The Cardinal's Nest

Updated on July 9, 2016
naturegirl7s profile image

Since the mid-1980s Yvonne has maintained a registered NWF backyard wildlife habitat where a variety of birds, insects and frogs abound.

From Egg to Adult, All Year Long: Cardinal Photo Journal

All bird watchers and most children recognize the male Northern Cardinal, a Christmas symbol, but many people know nothing about its nesting and courtship habits. Through the years, we have been able to observe and photograph most of the mating behavior of our beautiful Northern Cardinal.

Here, we hope to give you some insight into what happens in a Cardinal's nest. Besides telling you how to attract this lovely bird into your own backyard with plants, bird feeders, and bird baths, we suggest some good books about Cardinals.

For those who want to test their knowledge of the lovely bird, there is a Northern Cardinal quiz.

All these Cardinal photos are copyright by Y.L. Bordelon, all rights reserved, unless otherwise noted. Many of these photos are available as postcards and gifts on my Zazzle site.

Male Cardinal
Male Cardinal | Source
Female Cardinal
Female Cardinal | Source

Cardinal Identification and Habits

Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) were called "Redbirds" where I grew up. The Northern Cardinal is also known as the Virginia nightingale. It is a Christmas symbol and ranges from southern Canada south to northern Guatemala and Belize. It inhabits forest edges, thickets, gardens, backyards, shrubby areas, and orchards.

The bright red male Cardinal is so beautiful and has such a lovely song that it was once trapped and sold as a caged song bird. This practice was banned in the United States by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

Listen to the song of the Northern Cardinal from the National Park Service.

Cardinals are medium-sized birds measuring 8.3 to 9 inches. The male's crest, black mask, and bright orange beak set him apart from other birds. The more demure females are not as colorful, but are beautiful in their own right with their feathers of tan, brown, and touches of red. Their beaks are also orange. Young birds have dark beaks until their first molt.

Cardinal Song by Ear


A Photo Journal of Nesting Cardinals

Males are territorial during the breeding season and can be seen and heard singing from a prominent spot in their territory.

Male Cardinal in holly
Male Cardinal in holly | Source

Courting Behavior: Male Feeding Female


During courtship, the male feeds seeds to the female. She will often flutter her wings and beg like a chick.

Male Cardinal feeding female
Male Cardinal feeding female | Source


After the courtship is over, the female builds a nest of twigs, vines, some leaves, bark strips, grasses, weed stalks, and rootlets, and lines it with fine grasses. She builds it in a thorny bush, thicket, or bramble, or in a dense shrub or tree. Up to six days later, she begins laying eggs, up to three or four total. They are somewhat glossy, grayish, bluish, or greenish-white, and spotted or blotched with brown, gray, or purple.

The female incubates the eggs for 11 to 13 days. A couple normally raises two to three broods each year.

Mother on nest (l); Nest with first egg (r)
Mother on nest (l); Nest with first egg (r) | Source

Video: Mother Cardinal Building Nest

Mother Cardinal on nest
Mother Cardinal on nest | Source

Newly Hatched Cardinals


When they hatch out, the chicks are blind and helpless, and their bodies are covered only by a little fuzz. But they grow quickly.

Pin feathers are forming on these chicks
Pin feathers are forming on these chicks | Source

The chicks fledge in 7-13 days, but the male continues to feed the fledglings while the female builds a second nest. When the baby Cardinals leave the nest, they look almost "prehistoric," much too immature to be thought of as a fledged bird. They hide in bushes for the first few days and the parent (or parents) feeds them.

Baby who will soon fledge (l); young fledgling (r)
Baby who will soon fledge (l); young fledgling (r) | Source

Male Cardinal Feeds the Young

Male feeding young
Male feeding young | Source

The male Cardinal continues to feed the young even after they have grown almost as large as he is. This male was caring for a young female and a young male. The young male was already beginning to molt into his adult plumage.

Father Cardinal Feeding Babies: YouTube Video

This year the Northern Cardinals have had many successful nests, so there are several immature ones at each sunflower seed feeder. Several of the pairs are on their third brood. You can tell when Cardinals are on their last brood when you see both the adult male and the female feeding the young. On the first and second broods, the male feeds the fledglings while the female builds the nest, lays and incubates the eggs, and feeds the young while they are in the nest.

