Cardinals – Signs From Heaven?

As most of you know, I developed a relationship of sorts with birds after the death of my mother a couple of years ago.  It’s a fine line to walk when you’re writing about birds you feel are visiting you from “up there”, but when it’s happening to you there is no denying the possibility.

As the holidays approach, the cardinals are popping even more now against grey skies and barren trees. The luscious, bright, bold red color is just heavenly.  Heavenly… can we talk about this for a minute?


Many have contacted me regarding their own experiences with cardinals after losing a family member.  They speak of times when in need of advice, or feeling down, a cardinal will appear out of nowhere.   If you google “cardinal symbolism” this quote shows up frequently in the results:

A cardinal is a representative of a loved one who has passed. When you see one, it means they are visiting you. They usually show up when you most need them or miss them. They also make an appearance during times of celebration as well as despair to let you know they will always be with you. Look for them, they’ll appear.”  –  author unknown

Don’t believe?  Keep reading…

A few days ago, I came across this photo in a photography group I belong to on Facebook. I thought it was another cleverly photoshopped image… until I read the actual post.


Not really an artistic shot but a personal favorite. This was shot a few days after my mother’s death after a late winter storm. She would have loved to see this! I inherited my love of birds from her. There were more than 80 cardinals that morning , I only managed to get 50+ in the picture. And no, this is not photoshopped! I’ve never seen anything like this since that day.” – Jean Kuns

This photo already had 422 likes, 28 shares, and 67 empathetic comments from believers and other members who were equally amazed.  I contacted Jean Kuns immediately feeling elated that I had found another “human” who has experienced and documented such an experience.   This was, after all, an incredible justification of my own experiences.

I asked Jean’s permission to share the photo, and kindly she sent it along with a few others from that day.  The following image of hers took my breath away.  Never have I seen so many male cardinals huddled so closely together in one spot.  They are incredibly territorial, so this is an unusually rare sight.

  • The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder. – The Cornell Lab of Ornithology



I’m still stunned by the number of cardinals in these images, and since first laying eyes on them these photos have not left my mind.  Yesterday, I looked out of our kitchen window and saw two males perched up high in our tree.


An unusual sight and sign for me to get writing and tell the story.  Would love to hear yours if you’d like to share, and if you want to dive deeper check out the following links dedicated to cardinal symbolism with similar stories:

Cardinals Appear When Angels Are Near

Signs from Spirit!  Does my father Visit me as a Cardinal?

Cardinal Signs & Symbols –

Pinterest – remember this photo that circulated all social media sites? cardianls pinterest

The Power of The Red Bird – a blog post by Michele Cozzens.

So, keep those eyes open for a little red visitor.  You could be driving down a road and see a flash of red fly in front, or over, you.  Out for a walk you may hear one, or see one perched in a tree you’re walking by.  That sight just might give you the pick-me-up you need if you’re missing someone over the holidays, or any time of year.


Thank you, Jean Kuns, for your beautiful images above and for letting me share your wonderful photographs.

Cheers, and wishing you all the best for the holidays!


P.S. Just went onto Instagram and look what was posted by the Audubon Society just minutes after I published this blog post. 🙂

cardinal audubon


34 thoughts on “Cardinals – Signs From Heaven?

  1. Whenever I hear the sound of a cardinal, I have to find its whereabouts, it’s like this urgent need. When I find him, I can then continue with my day. This morning as I sit quietly in my living room reading my book, I hear a cardinal singing and so I look out the glass door to see it sitting on a bush 200 feet away in my neighbors yard. I then quietly say in the comfort of my living room, “Why, hello Mr. cardinal.”
    Almost immediately as if he heard my words he flew towards my house and into my backyard. I open the back door gingerly so as not to disturb him if he was out in the back bushes, and to my surprise he was sitting there with another male cardinal friend. Just 5 feet from my back door! They danced around on the branch together while I watched and not bothered by my presence. Now, 20 minutes later I go back to check, and they’re both still there together, not leaving each other’s side.
    I am a very spiritual person who believes in signs from above and I’m wondering what the sign was this morning and keep returning to the fact that it’s peace and renewal which is where I find myself in my life right now.
    Thank you for your informational and inspirational post!


