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What Does It Mean To See A Cardinal? (Symbolism & Meaning)

red cardinal bird on a tree

Has a little bird in its glamorous red and black feathers landed on your lawn recently? 

Or do you believe a particular Cardinal bird has been stalking you? Do you wonder if this is a sign or coincidence? 

Let’s find out.

If these thoughts have ever crossed your mind, then this article will interest you. Now, let’s dig into the autobiography of a bird to gain some insight into the meaning of seeing a red cardinal.

What Is A Cardinal Bird?

A cardinal bird is a songbird of the Bunting family. It is usually covered in red feathers and a mask-like black feather surrounding its beak. This bird can live for up to 13 or 15 years if it is not in the wild. Whereas its average lifespan in the wild is 3 years (since it has so many preys). 

The male songbird has a mohawk-like crest on its head which gives it an imposing and confident look.

Its predominantly red and black plumage has a striking semblance with the regalia of the Roman Catholic Cardinal. And they are ordained with the same highly spiritual function of passing messages from between physical and terrestrial realms. 

Cardinal, meaning "hinge," "axis," or point of connection in Latin is a mystical feathered friend if you believe. Mystics posit the red cardinal is a vessel that connects two worlds - the physical and spiritual. 

What does It mean To See a Cardinal Bird?

Now, what does it mean to see a cardinal bird? Can you relate or benefit from the cardinal bird symbolism? 

Non-empirical research and hearsay depict seeing a cardinal bird can mean so many things to different people.

To some, seeing a cardinal bird is normal and it means nothing more than seeing any other bird.

Like seeing a Woodpecker or Dove frolicking or being goofy because it’s a bird - nothing more!  

Either by chance or divine intervention seeing a cardinal bird can be more than meets the eye to many folks. 

To them, some sightings of a Cardinal can be spiritual or prophetic. And rightfully so when it conforms to their present situation. Here are some signs to contemplate on the sight of a cardinal.

Good Luck

Native Americans believe that cardinals are Daughters of the Sun. In a way, good luck finds anyone who experiences a cardinal flapping its wings towards the sun. 

So, if you happen to be the lucky fellow who sights this redbird flying, you should expect to have a good day ahead. Believers have kept this notion alive for thousands of years. So, try to put on a smile the next time you sight this redbird or force it with faith.

northern cardinal sitting on a branch


In North American folklore, the cardinal bird represents confidence. The reason for this is not far-fetched since this bird is one of the most arrogant and aggressive backyard bird species there is.

Visit Of A Loved One

It is also believed that dead people always come to keep their loved one’s company in the form of a cardinal bird. So, that red cardinal bird frequenting your window might be a loved one you lost recently. 

Next time, try not to “shoo” it off, instead, show some hospitality, serving its favorite seeds. Your friend has seen your grief and came in the form of this graceful songbird to dispense songs and theatrics of relief.

Angelic Company

What does it mean when you see a cardinal bird during your prayer sessions?

Say you are praying for protection, guidance, and the grace to avoid unusual thoughts. Seeing this red cardinal attaches the meaning of heavenly companionship. 

An Angel has come to you to comfort you and help you fight off gloomy thoughts. The cardinal marks the presence of the angel by appearing during prayers.

Rededication Call

Some folks claim to see cardinal birds a lot more often when they backslide or “commit a sin”. If that’s your case, it signifies a chance for you to redeem yourself in the image of your God. 

Interesting Facts about the Cardinal Bird

This red cardinal bird species also have impressive behaviors and traits. These behavioral and biological traits that they display make them even more unique.

Some of these traits include:

Great Parenting

cardinal bird with babies on nest

Research shows that cardinal birds excel when it comes to parenting. Both the male and female cardinals look after their offspring together. While one stays with the chicks in the nest, the other goes out to look for food for the family.


A cardinal bird sticks to only one partner throughout its existence. Impressive right? This red cardinal meaning showcases the beauty of monogamous family life. It preaches the sanctity of holy matrimony.


The blue cardinal bird does not get easily frightened or spooked off by human activities. Except you attempt to attack it, it stays where it is or continues to peck on whatever it was pecking.


A cardinal bird symbolizes balance. So, if you see one then you should do a self-evaluation afterward and try to find balance in whatever you do. 

Don’t bury yourself in work and life struggles, try to relax more and enjoy yourself. In enjoying yourself, don't forget to work and add value to life.

Winter Is Coming

Seeing a cardinal bird can also signify the start of the winter season. This is a common practice in some native American cultures. 

The people usually predict the coming of winter with a sight of the red cardinal.

This could be a potent forecast for you to prepare yourself for the harsh cold weather.

What Does It Mean To See A Cardinal In Your Dream?

Have you been seeing this songbird bird in your dreams recently and you are thinking it might be a sign?

Well, you are not wrong to think that way. Seeing a cardinal bird in your dream could mean one or more of the following things:

Avoid Fake Life

That you should try to be more truthful with yourself and your dealings. This bird is telling you to avoid fake life and focus on your reality. If you cannot afford something at the moment, do not try to get it through dubious means.

Save towards it or shift your attention towards an alternative that you can afford.

Find Your Inner Peace And Joy

This bird is telling you to slow down on your worries and find your inner peace. Do what makes you happy and relate more with people that make you happy.

To give you more happiness, get to know more about the Northern Cardinals here.

Hectic Schedule

A cardinal bird appearing in your dream could also signify a rough day ahead. But the good news is that you will survive the day and be triumphant in the end. Make sure you leverage this encouragement.


The cardinal bird has dazzled human communities and cultures for centuries. Some people see this bird as only a cute and beautiful creature. Whereas others believe in its spirituality and that it symbolizes positivity. 

In this article, we provided answers to questions like What does seeing a cardinal mean? What do cardinals represent? What is red cardinal symbolism? And what does a cardinal bird symbolize in one’s dreams?

But I’d ask this: Have you had any divine encounter with one at a Cardinal feeder in your yard or along your commute?

We’d love to hear them all!

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