Cardinal Mother Feeding Fledgling


A Fledgling Cardinal

Cardinal fledgling
Cardinal fledgling

I was walking through the woods and this little bird flew from beside the trail. It was a young Northern Cardinal and probably had only been out of the nest for a couple of days. This fledgling looked so infantile, but it flew well, going from branch to branch with no trouble at all.

The parents were chirping at me from the bushes, so they were taking good care of this baby.

Nesting Cardinals Poll

Do Northern Cardinals nest in your yard?

See results

Guide to Eastern Birds' Nests

Peterson Field Guide: Eastern Birds' Nests
Peterson Field Guide: Eastern Birds' Nests

This book has helped us identify many birds' nests that we have found in our nest boxes and in shrubs and trees on our property. The pictures and descriptions are excellent. You can't go wrong with a Peterson guide and this one is perfect for the amateur naturalist.

Orphaned baby Cardinal
Orphaned baby Cardinal | Source

Raising an Orphaned Baby Cardinal

Over 25 years ago, when we were young and foolish, we used to let our black cat, Zee, come in and out as he pleased. One night we heard a commotion outside our bedroom window and rushed out to find Zee Cat with a Mother Cardinal in his mouth.

The nest was very low in the shrubs right by the window. There was one baby in the nest, so we brought it inside and kept it warm and safe.

At that time, rehabilitators were few and hard to find. So since we had experience with hand-raising cockatiels and canaries and we had supplies on hand, we decided to raise the little guy ourselves.


He grew quickly and soon began to show the mottled feathers of a young male. But we had to teach him how to open sunflower seeds like his bird parents would have.


When he had molted into most of his adult plumage, we released him into the backyard. He stayed around for a while, then went off to establish his own territory.


Ever since that incident, we have kept our cats inside during the breeding season and we only let them out on supervised excursions at other times of the year.

Summer - Autumn

Young male, first year
Young male, first year | Source

Post-Breeding Activities

During summer and fall the young birds go through their first molt. The male and female colors (however mottled) begin to show and the dark beaks begin to turn orange. The first picture shows a young male, the second a young female.

First-year female
First-year female | Source

After the breeding season is over and the last of the young are able to feed themselves, the adults look a little ragged. They begin their fall molt, and by winter have a new set of feathers so that they will be well insulated against the cold weather.

Winter Cardinals are bright, crisp and fresh looking. The male's beautiful colors help him establish a good territory in order to attract a prospective mate. In early spring the whole cycle begins again.

Winter: Attracting and Feeding Cardinals

Shelter and Food Plants Cardinals Prefer

Cardinals prefer shrubs and brambles. They love evergreen trees and these are especially good in winter to provide shelter from the cold. Besides being good for the birds, evergreens planted on the north side of your house will help save energy and lower your monthly bill.

Food plants that Cardinals use include: Maple, devil's walking stick, paper mulberry, French mulberry, ironwood, bitter-sweet, hackberry, fringe tree, camphor tree, flowering dogwood, hawthorn, gumi, fatsia, common fig, ash, huckleberry, sunflower, firebush, lantana, privet, sweet gum, Southern magnolia, red mulberry, American hophornbeam, pokeberry, pine, black cherry, pyracantha, sumac, rose, blackberry and dewberry.

Birds sharing seeds (l), Young male in bath (r)
Birds sharing seeds (l), Young male in bath (r) | Source

Bird Feeders for Cardinals

A Cardinal's diet consists mainly of grain, but they also eat insects and fruit. Cardinals will readily eat from sunflower seed and suet feeders. They prefer platform type feeders, but will use hanging feeders that have large, sturdy perches.

We feed straight black-oil sunflower seed, but special Cardinal mixes are also available.

Male Cardinal eating suet
Male Cardinal eating suet
Cardinals in my yard use the Brome feeder, but squirrels can't
Cardinals in my yard use the Brome feeder, but squirrels can't

The Cardinals, Goldfinches, and most of the other seed-eating birds in our yard use the Brome Squirrel Buster feeder daily. The squirrels and raccoons have tried everything, but they can't get any seed out. Once, they broke the branch that it was hanging from, but only got a few kernels out.