  2. Jillian, what a beautiful experience! I think your assessment of “peace and renewal” is just perfect. Incredible (and unusual) that two males were so content by each other’s side. Your wonderful description allowed me to feel as if I had just experienced it myself Thank you for that. 🙂



  3. I had no idea about the symbolism of the cardinal when I bought a pair of flannel pajamas with little cardinals on them for my 85-year-old mother in 2012, which delighted her. I gave them to her on Christmas Eve and she was still wearing them when we took her to the hospital where she passed away two days after Christmas. She loved all birds, but especially cardinals because they were her high-school mascot and she also loved hamburgers from the Cardinal, a neighborhood bar and burger joint not far from my house. The day she died, I called my sister in Maine to give her the news, and while we were talking, she looked out her back window, and there were a male and female cardinal–very unusual to see them there. I was sure then as now they the spirits of my parents. I later learned that my father, who had passed twenty-five years earlier, waited for my mother so their souls could cross over together.

    Last week my 21-year-old nephew died in a terrible car accident, and I called my sister to offer condolences and again, while we were on the phone, a cardinal appeared outside her window–this time an immature male or perhaps a female; she wasn’t sure. She thought it was an odd coincidence but I’m quite sure it was my nephew, letting her know he was all right and his spirit was on its way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story, Kim. I am so sorry to hear of such a tragic loss… As difficult coping with something like this is, how wonderful for both of you to be able to find a little bit of solace (with the loss of your mother as well) in seeing these birds. They certainly can provide us with a lot of comfort when, and if, we are open to the idea. Baby steps. 🙂 Maybe that Cardinal will stick around for the Holidays… Thanks again for writing.


  4. I lost a very near and dear friend earlier this year. It has been devastating. Several unexplainably bizarre coincidences have occurred since then. I see Cardinals almost every single place I go. I see them almost every day, oftentimes multiple times per day. They fly in front of me when I’m out for my walks, and in front of my car when I’m out for a drive. They perch up in trees near my car when I’m parked and chirp until I they get my attention. There is no doubt whatsoever that there is some sort of spiritual connection between this bizarre activity and the loss of my partner. To see it is to no doubt believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chris, I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story. Losses are so difficult to process and I am happy for you that seeing these Cardinals has brought you peace. Since posting this I have learned so much from various spiritual mediums and people dealing with losses of their own who have also witnessed this beautiful “thing” that happens which we can’t quite identify scientifically. Each time someone leaves a response here it makes my heart grow. I can’t thank you enough. You are right… “to see it is to no doubt believe it.” Bless you, and keep those eyes of your open. Heidi


  6. I came across this looking for some information and picked your sight. I lost my mom 22 years ago and my sister 20 years ago. Everytime we were at the cemetery, or seemed to be having a bad day, a cardinal would appear. It was then we associated the Cardinal with our loved ones who had passed. I was only 26 at the time and had never heard of that before so at the time I thought it was just our thing. Since then I have collected many cardinal items that I display in my home. It’s always a welcoming sight and peaceful feeling when one comes along your path. This brings me to my most recent story. Like everyone else, my life has been one trial after another and I’ve recently felt the weight of all of it had become too heavy to bare. I have recently been praying daily for some kind of guidance, something, anything. On this past Christmas Eve Day, it was snowing and beautiful outside. I had all of my family coming over for the holiday and the holidays have been tough for all of us for many years. While preparing for everyone to arrive, I looked outside at the beautiful view and there sat the most gorgeous red cardinal bird I had ever seen. I was so overwhelmed it brought me to my knees. It was something that would if brought me great joy and comfort before, but at a time I was struggling and praying more than ever, it was more than special. I took a picture and sent to family along with posting on Facebook. I wasn’t the only one who thought it was the most amazing thing ever! It is now, 1/11 and that beautiful Cardinal has visited every single day. Not in just my tree, but at my back door, sitting on my deck, in a chair on the deck, and on the fence behind my house. He pecks at the door, cocks his head sideways as if he is saying hello. In awe is putting it mild. After about four days I put out a feeder just in case he was looking for food. He was pretty chubby, but I wasn’t taking any chances. I thought I also had seen a female cardinal, and today it was confirmed. I was also able to capture a picture of her eating some seeds out of the feeder on my deck right after he was at my door. And I don’t want to forget to mention that he put on quite a show today before she showed up. He was at my door looking in and cocking his head, went down to the other end of the door and jumped onto the screen looking in, sitting on the table on the deck, and then to the feeder. As I sat there with tears pouring down my face, my heart was at peace. I will most definitely be reading anything and everything I can get my hands on about our very loved Cardinal Birds. Thank you for your information and for letting me share my story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lana, this is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is a powerful, yet subtile (although your cardinal seems to be quite eager to show his presence!), sign that your family can now enjoy for a lifetime. It does bring so much peace and I am so happy for you that you have found that. Truly special. Once this door is open for exploration your world will start to change in ways you may not ever have imagined. Keeping your eyes and heart open allows for it all to come pouring through. Peace and many blessings to you and your family!


