Cardinals’ eating habits raise many questions among bird researchers. They spend hours pondering the cardinals’ food consumption questions like,
“do cardinals like sunflower seeds?” what do you think? Indeed, cardinals love consuming black oil sunflower seeds and happily munch on other seed types. FYI, cardinals are seed eaters and get the required energy by eating these seeds.
However, if you want to know which seed type they munch on alongside consuming the sunflower seeds, you may continue reading this blog post. So, let’s begin.
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Other Seed Types That Cardinals Consume Alongside Sunflower Seeds:
Below, we have revealed what other seeds cardinals eat frequently. So, without delaying more, let’s get straight into the topic.
01. Safflower Seed
Cardinals love consuming safflower seeds like the black oil sunflower seeds. Safflower seeds are high-fat food that helps cardinals and other birds remain active and energetic throughout the day, especially during the winter.
Although these seeds come in thick shells that many birds find hard to crack, cardinals can easily break the seeds with their rigid bills.
So, if your gardens have visitors like squirrels and house sparrows that steal the cardinals’ food you offer, you can fill your feeders with safflower seeds to address the problem.
02. Striped Sunflower Seed
Striped sunflower seeds are another attention-drawing food source for cardinals. These seeds tend to be comparatively larger than other seed types that cardinals consume. They are encased with thick and heavy outer shells.
Besides that, striped sunflower seeds are full of vitamins, minerals, omega-3, and fatty acids. So, these seeds are nutritious for cardinals and other seed-eating birdies.
03. Nyjer (Thistle Seed)
Nyjer, aka thistle seeds, is an excellent source of fat and protein. Cardinals aren’t very fond of consuming these seeds; they usually don’t forage this food but feed on it whenever they encounter the thistle seeds.
By consuming these seeds, they get the required calories needed to remain active during the winter while conducting long flights. However, if you prefer cardinals serving thistle seeds, you can’t use a regular bird feeder due to the thistle’s unique shape.
Instead, we recommend choosing a nyjer seed feeder to serve this protein-rich food to your favorite birdies, the northern cardinals.
04. Birdseed Mix
In essence, it’s not a seed kind but a mixture of various seeds, including black oil sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds, and thistle seeds.
You may call it a buffet for birdies; various bird watchers often feed the birdseed mix to cardinals to provide them with everything under one meal.
Anyway, you can do the same as it will help cardinals receive essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and more to thrive and live healthily.
Frequently Asked Questions
01. Do Baby Cardinals Like Sunflower Seeds?
Although cardinals are known as seed eaters, they don’t consume this food until they turn juvenile. During the baby stage, they primarily feed on soft-bodied bugs and insects. Thus, we can conclude that baby cardinals don’t like sunflower seeds.
02. Do Cardinals Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Yes, they do; in fact, northern cardinals and blue jays love munching on pumpkin seeds. So, you can feed this seed type to cardinals, but ensure pumpkin seeds are hulled before serving to make consumption easier for cardinals.
03. Can Wild Birds Eat Sunflower Seeds?
Indeed, numerous wild birds can consume sunflower seeds, and some even love this food. To name a few, tufted titmice, house finches, brown-headed nuthatches, American goldfinches, and red-billed woodpeckers never refrain from eating sunflower seeds.
04. Why Are Sunflower Seeds Harmful To Some Birdies?
Sunflower seeds are high in fats and carbohydrates, and if you feed these seeds to your pet birds regularly, they may become overweight and develop illnesses like fatty liver disease. That’s why the sunflower seed is considered bad for some birds.
Cardinals love sunflower seeds and also prefer devouring safflower and thistle seeds. These seeds are their primary food source and give them the nutrition and energy they need to grow strong and live healthily.
But cardinals also consume animal-based food, and some even eat carrion in rare circumstances.