Squirrel Buster Standard 5"x5"x21.5" (w/hanger) Wild Bird Feeder with 4 Metal Perches, 1.3lb Seed Capacity
Squirrel Buster Standard 5"x5"x21.5" (w/hanger) Wild Bird Feeder with 4 Metal Perches, 1.3lb Seed Capacity

These feeders come in two versions: a hanging tube, like the one shown here, and a rectangular one which can be mounted on a pole.


Bird Baths and Water Features

Every creature needs a water source. Cardinals will use standard bird baths, but they seem to like water on the ground more. They love sprinklers and misters.

Cardinal Books

Photographing Birds

National Geographic Photographing Birds
National Geographic Photographing Birds

High-quality National Geographic book giving pointers and instructions about how to photograph birds.


Sibley Bird Guides

The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior
The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior

If you'd like to learn more about the lives and behaviors of birds the Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behaviour is an excellent book to read. This guide is a good companion to the Guide to Birds.


Questions & Answers

    © 2008 Yvonne L. B.

    Tell us your Cardinal Stories.

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Emily Menzies 25 hours ago

        I had a cardinal nest in my rose bush. So far all the normal activity I have read about has occured. 3 eggs were laid and mom finally started incubating. She would be in the nest on and off. We had a really bad storm but she never left the nest. As I recall I feel like she sat in the nest as much as she did previously maybe a bit more, but that night was the last I saw her. Today marks 3 days without seeing her. What could have happened? Could she possibly come back? Are the eggs still viable? Did we possibly scare her off? We have tried to be very careful not to disturb her. I have been unable to find how long females can stay away from their nests during the incubation stage.

      • profile image

        Jennifer Fish 9 months ago

        We have a wrought iron hanging basket that we mounted just outside our back door. It used to hold sunscreen and bug spray, but I threw the old containers away this spring, and within a couple of weeks, a female Cardinal was building her nest in it. So she was just about 18 inches from the door, and she and I were eye-to-eye as I went in and out. Amazing. I was quiet and told her every day what a good mama she was being... she laid 3 eggs, and 2 hatched, although I saw the 3rd egg moving and trying to hatch but for some reason didn't. Then the male started coming around and being very attentive. When it was close to time for "flight school" I started using another door to get outside as the male and female became very territorial and would fly up to the door, flapping their wings to scare me off. I kept my dogs inside for several days to give the babies a chance. Both of them made it. They fly very closely together and are fun to watch. Right now the male is feeding the female, so they may have another nest close by. They are very attentive parents, and as I write this are both feeding at one of my feeders in the back yard. A few feet away, two robins are tending to their new is good...

      • profile image

        Raeann Ball 9 months ago

        I like baby Cardinals because I am learning a lot about the cardinal's. they are cute.

      • profile image

        Alice Pascucci 10 months ago

        My cardinals build their next on my deck in our hibiscus tree. Our tree is in the cellar for the winter and when we see the cardinals landing on our deck we know it's time to put the tree out. We put the tree out by April 15 and sure enough she started building her nest. Today we watched the babies fly away. Amazing to watch live....

      • profile image

        ben and Alice Pascucci 11 months ago

        Add Your Comment..our cardinals come back every year and build their nest in our hibiscus tree on our deck(except for last year - the robins got there first). They arrived today and started to build their nest. This is our fourth year waiting and watching the babies grow and fly off. We actually saw them flying around looking for our tree. We put it outside and they arrived. Nature is magical.

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 13 months ago from Covington, LA

        I have never seen a Cardinal use last year's nest. In fact they usually build a new nest for the 2nd and 3rd broods of the year. That way it is more difficult for predators to find the nest.

      • profile image

        Susan 13 months ago

        Cannot find info re cardinals coming back to use a nest made in the previous year.

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 17 months ago from Covington, LA

        I don't think a few outside Christmas lights would disturb them. This time of year they are not nesting. Putting out some suet cakes or sunflower or safflower seeds would help them get through the winter and would invite them to stick around your place.