    2. Lana, your story is so beautiful! The Cardinal has a message for you and he wants you to know he is there and you need to pay attention and be at peace! You have such a wonderful opportunity that so many people never sit up and take notice of; they never look up from their tv, their iPad, iPhone, book, newspaper, computer, video game or whatever it is that is distracting them from noticing what is going on right outside their window. It is amazing to me how many people miss out on the peace and tranquility they could have if only they would watch and listen to the messages that may be being sent to them by their loved ones. If only they would look up!! Now, you’re looking up and you’ve got the most fantastic messenger to hear from!! Enjoy! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading of your encounter and the red birds determination in getting your attention.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What does it mean if you find a dead cardinal on your patio?
    I am very concerned by this? I knew cardinals were visitors if our loved ones from Heaven, so now I am worried that I have done something wrong and it is a warning?


  8. Oh Sandy, I am sorry you found this post by way of a deceased cardinal! That would make me incredibly sad as well. I am not an expert on the symbolic nature of this so would be unable to answer that question, but my gut would say to not take it as a warning, or that you did anything wrong. It may have flown into a window or fell prey to a predator. If I were to take a guess on a symbolic level I would think it might be a sign to simply keep your eyes open, or that there is something in your life that needs to be put to rest (relationship, job, habit, etc…) for your highest and best well being. If that is the case, someone certainly is going to an extreme to tell you so!


  9. Thank you for this beautiful and comforting post. I lost my dad a few days ago; I adored my father and the grief Is almost unbearable at times. I’m still visiting with Mommy, and yesterday decided to open the back door for some fresh air. A beautiful fellow suddenly appeared on the back fence. He was the most brilliant shade of vermillion I’d ever seen!! He flew off, then returned-and kept doing this until I had to take my son to the airport. I’d been asking Daddy for a sign he was still with me (and to please make it obvious because I sometimes miss things). This colorful fellow so intrigued me-landing and looking at me-that I mentioned it to Mommy. She said, “They say it’s a visitor from heaven, honey.” I googled and found your article. What a wonderful sense of peace it has given me. Thank you so very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Liz, I am very sorry to hear about your father. The fact that you landed here in search of this meaning means that you are open to these possibilities, so welcome through the door. I think you will find that once you are open and aware, you will see and experience many incredible things which will bring a level of peace and comfort that you ever imagined possible. Sometimes you do have to ask to make it obvious, and I’m happy for you that you did! Thank you for sharing your story.



  11. I have been visited by a male cardinal every day sometimes three or four times a day for going on three weeks now within two foot from me at my window, sometimes from other windows. It appears to say hi in its own way. i was very close to my father who passed 2 year and 3 months ago. I feel ther is a meaning here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Don, Hold those moments close to you. Sometimes I wish they could actually talk, but perhaps the mere thought of this possibility existing is what ultimately keeps that connection going. I hope your Cardinal is still visiting!


