds. On average, an oriole probably travels about 150 miles each night, flying at about 20 miles per hour. If the weather is good, and they do not stop for long, it would take an oriole about 2-3 weeks to complete its migration, depending on where it started from in the fall, or where it is going in the spring. They migrate at night and are tired, hungry and often cold when they arrive after their long trip. The male arrives first and will immediately set up a territory, which can be the same as last year and may build their nest in the same tree. You can usually hear their “Weeet“ call, which is a single, upward-slurred, flute-like whistle, consisting of 4–8 notes right before they are seen. They seem to announce their presence first. The female will usually arrive a few days after the male. Orioles weave a pendulous nest that hangs off thin branches 25-30’ off the ground, usually in the tallest deciduous tree. Put out nesting materials such as string, rope fibers, yarn, no longer than 6” in length, also hair, feathers or prepackaged nesting materials available at Cardinal Corner. A metal suet cage is a great nesting material holder. Do not use dryer lint, for rain does not drain through it and the young may drown. Orioles have one brood per year consisting of 4-5 eggs, incubating them for about 12-14 days. She tends to the young for about 2 weeks. Both birds will protect the nest. You can have great success offering nectar, orange halves, grape jelly and fruit flavored commercial suet. Offer other fruits such as; chopped pears, chopped apples, or sliced bananas. These can be offered in a platform feeder or a suet feeder. Cardinal Corner carries a variety of hanging fruit and jelly feeders as a way to offer these snacks, plus nectar feeders designed for Baltimore Orioles. Place your feeders in a visible place– hanging from a tree or pole.
Putting the feeder in the shade helps the nectar to stay fresher longer. Orioles may taper off in mid-June for a few weeks during the nesting season, but keep putting out food, for they should return with their young to the feeders. Orioles will also eat meal worms. Last year, our customers with the best luck keeping orioles coming to their feeders and staying the latest in the year were faithful feeding meal worms. They need the protein during and after nesting. As with hummingbirds, always keep your food fresh and clean. Change the nectar every few days. Clean feeders and fresh nectar are very important! Wash feeders in hot soapy water. You can make your own nectar or Cardinal Corner carries an orange-flavored nectar, which we feel increases your chances of attracting orioles. Orioles will sometimes frequent a hummingbird feeder but with difficulty. Oriole feeders have larger perches and do not have the standard bee guards, orioles are known to pull the bee guards off hummingbird feeders. A hummingbird will have no difficulty using a oriole feeder. Listen, watch and enjoy the return of these beautiful birds. Seeing your first oriole will be well worth your time and effort. Listen to an oriole song at:
In Minnesota, Baltimore Orioles leave around the first week of September to make their long journey.


Best 1 Hummingbird

We al
l would love to have hummers buzzing around our yards. Put out your hummingbird feeders about first week of May in the Midwest. A few small feeders are better than one large one. Male hummingbirds are very territorial and may not allow other males to feed. Place your feeders so they cannot see each other as they feed. Plant clusters of red or bright colored tubular flowers in your yard or in hanging baskets. For best results place your feeders near the flowers. Don't use red food coloring if making your own nectar, it could harm the hummingbirds. If you don't think there is enough red on the feeder, tie some red ribbons from it to make it more noticeable.
To control bees, spread a little Vaseline, mineral oil or salad oil around the ports. Try using Avon's Skin-So-Soft around the ports without getting it in the nectar. Keep a water bottle filled with soapy water to spray your feeder to wash off the sugar water that has spilled. Try moving the feeder to another location. You could also try a wasp trap. Bees usually aren't a problem until the summer's end. To control ants use an ant trap that keeps ants from reaching your feeder by creating a moat between the feeder and the hanger. They are a fantastic invention.

Hummingbirds have an incredible memory, attract them in the spring and they should return in the fall and even the next year! Leave your feeders up until the end of October in the Midwest. Hummingbirds need the food to migrate - they will not stay around because your feeders are out or migrate on the backs of geese!

The Cardinal Bird feeder designed for the weight of cardinals. 

        Cardinal Feeder

Northern Cardinal is probably the most wanted bird in all backyards. Cardinals never came this far north to Minnesota but the statement " Feed them and they will come" rang true. This is all made possible by backyard bird feeding. The cardinal is a year round non-migratory resident who resides from the Dakota, Southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, south to the Gulf Coast and from southern Texas through Arizona and south to Mexico.   

   In January, Cardinals start to sing from the tree tops to establish their breeding territory. They will defend their territory during breeding time – even if they see themselves in a mirror or a window they will try fight themselves to the point of exhaustion. Some will die. Cover that area so they can no longer see their reflection. Both the male and female sing, (which is unusual for birds), for most of the year.. It is believed that cardinals mate for life but are known to be “unfaithful”- for breeding is their most important job. Mates are chosen for choosing the best breeding territory which is usually found to be the safest and also for his “looks”. The “best looking” cardinals are chosen first. The redder the better along with a beautiful crest.

Female cardinals begin building their nests in early April with a little help from the males – usually successfully raising 2-3 broods. Their nests are located between 3 to 20 feet above in dense thickets, trees and thick shrubs. With their nests built so low, there are many predators such as cats and hawks. Cardinals never nest in bird houses. It takes from 3-9 days to build a loose cup- like nest and after a 6 day rest, 2-5 gray- blue, spotted, dotted with blotches of grays, browns, and purple eggs appear. Incubation starts after the last egg is laid and hatch in 12-13 days. The female is on the nest most of the time with the male taking over the feeding so the female can start another nest. He will feed her several times a day. The male will bring food to the young the first few days. The male is near so he can sing to her and watch for nearby predators. 