      • profile image 17 months ago

        I have many cardinal families living in my yard year round and making nests everywhere. I would like to put some outside Christmas light out this year but do no want the cardinals to leave. Any suggestions?

      • profile image

        Patty Lyvers-- kentucky 20 months ago

        Cardinal birds built a nest in our Crepe Myrtle and hatched 3 babies. The tree is right next to our kitchen window where we had great viewing at the inside of the tree and the nest. After a while, the male noticed us watching them and he came to the window and cocked his head and looked, but then went about his business. I was surprised to see him feed the chicks as well as Mom bird. A month and a half later, one of the male babies came back to the tree and sat on a branch near the nest inside the tree, preening his feathers and taking a snooze. Was wondering if the babies typically will return to same tree they were born in?

      • profile image

        Doc_Holliday 4 years ago

        I am surrounded with birds but not a single cardinal.

      • seodress profile image

        seodress 4 years ago

        Great photography.

      • marktplaatsshop profile image

        marktplaatsshop 4 years ago

        This is a loveley and great lens, i learnd a few things, thanks for sharing

      • blestman lm profile image

        blestman lm 4 years ago

        Awesome lens. Cardinals are great birds and somewhat aggressive when I have sunflower seeds in the bird feeder. I love seeing them

      • donjohnsonis lm profile image

        donjohnsonis lm 4 years ago

        Great lens, I love to watch Cardinals out my window, just a few feet from my computer.

      • profile image

        myspace9 5 years ago

        Very beautiful lens.

      • coolaunt profile image

        coolaunt 5 years ago

        Thank you for publishing this lens. I look forward to getting a feeder that will keep the squirrels out of it.

      • profile image

        MarieWilliamsJohnstone 5 years ago

        The cardinal is a beautiful bird - one of my favorites. You've done it some justice here with this lovely lens.

      • ismeedee profile image

        ismeedee 5 years ago

        I came here researching information for my book (it's a novel but I mention the cardinal) and I got everything I need and much more! What a beautifully made lens, loads of stunning photos, and love the youtube vid with sound of cardinal's song!

      • pheonix76 profile image

        pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

        Nice lens about a beautiful bird! Interestingly, female cardinals will also sing and I have witnessed this on several occasions in the spring. I have had the "pleasure" of banding many Northern cardinals and they are notorious for having a painful bite -- no doubt about the seed-cracking strength of those bills! Thanks for sharing, great lens.

      • profile image

        cassieann 5 years ago

        Absolutely beautiful lens. I love watching the cardinals and blue jays in my yard. Thanks for sharing.

      • poorwendy lm profile image

        poorwendy lm 5 years ago

        I love the lens, especially the pictures.

      • Onemargaret LM profile image

        Onemargaret LM 5 years ago

        There is a Cardinal that flies into the window outside of our home each day. There something about that window. Nice lens.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Love your lens, have some building a nest in a tree right outside the door right now!

      • AcornOakForest profile image

        Monica Lobenstein 5 years ago from Western Wisconsin

        Excellent & informative lens! I didn't know much of the details of their mating brooding.

      • WriterJanis2 profile image

        WriterJanis2 5 years ago

        A wonderful tribute to Cardinals.

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 5 years ago

        Thank you for publishing this lens about these beautiful birds. Wonderful!

      • CoeGurl profile image

        CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

        Cardinals are my favorite birds. Thanks for a deeper look into their lives.

      • magictricksdotcom profile image

        magictricksdotcom 5 years ago

        Wow, what a great lens! Cardinals are plentiful on our property, and their sounds are indeed beautiful. The flashes of color, especially in the winter, are magical.

      • profile image

        sherioz 5 years ago

        I would always be thrilled as a kid in Canada when I would see a cardinal, which was not very often. Beautiful lens.

      • bikerministry profile image

        bikerministry 5 years ago

        Great lens, thanks for all the work behind pulling this information together. Blessings.

      • bwet profile image

        bwet 5 years ago

        learned a lot about cardinals from this lens. thumbs up!

