IN THIS ISSUE:
New At The Nest
We have recently added many new items in an effort to offer you the best backyard wildlife and garden decor products. Here are just a few of the many exciting products found in our Just Added category
Father's Day Gifts!
It's not too late to find a great Father's Day gift! Not only do we have a fantastic selection of products Dad will love, we also have a variety of shipping options to have the gift delivered on time. Here are just a few of our perennial favorites.
Current Clearance Items
Here are a few items recently added to our Clearance section. Stock may be limited, so hurry before they are no longer available!The Cardinal may be the most popular bird to feed and attract, especially in the eastern part of the United States. In fact, seven states have the Cardinal as their state bird and countless sports teams and organizations use the Cardinal as their mascot. What makes the Cardinal so special? Let's take a look:
Bird Profile: Cardinals
Each month in 2004, BestNest will be featuring a species profile for the birds about which we receive the most comments and questions. We hope these profiles are both educational and entertaining, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve them. Enjoy!June 2004: Cardinals
Cardinals are actually named after the Roman Catholic Cardinals, whose traditional red robes resemble the bright scarlet male birds. Cardinals are actually part of the Grosbeak family, which is named for their very large and thick beaks that are used for cracking seeds. The Cardinal (also known as the Northern Cardinal) is primarily found in the eastern half of the United States, and is most abundant in the southeastern states. A close relative, the Pyrrhuloxia, can be found in the southwestern U.S. The Pyrrhuloxia is almost identical the Cardinal except in color and beak structure. Both males and females tend to be gray and have beaks similar to that of a parrot. All male Cardinals have bright red plumage and red bills with a black patch at its base. Females are primarily brown with some red on its wings and tail. Juveniles of both sexes resemble the female; however, have blackish bills instead of red. Unlike many birds, both the males and females are very vocal and will sing all year long.
Cardinals are a non-migratory bird, and will stay in an area as long as food and adequate shelter is available throughout the year. They prefer shrubs and smaller thickets to builds their nests in, which are usually made up of weed stems, leaves, grass, and grass stems. The females typically build the nest; however, males will sometimes help gather materials and assist in the construction. Cardinals will not use man-made housing, so you will not need to provide a house in order to attract them to your backyard.
Since a Cardinal pair will stay in an area for many seasons, it is important to provide both food and water year round to encourage a long term stay. The Cardinal's diet is comprised of insects, seeds, leaf buds, flowers, and berries. During the summer months, insects may be their primary source of food; however, as fall and winter approach seeds will slowly become their main source of nourishment. Cardinals, as with many songbirds, tend to have a strong preference for sunflower seeds. Also, safflower seeds are a preferred seed by many cardinals. You can often find Cardinal "blend" seed mixtures of black oil sunflower and safflower seeds for use in a sunflower/mixed seed bird feeder. While the Cardinals may not visit a feeder as often during the warmer months, it is still important to have seed readily available for them as well as a fresh source of water. If a natural source of water isn't nearby, consider a using a bird bath. During the winter months, a heated bird bath or the use of a bird bath deicer may be necessary to ensure that fresh water is available for cardinals and other non-migratory birds.
As many people have discovered, Cardinals can be very particular regarding their use of a bird feeder. They are a medium sized bird, and their larger structure makes it difficult for them to feed at many tube feeders. They also prefer to eat facing forward (towards the seed port), which is not possible with many tube feeder designs. Platform, gazebo, and hopper feeders tend to be more accommodating to Cardinals, and are usually more successful in attracting them. Typically, the larger and more open the feeding area of the feeder, the more attractive it will be to the Cardinals. Unfortunately, a large, open feeder is more prone to raiding by squirrels. If squirrels are an issue, there are a couple of options that will work for you. First, if the squirrels are not able to jump down onto a feeder, the use of a baffle underneath it should keep them from climbing the pole/post supporting the feeder. If using a hanging feeder, you will want to use a baffle placed above the feeder or consider a feeder with an integrated baffle (such as the Arundale Mandarin Sky Café Feeder or the Droll Yankees Big Top Feeder). We do not recommend using caged feeders, as Cardinals tend to be suspicious of the outer cage and often will not attempt to go inside to feed. For extreme squirrel problems, consider the Brome Squirrel Buster 2 w/ Cardinal Ring or the Droll Yankees Whipper squirrel proof feeders.
If you are in need of a new feeder, there are many feeders suitable for feeding Cardinals available at
www.bestnest.com We offer seed and several informative books, such as Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior Volume 2. If you would like more personal assistance, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-369-5446.
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