Best Seeds for Cardinals: Top Choices for Attracting These Vibrant Birds

We have compiled a list of the best seeds for cardinals that will attract these beautiful birds to your backyard and keep them coming back for more.

After extensive research and analysis of various seed options, we have identified the best seeds for cardinals to help you attract and nourish these captivating birds.

By offering these high-quality selections, you can support the wellbeing of cardinals in your backyard and enjoy their vibrant colors and lively energy.

Best Seeds for Cardinals

Wagner’s Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food


An excellent blend of seeds that nourishes cardinals with high oil content, making it a favored choice for bird lovers.


  • High percentage of black oil sunflower seeds and safflower seeds
  • Provides essential energy for cardinals
  • Convenient velcro press-lok for easy storage


  • May take time for cardinals to discover the feed
  • Slightly more expensive compared to other brands
  • Squirrels may still be attracted

This Wagner’s Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food is a perfect mix for attracting cardinals, offering a 60% black oil sunflower seeds and 40% safflower seeds formula. The high oil content seeds provide the necessary energy needed for these beautifully colored birds, ensuring they thrive in your garden.

I recently used the Wagner’s Cardinal Blend and observed a variety of birds, including cardinals, mourning doves, and finches in my garden. The velcro press-lok is a handy feature making the bag easy to store and ensuring I have not spilled any seeds.

Although it took about a month for cardinals to find this blend, once they did, they frequented my garden multiple times a day. The price may be slightly higher compared to some other options, but the quality of the blend and the enjoyment it brings for both cardinals and birdwatchers make it worth the extra cost. While it successfully attracts numerous cardinals, some squirrels may still be enticed, requiring additional measures for deterring them.

Overall, the Wagner’s Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food is an excellent investment for those looking to provide nourishment for their feathery friends while enjoying the sight of cardinals in their backyard.

Audubon Park Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food

Audubon Park Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food

Audubon Park Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food is a top choice for attracting a variety of colorful backyard birds with its sunflower and safflower seed blend.


  • 100% sunflower and safflower seed with no fillers
  • Black oil sunflower seeds provide wholesome energy
  • Safflower is squirrel-resistant due to its rich oil content


  • May not last long with a large number of birds visiting
  • Seeds may sprout if left in damp conditions
  • Doesn’t fully discourage squirrels from attempting to access the blend

As a bird enthusiast, I greatly enjoyed using Audubon Park Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food in my backyard. The blend contains no fillers, just 100% sunflower and safflower seed, so it does an excellent job of attracting cardinals, titmice, chickadees, finches, grosbeaks, and more. The black oil sunflower seeds not only attract a variety of birds but also provide them with wholesome energy.

Another benefit of this blend is its squirrel-resistant nature, thanks to the inclusion of safflower seeds, which are rich in oil and detestable to squirrels. This feature ensures that the focus remains on our feathered friends rather than unwanted visitors.

However, a few downsides I came across include the blend being depleted quickly if there’s a substantial number of birds visiting the feeder. Additionally, if the seeds are left exposed to damp conditions, they may sprout, which can be undesirable. And while the safflower does a decent job deterring squirrels, it doesn’t completely discourage them from trying to access the blend.

Despite these minor drawbacks, I find Audubon Park Cardinal Blend Wild Bird Food to be an excellent choice for anyone looking to attract colorful backyard birds with a high-quality, squirrel-resistant seed blend. The pros far outweigh the cons, making this a reliable and enjoyable option for bird enthusiasts.

Kaytee Wild Bird Ultimate Birder’s Blend

Kaytee Ultimate Birders

Kaytee’s Wild Bird Ultimate Birder’s Blend offers an excellent variety of seeds and nutrients tailored to attract cardinals and other wild birds to your backyard.


  • High nutritional value for various bird species
  • Wide variety of ingredients to attract diverse birds
  • Compatible with different feeder types


  • May produce some waste under the feeder
  • Some seeds may be less preferred by birds
  • Price might be higher compared to other blends

Kaytee’s Ultimate Birders’ Blend is a specially formulated bird seed mix created by birding enthusiasts. The blend contains a diverse range of ingredients like safflower, peanuts, striped sunflower, and millet, making it an attractive option for numerous wild bird species, such as grosbeaks, cardinals, nuthatches, woodpeckers, juncos, and more. This seed mix is nutritionally balanced, providing the birds a healthy diet and keeping them coming back to your feeders throughout the year.

When using this blend, I noticed that it works well with various feeder styles such as hopper, gazebo, and tube-style bird feeders. It’s crucial to provide a consistent and reliable source of high-energy seeds and blends to keep the birds frequenting your backyard, and Kaytee does a great job at this.

However, there were a few drawbacks to this blend. While most birds seem to enjoy the mix, there is some waste left on the ground beneath the feeder from less-preferred seeds. Additionally, the price might be higher than other bird seed blends on the market, but it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons when considering the overall nutritional value and the variety of species it attracts.

