Creating the Perfect Cardinal Bird House – Tips and Tricks

Cardinal Bird House


Cardinals are among the most beautiful and iconic birds in North America, known for their striking red plumage and melodic songs. If you want to attract these stunning birds to your yard, one of the best ways to do so is by providing them with a suitable cardinal birdhouse. In this article cardinal bird house, we’ll explore the key considerations for building or choosing the perfect cardinal birdhouse that will make your garden a cardinal haven.

cardinal bird house

1. Understanding Cardinal Nesting Habits

Before we dive into building a cardinal birdhouse, let’s explore why these vivid fliers won’t use traditional birdhouses. Cardinals are not cavity nesters, which means they don’t seek out fully enclosed spaces like other birds. Instead, they prefer to build their nests in thick tangles of foliage.

The female cardinal takes great care in constructing her nest, weaving twigs, leaves, bark, grasses, and pine needles into a cup-shaped structure. After raising their brood of 2 to 5 eggs, cardinals rarely reuse their nests; they move on to new locations.

2. The Best Type of Cardinal Bird house

Cardinals will use a birdhouse that is open and provides easy access. Here are some key features for an effective cardinal birdhouse:

  • Open Platform Style: Cardinals prefer birdhouses that resemble an open platform rather than traditional round-hole birdhouses. Look for designs with at least one open side.
  • Nesting Shelf: Consider creating a nesting shelf with 2 to 3 open sides. This simple structure provides the necessary space for cardinals to roost comfortably.
  • Dimensions: A cardinal birdhouse should be at least 7 inches high, with an optimal height of 10 inches. This size allows enough room for the birds while keeping them safe from predators.
  • Materials: Choose exterior-grade plywood, pine, cedar, or redwood for your wooden birdhouse. Avoid treated lumber as the chemicals can be harmful to birds.

3. The Right Dimensions

When it comes to cardinal bird houses, size matters. These birds prefer spacious homes that provide enough room for comfortable nesting. A cardinal birdhouse should have an interior floor space of at least 8×8 inches and a height of around 9-12 inches. The entrance hole should be about 2-2.5 inches in diameter, large enough for a cardinal but small enough to keep out unwanted guests.

4. Location is Crucial

Cardinals are known for their preference for dense shrubs and trees. To attract them to your birdhouse, place it in a location with some foliage cover, about 4-6 feet above the ground. This will provide them with the safety and privacy they desire. Ensure that the house is securely fastened to prevent swaying or falling.

5. Natural and Safe

Cardinal bird houses are best made from natural materials like cedar or redwood, as they are both durable and resistant to decay. Provide proper ventilation and drainage to keep the interior dry and comfortable for the cardinals.

6. Offer a Helping Hand

Cardinals appreciate a little extra help when it comes to nesting. You can provide them with nesting materials like twigs, leaves, and grass clippings in a nearby container. This will encourage them to use your birdhouse as a nesting site.

7. Regular Maintenance

Like any home, cardinal bird houses need regular cleaning to keep them attractive to these birds. After each nesting season, remove old nesting materials and sanitize the interior to prevent the spread of diseases.

8. Keep Intruders Out

Cardinals are vulnerable to predators like squirrels and raccoons. To protect their nests, consider installing baffles or predator guards to deter unwanted visitors from accessing the birdhouse.

9. Give Them Time

It may take some time for cardinals to discover and trust your birdhouse. Be patient and persistent, and eventually, these beautiful birds will make your cardinal birdhouse their home.

Other Ways to Attract Cardinals

In addition to providing birdhouses, consider these strategies:

  • Dense Shrubbery: Cardinals love dense shrubbery for nesting and shelter. Plant native shrubs and bushes in your yard to create suitable habitats.
  • Food and Water Sources: Keep food (such as sunflower seeds) and water sources nearby but not directly around the birdhouse.


Creating the perfect cardinal birdhouse involves careful planning and consideration of the cardinal’s preferences and needs. By selecting the right materials, location, and size, you can make your garden an inviting haven for these stunning birds. Keep in mind that patience and maintenance are key to a successful cardinal birdhouse, and soon enough, you’ll be enjoying the vibrant presence of cardinals in your backyard. Happy birdwatching!

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