About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where the cardinals went

Where did all my cardinals go? Is there something special I should put out to call them back?

At the end of summer and beginning of fall there are a lot of transitions going on at the feeders. Some birds leave us, some birds join us, some birds will just pass through and some birds gather in large flocks and determine their new winter territories.

By late summer, nesting is over and Northern Cardinals relax their defense of their territory boundaries. The birds sing less and flocks of cardinals begin to form. The Cardinals don’t migrate but can expand their range while foraging for food. Right now they are determining which yard to spend the winter. If you continue to offer fresh food in clean feeders, they will return. 
 
These ever changing flocks can consist of about four to twenty birds depending on the area, time of year, weather, and available resources. 
 
I like to call in the cardinals with the Wild Birds Unlimited No-mess blend and a Safflower cylinder. Wild Birds Unlimited also has a wide variety of other cardinal friendly feeders and food.
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About 40% of adult cardinals die each year. Most die during the winter in February and March when food supplies are low. Death may not be due to starvation but a weakened immune system or being forced to search for food in more open areas where birds of prey and other predators can kill them.
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The Northern Cardinal is often the first bird to visit a feeder in the morning and the last to stop by and grab a bite at night. The populations with access to a feeding station may be in better condition and more likely to survive the winter than cardinals without access. 
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Related Articles:
Northern Cardinal Fun Facts http://bit.ly/twE6NV
How the Northern Cardinal bird was named http://bit.ly/tSKZYs
Cardinal Bird Feeders Made in the USA: http://bit.ly/qXJPFM
How to Attract Cardinals: http://bit.ly/pjh7mO
What can I feed the cardinals to make them redder? http://bit.ly/rAArXw
What are the different types of cardinal birds? http://goo.gl/CUI43