 Cardinals usually molt in August and September in Minnesota. Cardinals are not around much during this time and will cease their singing. If you see a black headed, “ugly” looking cardinal, mites have attacked their head feathers. They will grow back but are unsightly until then. Cardinals are one of the birds that use “anting” as a way to rid their feathers of lice and mites and to sooth the skin during molting. They allow ants to climb or will rub through their feathers. Then the ants are finished their feather appear wet.

 If cardinals live through the first year – they can live a long life. The max life span is 15 years – 9 months. Keep a close eye on  your cardinals for their behavior change from day to day and from season to season.

 As with any backyard bird species, you must provide food, water and shelter. Select a feeder that allows cardinals enough space to perch and eat. Bird feeders equipped with short perches will not accommodate cardinals. Offer a tube feeder with a tray, or an open platform (a fly-through) feeder will enable cardinals to feed in your yard. They are considered ground feeders but have adapted to bird feeders. Bird feeders are most successful in attracting cardinals when placed 8-10’ from trees or other shelter. Cardinal’s two favorite seeds are black sunflower and safflower but will eat peanuts, millet, and cracked corn. Cardinals are usually the first bird to feed in the morning and the last to feed at night, because they are ground feeders and with their bright color, feeding at these times are safer. When cardinals are not at your feeders they eat at least 51 different kinds of insects and 33 kinds of blossoms, seeds and fruits. Offer mealworms. Cardinals need a place to roost in the winter and to nest in the summer. They prefer dense shrubs and coniferous trees such as pines, dense thickets and small deciduous trees. Using the  nest between 3’ to 12’ off the ground with under 10’ being most popular. They usually nest fairly close to the ground which is why cats are a huge problem for cardinals. In the winter, you may see as many of 10–12 cardinals dotting the trees, but during nesting season they claim their territories and will not allow too many others in. Toward the end of January, Cardinals will start to sing from the tops of the tallest trees. Whistle their glorious song back to them and they will begin their serenade.  – they are a great source of protein.

Providing a reliable source of open water during all seasons is every bit as attractive to cardinals as food. A variety of heated bird baths are available or heating elements work well in any bird bath. Try putting a stick in the bottom of the bath jutting up over the edge of the bath for extra security.

Cardinals need a place to roost in the winter and to nest in the summer. They prefer dense shrubs and coniferous trees such as pines, dense thickets and small deciduous trees. Using the  nest between 3’ to 12’ off the ground with under 10’ being most popular. They usually nest fairly close to the ground which is why cats are a huge problem for cardinals. In the winter, you may see as many of 10–12 cardinals dotting the trees, but during nesting season they claim their territories and will not allow too many others in. Toward the end of January, Cardinals will start to sing from the tops of the tallest trees. Whistle their glorious song back to them and they will begin their serenade.

 A small sampling of bird feeders Cardinal Corner carries for cardinals.

Any Tube Bird Feeders with large perches and trays
All Feeders with trays
Hopper Bird Feeders
Fly-Thru Bird Feeders
Arundale Sky Café bird feeder
"The Cardinal Feeder" bird feeder
Wild Bill’s Feeder Bowl type bird feeders                       
Ground feeding trays
Hanging trays
Bird Stuff Color Dome bird feeder

NoNo Cardinal Feeders
Brome Squirrel Buster Plus
Droll Yankee Dorothy Feeder
Droll Yankee Covered platform.

Wire Noel Guard Predator Guards for bluebird houses

 Noel Guard, invented by Jim Noel, is used to deter raccoons, cats and large birds like hawks from preying on the contents of nest boxes. It is inexpensive and useful for boxes mounted on trees and wooden posts that offer easy access to climbing predators. (I recommend mounting boxes on smooth metal pipe with a Squirrel/raccoon Proofing baffles  also protects the nest box contents from snakes.) You can easily make one yourself, and only cost about $1 to make. It is estimated to be 90% effective in keeping raccoons and cats out of a box. (Missouri Bluebird Society.) A Noel Guard does NOT deter snakes.
Make sure it is deep enough and securely attached (it can be stapled on) so a raccoon cannot pull it off or reach past it to eggs or nestlings. Also make sure that the guard cannot be reached by horses or livestock because they may rub against it and bend it over, trapping your birds inside.

Be sure to bend back any cut wires on the exterior edges, as they are very sharp and could hurt incoming birds or you!

If bluebirds have a choice, they may select a box without a Noel Guard. Other monitors who leave them up year round have not had issues with acceptance, and find that bluebirds, chickadees and House Wrens are not deterred. Consider putting up a Noel Guard after the first egg is laid to avoid scaring the birds away, although some folks have success leaving them up year round. If the female refuses to go into the house with the guard on and you wont be around to watch for a while, take the guard off so the female will go into the house  The NABS website says this guard is estimated to be 90% effective in keeping raccoons or cats from reaching into the box. Some people find it does not deter raccoons, as they have long arms and a bendable wrist. Keith Kridler speculates that if the guard were 6-9" deep, it would deter all raccoons. Do not put these on boxes where livestock can rub on them as they can flatten them and trap nestlings inside.