      • LaraineRoses profile image

        Laraine Sims 5 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

        We have cardinals in the Okanagan Valley for part of the summer. I've never seen them building a nest but I love to hear them sing. Beautiful lens and very informative. Angel blessing!

      • JustRelax LM profile image

        JustRelax LM 5 years ago

        Great lens, I love it and cardinals too! Thank you!

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        This is one of the beautiful lenses I have seen. Good info, too.

      • profile image

        grega85 5 years ago

        Very nice lens. I don't have any stories about Cardinal.

      • BestRatedStuff profile image

        BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

        Great lens with a lot of useful information. Cardinals are beautiful, and it was wonderful reading more about them.

      • mel-kav profile image

        mel-kav 6 years ago

        Lots of great information. Terrific lens!

      • TravelDiaries profile image

        TravelDiaries 6 years ago

        Great lens. I adore cardinals, they come often around my yard in Florida. Great info. I have been looking for bird feeders idea that would keep the squirrels away because they seem to eat most of the bird food.

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 6 years ago from Covington, LA

        @anonymous: As a rule is not legal to keep a Northern Cardinal or any other native bird as a pet, but special licenses and permits can be obtained by people who rehabilitate wildlife. Also, in the case of nests, abandoned eggs and such, similar permits can be issued to individuals by state agencies.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        @anonymous: (May have responded on wrong page a moment ago.) Per Federal Law, governed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Agency, personal ownership is not legal of even a mere feather from a bluejay. Check with that Agency for verification, but I am fairly certain ownership of wild songbirds is unlawful.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        I do not anything about the State Law in Florida, but have been aware that by Federal Law (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service being regulatory Agency in question) it is not legal to own a mere feather from a bluejay (for example). Check with those folks. Am fairly certain this is not own any wild songbird. But I am not the expert, ask the appropriate Agency.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Can a person keep a Red Cardinal legally as a pet in the State of Florida?

      • Bananko profile image

        Bananko 6 years ago

        Hello, is it possible i saw Cardinal bird in Grand Canaria Islands? Im almost sure its almost the same, like its on the picture. Lovely lens!

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 6 years ago

        I'm going to have to visit the Eastern part of the US so that I can see (and photograph) cardinals. Thank you for this lens.

      • flicker lm profile image

        flicker lm 6 years ago

        Nice lens! I especially enjoyed the videos.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Can anyone tell me where to find a cardinal tablecloth which accurately renders these jewels. I do not care about "Christmas" theme with holly, etc. Would LOVE multiple birds, but cardinals are my favorite. Searched online, but none of the cardinals looked 'real.'

      • NYtoSCimjustme profile image

        NYtoSCimjustme 6 years ago

        Absolutely wonderful! You have so much information and great stories to go with it - Thank You for Sharing.... love the fact you got to raise the fledgling - too cool ;)

      • Lee Hansen profile image

        Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

        Love cardinals and feed them all winter. They stick around for summer and enjoy the wild grapes and berries in our garden, nest in the shrubs right near my bedroom window. Blessed by a visiting angel in search of lenses about "birds" ...

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Absolutely beautifully done, I enjoyed every moment of my visit....well, maybe not the part about mamma Robin. 90% in your quiz, missed the number of brood when I went with 3-4. I so enjoyed listening to the Cardinal's song, it reminded me of home. Its always a special treat to see Cardinals and lucky you got to even raise one!

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        Hi naturegirl7,

        Great lense about Cardinals, I enjoyed reading it very much. I wish we had them to visit our feeder, but I guess we live to close to the marsh, and they would rather be nearer to the woods.

        N T T

      • LisaAuch1 profile image

        Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

        As a Squid Quest for Squidoo. the angels are visiting more neighbourhoods! Blessed by a visiting squid angel

      • ForestBear LM profile image

        ForestBear LM 6 years ago

        Beautiful lens. Thank you for sharing

      • pimbels lm profile image

        pimbels lm 6 years ago

        A very interesting lens. I enjoyed read it, thank you.

      • TolovajWordsmith profile image

        Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

        Beautiful creatures!

      • Stacy Birch profile image

        Stacy Birch 6 years ago

        This is my favorite bird, great lens.