  12. Hi, I live in Forest Hill Louisiana and since the passing of my other then my grandfather there is one red bird that constantly is between my house and my mins next door. After months of noticing the red bird everyday I told my family something is up for this one single red burd to stay right here between the two houses and I found this picture, and I don’t believe it could be anything else but our loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Beautiful photos – we have quite a few cardinals and other colorful birds that hang around our woods, pond, and chicken and duck areas looking for spilled food. Although Cardinals are fiercely territorial during the breeding season of May through August, during the winter months when food is scarce they actually may flock together around a food source. But I did have one odd experience with cardinals recently which led me to search and find your page. After a heavy rain and with it being overcast and at dusk so quite dark out, I was in my back yard cleaning things up. I normally am the type of person who almost never gets upset. I’m a very positive, happy, nature-loving person, but I was very worried and praying and trying not to cry about my daughter who was out of town and missing. No one had been able to reach her and she was supposed to call. It was not her typical behavior. It turns out she had lost her phone and couldn’t call. But at that point where I was so upset I thought I was going to be sick a female cardinal landed on the fence next to me. It was very strange because they rarely come down that low, especially not when its almost dark, and it just sat there looking at me perfectly still making no noise. I didn’t think much of it at first and said out loud “pretty bird.” Then a couple seconds later a male cardinal landed about 3 feet away from the female on the fence in the exact same position, facing me, not moving or making noise, just sitting there looking at me. Then it hit me that it felt like they were trying to tell me something. I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved or even more scared, but it felt extraordinary. Then they both flew away at the same time.But I’ve never experienced cardinals behaving like that before.


    1. It’s wonderful how an encounter like that can open up ones mind and be lead to a page like this only to find that you are not alone in your curiosity! I’m certain it must have been an incredible relief to find it was merely a lost phone, but doesn’t change the experience of having to be in that place of worry and anxiety. I also love thinking they were there to calm you in some way, or tell you something.

      Thank you for sharing your story.


  14. Hello,
    After reading this I wanted to share that my son died 2 years ago. He was 24 years old. He died at home and his sister and I found him.
    Last Christmas I was so overcome with dispair I just didn’t think I was going to make it. That’s when a cardinal started tapping on my kitchen window.
    On Christmas morning a cardinal started tapping on the kitchen window. He has tapped on the window every day for 9 months. He follows me around the house and taps on various windows in rooms Im walking through.
    It’s gone on so long that I do think now it has something to do with Burke. It’s like a reminder from heaven everyday that Burke is still thinking of us and helping us survive the sorrow of loosing him.


    1. Lisa,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so deeply sorry for the loss of your son, Burke. It is incredible that this Cardinal has been following you from room to room – just amazing. I believe, too, that he is somehow with you and happy for you that you have this peace. Many thanks, again, for sharing your beautiful story!


    2. Wow! I am so very sorry about the loss of your son. I do believe the cardinal is a sign from him. I love how he follows up around. Hugs and prayers for your family.


  15. My parents always loved the red cardinals and we fed them growing up in our wooded yard. Whenever I see a cardinal I always think of my deceased parents. One time when my husband and I were going through a tough time, I heard a noise at my dining room window at 10;00 pm. I thought it was our cat pecking at a bug outside. No cat around, but a red cardinal was pecking on the window— at 10:00 pm!!! Never in my life had I heard of something like that. I believe it was Mom and Dad showing me everything was going to be ok.


  16. December 25, 2018 — Christmas Morning
    This was my first Christmas without my husband of 44 years. I was determined to be positive and try to celebrate in some small, but memorable way. We have lived in this apartment since 1993. I took my Thorens Swiss music box out on the balcony to play some Christmas tunes. I thought it would cheer me and my neighbors might enjoy it as well. I used the handle to wind up the music box. Then I put one of the holiday discs in place and turned it on. I was only playing for a few minutes when a brilliant red male cardinal landed on the balcony railing just a few feet away from me. I thought it odd. The music was loud. I thought the bird would fly away, That bird just sat there, motionless as if he was enjoying the music,too. He visited longer than I thought he would before he left. I told this story to my sister Ellen. She said cardinals are a sign from heaven. She said it was a sign that my husband Bob had just paid me a visit. I started to cry. I could not hold back the tears. I never knew people had experiences like this with cardinals. All say that the sight of these strikingly beautiful birds helped ease the loss of loved ones. I can understand why.—Thanks to Ellen for sending me the link to this site.


  17. Less than a week after my mother passed away, I was on a business trip, and when I left the hotel in the morning, and got into my truck, I heard a knocking on my rear window. At first, I looked back and didn’t see anything. I then heard another knocking and got out to see what was hitting my rear window. It was a red cardinal. He would swoop down from the tree above my truck, knock a few times, then fly back up. He did this a few times. The last time he knocked, he sat on the top of my truck bed cover, looked at me for a maybe 5 seconds, then flew back into the tree. I have never encountered this, or heard of this. My mother loved red cardinals.


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