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 – Thecardinalexperience.com
Pinterest – remember this photo that circulated all social media sites?
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. 🙂
114 thoughts on “Cardinals – Signs From Heaven?”
My husband of 15 years, and I have been going through a rough year, and had decide to separate, while we tried to work on our relationship, he was dropping me off at our first home, and he was packing his vehicle leaving for our second home. We were saying our tearful goodbyes, when suddenly, a cardinal flew into our garage. I said, this has to be a good sign. He was irritated for the delay, having to find a net to coax the bird out to freedom….I laughed and cheerfully changed the monument to a happy and playful one to free our beautiful red sign of hope and peace.
Kim, I love that story. Thank you so much for sharing and cheers to hope and peace!
I’m a true believer that Cardinals appear after a love one passes away. Yesterday day we had to let my grandpup a 4 year old cheagle enter Doggie Heaven due to a spinal cord injury. Today white taking my other 4 year old grandpup out for a ride after losing her beloved cousin,playmate and bestfriend a Beautiful Red Cardinal Appeared letting me know that our Rudy was letting us know she was fine and put a smile on my face. The Cardinals has always come to us after we had to say goodbye to a loved one. My Mother in law passed away Nov1,2021 and a Cardinal flew on our back porch while my husband was standing in the doorway,my daughter was able to pick the bird up and take a picture before letting him free.My husband sent pictures to all that was grieving our loss.The Birds are such a Blessing to our Souls
For me it is blue birds-my mother loved them. Allow each to discover their own meaningful symbols.
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Yes, each has his/her own and important to find whatever is speaking to him or her – always! Blue birds are wonderful – lucky you!
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I lost my mom in August 2020, and my dad July 2019. Recently I encountered a sign, an OBVIOUS sign. A napkin with a grease “heart” stain. The reason it symbolizes my mom I believe is because she used to doodle on napkins all the time. she was an artist. This heart was perfect. I was having tooth surgery the next Morning and I felt it was her wishing me good luck, but my aunt just brought to my attention because the dentist couldn’t remove my tooth, because of my heart rate decremented to 40, she thinks it was a warning instead. Either way, I feel its amazing.
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Wow – what a nice way to look at that, Jenna. Hope you tooth is ok and I enjoyed that story!
My grandfather passed the day after thanksgiving. My parents are avid birdwatchers and caregivers. Christmas morning a cardinal flew in the window. No surprise. Sometimes a bird gets spooked and hits the window. My mom rushed out and scooped it up and held it until it was ready to fly away. She said she held it a good 30 minutes or so. It might seem crazy but I really think God sent the cardinal to my dad. My grandpa was a family man and it just makes sense that this would happen. Grandpa used to put food out for the birds all the time when he had his farm.
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Thank you for sharing your special story, Valerie!
My young wife passed away in 2019. She stood by me through many things. I always see or hear cardinals around my house. Every morning when I walk the dog I see cardinals. They’ll usually fly closer to my vehicle as I’m leaving. Perhaps it’s my imagination but I like to think it’s her watching over me
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Drew I am so sorry for your loss, and what a wonderful way to think of her. Thank you for sharing this.
My mother passed away on thanksgiving day of 2020. Today while I took me a break at work I seen a red bird on my car, I really feel like it was her and now I know she is really watching over me. I miss her so bad 😔
Last week my husband was driving home and a hawk flew so close to his truck that it’s shadow could be seen on the road and he could see its belly as it flew across the road in front of him. Today, he called me to say that a hawk just did the same thing. Don’t know if it was the same one but, wow. He also said when he went around the curve in our driveway there were three red cardinals sitting in the bushes about 6 feet away from each other. I see a red cardinals around here often but never that close together. I’ve always heard that red birds were family members or even angels checking in on you. And the other day one of my cats had caught a blue jay and brought it in the house. It was still alive so I was able to get it from the cat by placing a towel over it and picking it up. It was so still that I thought it was really hurt but it was looking around,calm and even leaned into my finger when I touched its head. It didn’t fight to get away and would just look at me. I carried it outside and as soon as I placed it on a bale of hay it flew away. Both of my in-laws have passed away as well as a cousin and uncle that husband was very close to and my father passed away over 20years ago. I wonder why we(especially my husband who I think is an empath like me)have so many bird visitors?