      • efriedman profile image

        efriedman 6 years ago


        Really enjoyed this lens. I grew up in NE Texas and loved to see cardinals. Now I live in the west, and I miss them. Loved your pitchers of raising the adorable and goofy little hatchling.

      • profile image

        pawpaw911 6 years ago

        Nice lens. We have had cardinals nest in our trees several times. It is fun to watch them grow.

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

        Really enjoyed this lens. I love cardinals and really miss them. Had them on my nature sanctuary in Texas, but do not have them here at my mountain home. They are such a favorite of mine.

      • profile image

        poutine 7 years ago

        Lots of info on cardinals.

        My husband and I just love those birds so much.

      • sukkran trichy profile image

        sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

        very interesting read with great info about cardinal. ~blessed~

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        Nice Squidoo. Very enjoyable to read. Chris

      • Philippians468 profile image

        Philippians468 7 years ago

        this is a wonderful lens! thank you for sharing this with us all! i love the cardinal plush toy - the hairstyle is so funny! cheers

      • annieangel1 profile image

        Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

        now I'm a SquidAngel, I just had to come back and drop off some Angel dust - I am always fascinated by bird behaviour. Featured on my wild bird lens

      • annieangel1 profile image

        Ann 7 years ago from Yorkshire, England

        great photo journal - thanks for sharing it

      • Tyla MacAllister profile image

        Tyla MacAllister 7 years ago

        I have lots of redbirds here in Alabama. I love watching the cardinals raising their chicks every year. The daddies are so attentive.We are surrounded by woods so they are prolific here. I definitely notice that their size is larger and their red color is brighter when they have plenty of black oil sunflower.

        *Blessed by a Squid Angel.*

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        What a lot of work went into building this great Lens, thank you for sharing this with us!

      • Blackspaniel1 profile image

        Blackspaniel1 7 years ago

        One day we had about a dozen male cardinals in a small space.

      • JeremiahStanghini profile image

        JeremiahStanghini 7 years ago

        Very thorough lens!

        With Love and Gratitude,


      • profile image

        WorldVisionary 7 years ago

        Wow! So much great information here! Blessed by a Squid Angel

      • photofk3 profile image

        photofk3 7 years ago

        I love birds ever since I know myself. I feed them every winter.

      • norma-holt profile image

        norma-holt 7 years ago

        What a magnificent bird and such a stunning lens. Great all round. The catcha is eggbird

      • mbgphoto profile image

        Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

        I'm watching a Cardinal in my backyard right I stopped back by to give this a blessing and add it to my December Blessings lens.

      • PNWtravels profile image

        Vicki Green 7 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

        There are no cardinals where I live, but I so enjoy seeing them whenever I travel to other parts of the country where they live. Great photos and information. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

      • Anahid LM profile image

        Anahid LM 7 years ago

        Hi Beautiful lens I love Cardinals I haven't seen them before but now I line in Pittsburgh I see them at the parks. Good job. Thanks Anna

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        Awesome lens! Love my cardinals!

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

        @Tyla MacAllister: Your place sounds a lot like ours. Thanks for reminding me of the beauty that surrounds us. We haven't been able to get outside and enjoy it lately.

      • Tyla MacAllister profile image

        Tyla MacAllister 7 years ago

        I never get tired of watching cardinals. The daddies are such wonderful parents. I think it's great that you actually raised one by hand. This year the weather was warm in October so we had our last babies in the yard just before Halloween. It is the only time of year you see the fledglings with their mothers instead of just dad. My home is surrounded by woods that have been left in their natural state and the cardinals really thrive in our yard. It's hard to have a bad day when you wake up to Christmas trees every day of the year.

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        Beautiful Birds in a beautiful layout - featured on my lens on 'Bird Watching Wiki"

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        I love watching "my" cardinals and am a bit protective of them, making sure they have fresh water in the winter and grains. They've repaid me by sticking around for the last 5 years, and many times I can see them on bushes just a few feet from my living room windows. This truly is an awesome page, and I'd love to have a bit more land for a nature preserve too!

      • jptanabe profile image

        Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

        We always have cardinals at our bird feeders and often can hear the males singing loudly up in the trees in our neighborhood. I especially love them in winter when they sit in our evergreen hedge and their bright colors look so gorgeous.