In conclusion, the Kaytee Wild Bird Ultimate Birder’s Blend is a great choice for those looking to attract a diverse range of wild birds to their backyard. It offers an excellent mix of ingredients and nutrients and is compatible with various feeder styles. Despite some waste produced and potentially higher pricing, the benefits and enjoyment you’ll get from seeing the variety of birds it attracts make it worth considering.

Everwilde Farms – Cardinal Flower Seeds

Everwilde Farms - Cardinal Flower Seeds

These Everwilde Farms Cardinal Flower Seeds are a suitable choice for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden with their stunning scarlet hue.


  • High-quality native wildflower seeds
  • Gold Vault Packaging for extended storage
  • Resealable/reusable zipper bag


  • Best suited for wet areas
  • Might need long-term storage
  • Germination may be challenging for some

The Everwilde Farms Cardinal Flower Seeds offer an opportunity for gardening enthusiasts to grow a remarkable native perennial wildflower boasting the reddest red in nature. The seeds come in a Gold Vault Packaging, which ensures long-lasting storage, up to three times longer than paper or plastic alternatives.

These seeds are stored in a resealable and reusable zipper bag, making it easy to store excess seeds properly. The packaging also includes detailed planting instructions on the back, with additional online information accessible via a QR code.

However, keep in mind that the Cardinal Flower thrives primarily in wet areas near ponds or streams. This might limit your planting choices, depending on your garden’s layout. Additionally, you may need to store the seeds in a long term seed vault if your region experiences harsh weather conditions. Some users have encountered difficulties with germinating these seeds, but proper care and patience while following the instructions should increase the chances of successful growth.

Overall, if you’re looking to add a splash of breathtaking scarlet to your garden while attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, the Everwilde Farms Cardinal Flower Seeds are worth considering. Just ensure that you have the ideal growing conditions for optimal results.

Cole’s CB20 Cajun Cardinal Blend Bird Seed


The Cole’s CB20 Cajun Cardinal Blend Bird Seed is an excellent choice for attracting cardinals with its spicy ingredients and 100% natural formula, while keeping squirrels and unwanted mammals away.


  • Attracts cardinals and various bird species effectively
  • Made with 100% natural and chemical-free ingredients
  • Prevents squirrels and unwanted mammals from eating the birdseed


  • Higher cost compared to other bird seeds
  • Not all birds may be attracted to the spicy blend
  • May not be suitable for those looking to attract a wider variety of birds

As a bird enthusiast, using Cole’s CB20 Cajun Cardinal Blend Bird Seed has allowed me to create a bird oasis in my backyard, attracting cardinals and various other avian species. The combination of sunflower meats, safflower, and food-grade liquid habanero chili peppers makes this birdseed stand out from the rest. Despite its higher cost, the spicy blend keeps squirrels and other mammals at bay without harming them, ensuring the birdseed is exclusively for birds.

When using the Cajun Cardinal Blend Bird Seed in Cole’s Terrific TubeTM, Mighty MeshTM, and Bountiful BowlTM feeders, I noticed a consistent stream of cardinals and other birds like chickadees, titmice, and woodpeckers. This birdseed has not only brightened up my area with its vibrant visitors but has also given the local bird population a reliable and natural food source.

However, the spicy blend may deter some bird species due to its fiery ingredients. As a result, it may not be the best choice for those looking to attract a wider variety of birds. Despite its limitations, overall, the Cole’s CB20 Cajun Cardinal Blend Bird Seed offers an effective and unique way to create a bird oasis, specifically tailored for cardinals and other spice-loving species.

Kaytee Cardinal Cake 1.85 lb

Kaytee Cardinal Cake

A perfect choice for bird lovers looking to attract cardinals and other songbirds with a long-lasting, premium seed mix.


  • Attracts a variety of songbirds, including cardinals
  • Easy to use with a suet feeder
  • Made from high-quality ingredients


  • May not fit all suet feeders due to size
  • Hard texture, may require cutting for some feeders
  • May not attract certain bird species in some regions

This Kaytee Cardinal Cake is packed with sunflower, safflower, millet, and cracked corn, along with gelatin and honey to create a delightful treat for your feathered friends. The blend of seeds is designed specifically for cardinals, but it’s also appealing to other songbird species that frequent your yard.

The cake is simple to use – just slip it into a compatible suet feeder, and sit back to enjoy the variety of birds it attracts. It’s an excellent option for bird enthusiasts who want to provide a tasty and healthy treat for their backyard visitors. The seed blend is of the finest quality, ensuring that the birds get the nutrients they need.

However, the Kaytee Cardinal Cake may not fit all suet feeders due to its size; you might need to cut it down or find a feeder designed to accommodate larger cakes. The texture of the cake is quite hard, so cutting it to fit your feeder may be necessary. Additionally, some customers have reported that the cake did not attract certain desired bird species in their region, but it’s still a fantastic option for most cardinals and songbirds across the country.