I am Michelle Gintzler. I am an avid bird lover. And I love all animals. I truly believe in the afterlife. And I truly do believe that cardinals most definitely are a sign from Heaven.
I am Michelle Gintzler. I had written before. My mother just died this past Monday May 9th. The day after Mothers’ Day. Wednesday May 11th the day of her funeral. I went to my Uncle and Aunt’s house to sit Shiva for my mother with my sister and brother. And before I got out of my sister’s jeep I told her that I had just seen a male and female cardinal in my relatives’ trees. I told my sister Sharon that I believe it was a sign from the afterlife. She said that it was my mother and father from Heaven. I wholehearted truly do believe that. It had to have been. Seeing is truly believing. Michelle
My mother Phyllis instilled in me my undying love for birds. And I have had birds my whole life. So I truly do believe that she is giving me signs from the afterlife. Michelle
My mom passed on March 24, 2021. She loved watching the birds flock to the feeders she had my dad hang out on the patio outside their sliding glass doors. She and my dad would spend hours watching the birds and squirrels enjoy their feast as my parents played cards and drank coffee.
While having dinner with my dad a few days ago he once again shared how much enjoyment my mom got from watching the birds. He then proceeded to tell us that, just that morning, he saw the reddest cardinal he had ever seen at the feeder and how he had never noticed that bird there before.
At the time I did not know about cardinals representing our loved ones.
I now truly believe that was a message from my mom and I will be on the lookout for cardinals from this day forward.
The last couple of days a male cardinal has been on my deck railing outside my patio door chirping away. Today he has returned to my tree next to my dining room window, with the female, he is still chirping away. What does this mean. I have seen them in the yard in the summer, but never the way they are this year.
Could the passing of a cat warrant a visit? Our cat,Snowman, went missing Tuesday and since then I’ve seen a couple of red birds every time I go outside. This morning be was singing do loud I want go may back porch and be kept jumping from limb to limb getting as close as possible without landing on me. He did this for at least 10 minutes until I had to go inside. I haven’t seen him since..
I stumbled on this through google when I asked the question about other people’s experiences with Cardinals and I wanted ro compare with mine. We had a cardinal come and visit. See in Nov 2020 we lost our mom. Her passing has made a huge impact on me and the family. We have been missing her so much and have been struggling with her absence. 3 weeks ago we had a family cookout we were all here. This cardinal came and stayed with us for over 2 hours. At first it went directly to my dad at the BBQ. She took food from his hand! Lol I know not so wise to feed sausages but it was comical to us thinking, mom says too much salt! Ha. She stayed and hopped on all our shoulders, took blueberries from our hands, each one of us and our kids too. It seemed to stick around and get excited when we called the kids outside. She was not scarred of sudden moments or sound. Not even a peep when the dogs were around. When we spoke to it because at this point we were convinced the essence of this bird is mom, she moved her head and open her beak. It was unbelievable. This experience blew our minds! It was so beautiful. It was impossible to not believe that this was a gift/ blessing. Even to an optimist like my dad who has now become a believer, he has embraced this experience and is welcoming to more visits.
Last week I was driving around for work (home care psw) and I was seeing cardinals everywhere I looked every day. On Tuesday my husband went in for a routine surgery and after ended up losing 3L of blood, over half of it. I almost lost home. I believe it was our loved ones letting us know they were here for us.
My younger and only sister, whom I was very close with, suddenly passed away a month ago. I live in New York City and have a tiny little yard behind my house to my garage. For the past week, I have been seeing a cardinal here. The first two days it was a bright red one, and now it’s a light orange/brown one. I have never seen a cardinal here in all of my 23 years of living here. I would like to believe it is a sign from my sister, as I have been very distraught upon losing her.
I am Michelle. I live in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I totally believe in these supernatural things. I love birds, and I have birds. And I do believe that cardinals are signs from the afterlife. I feel for you. I am so very sorry you lost your one and only sister. Cardinals are known to be a sign from the afterlife. I truly do believe that. Michelle
I love this story. I am in San Antonio Texas. I lost my beloved sister who was a USAF Col for 34 years and I look everyday to try to see one. Are there any in this area? I keep looking and hoping I could use the comfort of seeing one. Thank you all for lifting me up with by sharing your comments on your loved ones.