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

        @anonymous: I'm sorry to hear about the window kill. The male's behavior probably is unrelated. Apparently your windows are reflecting like mirrors. Males will often "fight" with their reflections, thinking it is a rival male. You may want to put a windsock or a sun catcher on the outside of the window to help break up the reflection.

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        6 days ago we returned home to sadly find the female cardinal had flown into our window & died. Today the make is going crazy, has been very noisy & has pounded his beak on our windows all around he house aLL day. The usually illusive guy is visible only in the mornngs and late afternoons, & quite skiddish. But not today! We feel bad for him, don't know what exactly is going on! Maybe this is unrelated to death of female & he is courting???

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        just discovered a nest in my side yard yesterday. I am in heaven! I love sitting on my back porch and watching mommy and daddy cardinal come in and out with food so I am guessing this is their last brood. I quickly looked in the nest and there are 3 beautiful babies. I even went out with a flashlight last night and made sure momma was with them, and yep she sure was. I feel like a proud grandma, even though I am only 32, lol.

      • indigoj profile image

        Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

        What a beautiful bird, I would love to see them for real as I have only ever seen them in pictures.

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 7 years ago from Covington, LA

        @anonymous: Maria,

        How young were the babies when they disappeared? Did they have feathers? Baby cardinals leave the nest at 7-13 days old, when they have a few feathers and can barely fly. Could the babies have been a week old?

      • profile image

        anonymous 7 years ago

        For the last 2 years, we have had a cardinals nest on a little shelf in our carport. last year, all 3 of the baby birds just disappeared!.. this year, they had 3 more baby birds, Once again, 2 days ago 1 of the babies disappeared, today, another has disappeared!.. The nest is high up enough to be out of the way, i THINK!. Does anyone know where the birds might be disappearing to? Im flabbergasted as to what may be happening.. If anyone has any ideas, would you please tell me what you think? thanks!, Maria

      • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

        Ram Ramakrishnan 8 years ago

        Fascinating lens. Lensrolled to "Animalese" and "Beings in harmony"

      • Lee Hansen profile image

        Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

        I love watching and photographing the birds in our garden. What a fantastic lens about cardinals ... I love to hear them chipping in winter and singing high in the trees during spring and summer. Lensrolled to my Backyard Bird Photography lens.

      • mbgphoto profile image

        Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

        Great information about Cardinals. I've featured this lens on my Crabbybeach blog.

      • SusannaDuffy profile image

        Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

        I've always loved this lens about the Cardinal. Blessed by an Angel who loves Animals (

      • naturegirl7s profile image

        Yvonne L. B. 8 years ago from Covington, LA

        [in reply to Cardinal Lover] I don't recall running across a reference saying that Cardinals mate for life. However I will do some reading in Sibley's Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, to see if he mentions it.

      • profile image

        anonymous 8 years ago

        Do Cardinals mate for life? Or do they find a new mate each season?

      • TonyPayne profile image

        Tony Payne 8 years ago from Southampton, UK

        Great lens and great photos too, 5*****. I used to have 2 pairs of Cardinals in my back yard in Indiana. Such pretty birds.

      • profile image

        cindyzlogic 8 years ago

        I really liked your Cardinal lens. My husband and I were observing a Cardinal pair today...feeding each other. So they must be working on their second brood. I was going to make a Cardinal Lens from pictures I've taken this past Winter and early Spring. Again, awesome lens, I learned a lot!

      • profile image

        anonymous 8 years ago

        From the shape of their beaks, Cardinals would be classified as Finches in the UK, but we do not have anything quite like them over here!

        Blessings to you for such a lovely lens!

      • SandyMertens profile image

        Sandy Mertens 9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

        Very nice cardinal lens. Your products are good too. Love the shoes.

      • religions7 profile image

        religions7 9 years ago

        Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

      • monarch13 profile image

        monarch13 9 years ago

        Another beauty! In Arizona, Cardinals are everywhere. Rolled to "The Divine Wisdom of Birds".

      • evelynsaenz1 profile image

        Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

        Lensrolled to Robin in the Rain.