In conclusion, the Kaytee Cardinal Cake is a great choice for anyone looking to attract cardinals and songbirds to their yard with a nutritious and delicious treat. Its premium ingredients and ease of use make it a worthwhile addition to your backyard bird feeding routine.

Kaytee Wild Bird Gourmet Seed Cake

Kaytee Wild Bird Gourmet Seed Cake

A great choice for attracting a variety of backyard birds with premium ingredients in a convenient cake form.


  • Attracts a wide range of birds, including cardinals and woodpeckers
  • Easy-to-use cake form that fits in most feeders
  • Lasts longer than loose seed


  • May also attract squirrels
  • Might need to be chopped for some bird feeders
  • Not eligible for international shipping

The Kaytee Wild Bird Gourmet Seed Cake provides an assortment of sunflowers, peanuts, safflower, and millet that attracts a wide variety of colorful backyard birds. Cardinals, chickadees, juncos, titmice, woodpeckers, and more will flock to this nutritious and enjoyable treat.

The seed cakes are designed to slip into cake feeders easily, ensuring a convenient feeding experience for both you and the birds. They last longer than loose seed, so you won’t have to refill your feeder as often. This makes it an excellent option for busy bird enthusiasts or for those who simply want to admire their backyard visitors without constant maintenance.

However, be aware that this seed cake may attract squirrels, which could deter some birds from visiting. Additionally, the cake might need to be chopped or broken for it to fit in certain bird feeders. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Kaytee Wild Bird Gourmet Seed Cake remains a top choice for anyone looking to provide a nourishing and appealing food source for their feathered friends.

Buying Guide

When it comes to finding the best seeds for cardinals, it is important to focus on a few key factors that will ensure the birds are attracted to your feeder and provided with an adequate diet. This buying guide will help you make an informed decision when selecting seed mixtures that cardinals will love.

Cardinals prefer larger seeds, so it’s best to look for mixtures containing sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, and cracked corn. These typically make up a significant portion of their diet in the wild. You can also consider adding mealworms or chopped nuts to your feeder, ensuring that they get sufficient protein and fats in their diet.

Quality and freshness play a significant role in determining how attractive your seeds will be to cardinals. Make sure to choose seeds that are clean, unspoiled, and free from insects or mold. It is recommended to store seeds in a cool, dry place and to regularly clean and replace old or wet seeds in your bird feeder to maintain their appeal.

Here are some key features to consider when selecting seeds for cardinals:

Seed Size

  • Sunflower seeds (black-oil and striped)
  • Safflower seeds
  • Cracked corn
  • Peanuts

Seed Mix Ratio

Choose a mix with a higher proportion of preferred seeds, such as sunflower and safflower, than filler seeds like millet and milo, which are less appealing to cardinals.

Packaging and Storage

Choose seeds that are packaged in airtight containers or bags to maintain their freshness. Store in a cool, dry place to prevent spoilage.

Feeder Type

Consider using a feeder specifically designed for cardinals, such as tray or platform feeders, which allow these large birds to perch comfortably while feeding.

Following these guidelines will help you select the perfect seeds for your visiting cardinals, ensuring that they enjoy a nutritious and enjoyable meal while providing you with the opportunity to admire their vibrant colors and melodic songs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of birdseed is most preferred by cardinals?

Cardinals prefer sunflower seeds, both black oil and striped. They also enjoy safflower seeds, as these have a slightly bitter taste that deters some other birds. Offering a mix of both sunflower and safflower seeds will make your feeders very attractive to cardinals.

Which bird feeder design is best suited for cardinals?

Cardinals prefer platform or tray feeders with a large, sturdy perching area. They also like hopper-style feeders, as these can hold a significant amount of seed, are easy for cardinals to access, and provide some shelter while feeding.

How can I attract cardinals to my yard with specific seeds?

To attract cardinals, provide a variety of seeds, including sunflower and safflower seeds. Place your feeders near trees or shrubs, giving cardinals a natural place to perch and take cover. Be sure to keep the feeding area clean and well-stocked to encourage cardinals to visit regularly.

Are there specific seeds that both cardinals and blue jays enjoy?

Both cardinals and blue jays enjoy sunflower seeds, particularly black oil sunflower seeds. Providing a mix of black oil and striped sunflower seeds will attract both species. Blue jays also enjoy peanuts, so offering a mix of peanuts and sunflower seeds will appeal to both cardinals and blue jays.

What is the ideal cardinal bird seed mix?

An ideal cardinal bird seed mix should include black oil sunflower seeds, striped sunflower seeds, and safflower seeds. This mix provides a variety of choices, supporting their preferences while also deterring some less desirable birds from dining at your feeders.

Can cardinals and finches share the same birdseed?

Cardinals and finches can share most types of birdseed, particularly sunflower seeds. However, finches may not eat safflower seeds, which cardinals enjoy. To accommodate both species, consider offering sunflower seeds in one feeder and a blend of Nyjer and sunflower seeds in a separate finch-specific feeder.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.