No matter how often cardinals visit your backyard, seeing these magnificent birds never gets old. Their vibrant red feathers and sweet, cheerful songs bring happiness to everyone they visit. Luckily, cardinals don’t migrate, so if you live in the eastern U.S., you can enjoy them year-round.

Along with their striking appearance, cardinals captivate many people because of their ties to the spiritual world. Some believe this beloved bird represents a messenger from the heavenly realm or a loved one trying to capture their attention. Other popular interpretations of cardinals include transformation, true love, good luck, or a message from an angel.

In Native American traditions, some tribes believe cardinals comfort those who have recently lost a loved one. The bold red bird also represents monogamy since they mate for life. Therefore, many tribes think that single people who spot one will find love soon. Finally, other Native American tribes like the Pima believe seeing a cardinal means rain will follow shortly.


However, regularly encountering cardinals will mean something different to everyone based on personal beliefs and circumstances. If they appear in your backyard often, they may have an important message to relay. Below, we’ll delve deeper into the symbolism of cardinals and share some interesting facts about them.

Five Common Meanings Of Seeing Cardinals

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1. Seeing cardinals could signify a message from a departed loved one.

Many people feel comforted when they notice a cardinal nearby after losing a family member or friend. Some believe these birds visit grieving family members to offer solace and support. They serve as messengers for departed loved ones who want to assure their families that they’ve arrived at a better place. So, if you notice any of these lovely birds, it could mean someone from the spirit world wants to connect with you.

2. A reminder to not cling to the physical realm.

While these powerful spirit animals want to comfort you after suffering a bereavement, they also have another important message. Cardinals want to remind you not to fear death or become too attached to earthly life. Nothing lasts forever, so you should neither avoid nor cling to the physical realm. These adorable birds want to share the message that our souls are eternal, so death means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

Cardinals often visit funerals and cemeteries to support families who have lost a loved one. It’s a sign from beyond that we will reunite with our families and friends who have passed on someday.

3. Cardinals also represent good fortune.

These brilliant red birds also signify good luck and abundance, reminding us to pay attention to all the beauty in the world. Many people, including Native American tribes, consider the cardinal a positive omen. Since they always lay twelve eggs, some tribes believe this also represents a sign of luck. Whether or not you agree with this interpretation, seeing a cardinal is always a sight to behold.

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4. A sign to treasure your relationships and remain open-hearted.

Did you know cardinals mate for life and build a nest in the same place year-round? Because of this, many people associate these vividly colored birds with domestic bliss, family life, and monogamy. If you’re in a relationship, it’s a sign to remain faithful to your partner and fully appreciate them.

However, the red birds also want to remind single people to remain open to love and cherish their other relationships. Some believe the cardinal signifies romance on the horizon for anyone looking for their special someone.

Also, the cardinal can represent friendship since these birds are known for being sociable and chummy. In summary, this feathered friend signifies love in all its forms, reminding us to treasure the people in our lives.

5. The cardinal could indicate the presence of an angel.

Since departed loved ones often communicate through cardinals, it’s not farfetched to believe guardian angels do so as well. Some think seeing these spirit animals means an angel wants to share a message from beyond. Perhaps the heavenly being wants to protect you or offer guidance. Sometimes they have specific messages for you based on circumstances in your life that you have struggled with recently.

If you feel a presence in the room or a chill in the air upon seeing a cardinal, this strongly suggests an angelic or spiritual being is nearby. Try to calm your mind and listen to your intuition — it will give you the message you need to hear.

Interesting Facts About Cardinals

  • Seven states have designated the Northern Cardinal as their state bird: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • Cardinals, also known as redbirds, represent one of only a few species of North American songbirds whose female sings. The redbirds have over 24 songs, and mates often communicate with song phrases during nesting periods. Females often sing while sitting in the nest to let males know when to bring food.
  • Male cardinals get their vivid red hue from their diet, consisting mainly of mulberries, hackberries, and blackberries. Eating a diet rich in berries helps males develop brighter feathers, which they use to attract mates.
  • Their name comes from the red robes worn by cardinals of the Catholic church.
  • Northern Cardinals live mainly in the East, Midwest, and Southwest U.S. They’re spotted in various climates such as swamps, forests, deserts, city parks and backyards.

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Final Thoughts on Spiritual Interpretations of Cardinals

The universe often sends messages through spirit animals, such as the beautiful cardinal. In Native American traditions and other cultures, it’s said that the redbird represents love, positivity, and messages from spiritual beings. Many believe angels and departed loved ones share important information from the heavenly realms through cardinals. Others say these birds show up when you need a sign to seize new opportunities or take risks.

No matter what you believe the cardinal represents, it’s always a pleasant surprise to see them in your backyard. Have you seen any of these eye-catching friends recently?