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Do Bluebirds and Cardinals Get Along? (Interesting Facts)

Bluebirds and Cardinals are two amazing species of birds that most birdwatchers love to see on their feeders. However, the question is do bluebirds and cardinals get along?

The Bluebird and Cardinal get along because they often feed at the same birdfeeder. Neither species competes with the other. Occasionally, Cardinals may behave aggressively, especially if they are feeling threatened. 

With that said, there’s surely a lot more to learn when searching for an answer to the question: do bluebirds and cardinals get along? Luckily you have come to the right place because, in this article, I have explained it all in the simplest possible way. 

I hope after reading this article you will be able to clear all of your doubts. So without any further ado, let’s get into it and see if bluebirds and cardinals get along. 

Do Bluebirds and Cardinals Get Along (Interesting Facts)

Do Bluebirds and Cardinals Get Along?

As mentioned above, yes, cardinals and bluebirds do get along and they often feed in the presence of each other from the same birdfeeder. However, it depends upon the situation too sometimes.

For instance, if food is scarce or the feeding spot is near a Cardinal’s nest, then it is likely that the birds will behave differently under such circumstances. 

Cardinals are one of the most peaceful birds and they never bully other species. However, if they sense a threat to their home then they will become aggressive and will surely retaliate. Your next question might be how a bluebird almost as large as a cardinal can scare one off.

Well, it is not about who is scared of whom, it is about what is happening. To be more specific, if there is a Cardinal’s nest somewhere around and a large number of bluebirds are gathering then cardinals may try to shoo them off. 

This is normal because they are very protective of their nests, eggs, and territory. The same is the case with bluebirds too.

Bluebirds are Not Bluejays

From the above discussion, a lot of things might be clear to you now that some people will confuse bluebirds with bluejays.

As far as color goes, both bluebirds and bluejays are blue-colored; however, there is a significant difference between the two species. 

The first thing is the difference between the families. Bluebirds belong to a family, Turdidae whereas bluejays are from Corvidae. Corvids are extremely intelligent birds and are usually aggressive in nature.

Bluejays will often scare away other birds such as cardinals, goldfinches, etc. Whereas, on the other hand, bluebirds will normally feed along with other birds without any issue. 

What Birds Are Cardinals Afraid Of?

Let’s take a look and understand some of the most common types of birds that cardinals don’t like. In fact, the following are the types of birds cardinals are afraid of:

  • Owls,
  • Hawks,
  • Falcons,
  • Bluejays,
  • Starlings,
  • Crows,
  • Magpies.

Are Cardinals Territorial?

a beautiful cardinal look anxiously

Of course, they are! Cardinals, like other birds, are territorial and they will do everything to protect their area. Thus if they find a trespasser, then they will surely react and try to scare the intruder away from their territory. 

A cardinal’s territory covers its feeding area where it feeds on seeds, insects, and even nectar. This is because they need plenty of food during the breeding season.

Even though these birds may spend time together, they always maintain their own territories. There is also no overlap.

It must be noted that a cardinal’s territory varies depending upon the location. For example, they might have a larger territory at a certain place than another. That means, they are quite particular regarding their territories.

Why Do Cardinals Chase Away Bluebirds?

Sometimes you may see cardinals chasing away bluebirds. You might be thinking why do they chase them away if they are not rivals. Well, the answer to this question is because the bluebird might be getting too close to the cardinal’s nest.

Especially when there are eggs inside the nest, the cardinal will try to protect their young ones from every possible threat. Apart from that, sometimes they will try to scare away other birds especially during the winter season when the food is running low. 

They will try to prevent other birds from feasting on the food in their territory so that they can have enough of it for their survival.

Can a Bluebird Mate With a Cardinal?

a cute bluebird sitting on a stump

Next, you may wonder if bluebirds and cardinals can mate since they get along most of the time. Well, according to studies conducted by ornithologists, most birds of different species never crossbreed.  

Although further studies need to be conducted on this topic to find an exact answer. However, for the time being, I have never seen any bird that resembles the qualities of a cardinal and bluebird so that we can confirm it as a crossbred. 

Even though I may be wrong because just because I haven’t seen one doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. However, even if it’s possible the chances will be like 0.1%. So to sum it up, no bluebirds do not mate with cardinals. 

How to Attract Both Bluebirds and Cardinals to Your Yard 

Now that you know both cardinals and bluebirds can get along, you might be wondering how you can attract them to your yard. Well, if that is what you are thinking about then don’t worry because I have got you completely covered. 

1. Provide Them Shelter

The very basic step to attracting cardinals and bluebirds to your yard is by providing them with shelter. This may sound too obvious but it is true. If a bird finds your yard a safe haven for itself it will never leave your yard and will choose to create its nest there. 

Once it finds your yard safe, it will attract its fellow birds too because they need food and protective shelter for their survival. To provide shelter, you can have trees in your yard. Bushes and shrubs work too but taller trees are a bit safer.

2. Provide Them Food

The next important thing that a bird seeks after the shelter is food. Now you must be thinking you are already having bird feeders in your yard. That is actually a very good thing but the bird feeders need to be filled with the right type of food. 

I have a detailed guide to favorite food for birds in the yard. You may want to check that too to learn if you are using the right type of food or not. To be more specific and save your time, I highly recommend putting some black sunflower seeds in the feeder. 

It is because both birds love them and will enjoy eating them. Also, try to observe the behavior of birds in your yard for a week or so. Try to notice if they really enjoy eating the seeds or you need to switch it for something else. 

3. Make Hiding Places for Them

Try to put some nest boxes and birdhouses in the trees and hang them somewhere in different places. This way when cardinals and bluebirds are making their nests they won’t have any issue at all. 

Hiding places such as birdhouses and nest boxes will also provide a certain level of protection against harsh weather conditions such as snow, or rain. Therefore, I would highly recommend placing some nest boxes, birdhouses, etc in the trees. 

4. Place Some Birdbaths in Your Yard

The next thing that you need to do is to put some birdbaths in your yard. Now, most people may start thinking about what to do in winters then. Don’t worry most birdbaths have built-in heaters now. It will help maintain the water temperature and make it safe for birds. 

It is true most birds may not use birdbaths in winter but in the summer season, they just love to bathe every now and then. Therefore, investing in a good birdbath will always be fruitful. 

Last Minute Thoughts

So do bluebirds and cardinals get along? Yes, they do most of the time, especially whenever there is a bird feeder around they will feed in the presence of each other without any issue at all. 

However, sometimes cardinals can get a bit aggressive, and that is because of their protective nature. They try to protect their territory which includes their feeding location and the location of their nests. 

So next time when you see cardinals chasing away bluebirds it means that the bird might be trespassing in their territory. They don’t have any rivalry with the bluebirds but they are just making sure that their nests remain safe. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article! If you find it interesting and helpful please share it with your friends and family. Also, don’t forget to give me feedback and let me know if you want to contribute to this article. 

Thank you for reading 

Happy birding!

References

  1. Mating systems and sexual conflict
  2. Cooperative breeding in birds: the role of ecology
  3. The response of Cardinals to songs of different dialects.

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