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25 Simply Stunning Cardinal Bird Pictures

Cardinals are among the most popular and beloved birds in America, and these cardinal pictures make it easy to see why birders love them.

Cardinal on a snowy branch surrounded by red berriesCourtesy Paul Hersey

Red Cardinal Bird and Berries

“Contrary to most people, I look forward to snow storms, when the bird activity increases dramatically. While the colors of nature are generally subdued in winter, the cardinal shows up against a white backdrop of snow. I captured cardinal pictures with a Canon 20d and a Canon 70 to 200mm lens in my backyard in Vermont,” says Paul Hersey. Learn what cardinals eat and how to attract them.

female cardinalCourtesy Janine Martin

Female Cardinal in Winter

“This female Northern cardinal bird sat on this pine tree waiting for her time at the feeder,” says Janine Martin. If you see a cardinal, here’s what it means.

cardinals at bird feederCourtesy Sharon Cuartero

Feeder Friends

“I never saw this Northern cardinal pair close enough to photograph them together in the same frame. When one was on the feeder, the other was on the look out elsewhere. On one cold morning in early winter, however, I captured the male approaching the feeder just as his mate made her exit to a nearby fence post,” says Sharon Cuartero. Discover the best bird feeders and birdseed for cardinals.

cardinal in snowCourtesy Kelly Beall

Shake Your Tail Feathers

“One of my favorite places to watch the birds is from my kitchen table. I have a large tree right out back and the birds go crazy when it snows. I snapped this image of a Northern cardinal with my Nikon D3400. You can really tell just how much fun this cardinal was having, hopping from branch to branch and getting his beak deep into the bird seed, which was covered with snow!” says Kelly Beall. Check out interesting cardinal bird facts you should know.

cardinal in treeCourtesy Karen Lynch

Cardinal Tree Topper

“I took this picture in my backyard while I was watching an approaching storm. The sky was getting darker and the wind was picking up. Suddenly this cardinal appeared and sat in the tree nearby and watched with me for a very short time. I had my camera with me, so I got this picture before he took off again,” says Karen Lynch. Check out cardinal gifts for redbird lovers.

female cardinalCourtesy Bernard Creswick

Drying Off After a Bath

“Several families of cardinals visit my feeder throughout the year. This female cardinal perched on a nearby stump in the sun, presumably to dry her feathers after a bath. I snapped several frame with my Nikon D7100 with a Tamron 150-600mm lens at 500mm before she took off. The female cardinal sometimes gets overlooked compared to the more vivid male, but this pose reveals some of her hidden beauty,” says Bernard Creswick. Head to Hawaii to see a red crested cardinal.

cardinal in pine treeCourtesy Ronald Washington

Perching in a Pine Tree

“This was my lucky day because my favorite songbirds are cardinals. The only problem was that this particular bird wasn’t showing up in my backyard. So I came up with the idea to play cardinal birdcalls. It worked. Within 30 minutes, cardinals start showing up from everywhere,” says Ronald Washington. Psst—have you ever seen a yellow cardinal?

cardinal on bird bathCourtesy Leah Hallett

Bird Bath Hair

“I was looking outside my window where the bird bath is, and saw this majestic looking male cardinal. I’d been taking pictures out the same window earlier in the morning so my photo gear was close by and ready. Truly a rare occasion to have a beautiful bird posing in a great spot,” says Leah Hallett. Meet the pyrrhuloxia: desert cardinal of the Southwest.

white cardinalCourtesy Diane Atterson

Leucistic Cardinal Image

“This white male cardinal lives at the Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia,” says Diane Atterson. Check out more photos of white cardinals and leucistic birds—and stunning photos of cardinals in the snow.

cardinal in spring flowersCourtesy Alan Hailston

Cherry Red Cardinal Bird

“This past spring, I noticed a male cardinal visiting my double cherry tree every morning. My goal was to get a picture of the red cardinal surrounded by the pink cherry blossoms while they were still in bloom. After two weeks of waiting, I was lucky to get this image,” says Alan Hailston. Do cardinals mate for life?

cardinalCourtesy Sheila Babin

Pose for Cardinal Pictures

“I used a Canon Rebel T2i to capture this bird photo of a male cardinal. I make my own suet and the birds love it! This cardinal had been eating from the suet feeder when he dropped down to this fence post to work on a sunflower seed. Once he finished he looked up to the feeder, ready to fly back up, and I caught him in this pose,” says Sheila Babin. Meet birds that look like cardinals.

female cardinalCourtesy Shawn Parson

Female Cardinal Closeup

“This is a picture of a female northern cardinal bird at my deck feeder in Coolville, Ohio. It was taken with a Canon Rebel t5 with a 300 mm lens,” says Shawn Parsons. What does a cardinal’s call sound like?

cardinalCourtesy Joe Martin

Patient Cardinal Bird

“I have a feeder in my yard in Grand Island, New York, and the timid Northern cardinal was patiently waiting for his turn,” says Joe Martin. Psst—a rare half male, half female cardinal was spotted in Pennsylvania.

cardinals sharing seedsCourtesy Anne Sipe

Sharing Seeds

“I captured these cardinal pictures because it’s a bird behavior we don’t always get to witness. I shoot with a Canon 5si Rebel EOS,” says Anne Sipe. Check out 15 adorable photos of bird mothers with babies.

cardinal on teacup feederCourtesy Vicki Schabel

Tea Time

“I have made made several bird feeders, and this is one of my cardinals eating from one of them. I so enjoy watching them from the window!” says Vicky Schabel. Learn how to make your own DIY teacup bird feeder.

cardinals on fenceCourtesy Carol Estes

Cardinal Picture on the Fence

“This wasn’t a normal day with my camera. Just about every male and female cardinal from the surrounding area came in to feed after a harsh blizzard. My fence is usually popular with neighborhood birds waiting their turn to eat, but this was a very special moment,” says Carol Estes of LaPorte, Indiana. Psst—you’ll love these winter bird photos.

northern cardinals spring birds Cindy Thompson Bnb Bypc 2020Courtesy Cindy Thompson

Kissing Cardinal Birds

“I was birdwatching in my backyard when I caught a flash of red in a tree to my right. I whipped my camera over and got just one image of a male cardinal feeding a seed (looks like kissing, right?) to his pretty mate. It wasn’t until I looked at the cardinal pictures on the computer that I noticed the tiny chipmunk on a nearby branch,” says Cindy Thompson. Learn about bird courtship rituals.

cardinal birdCourtesy Rebecca Granger

Spring Cardinal

“Cardinals, some of my all-time favorite birds, visit my yard every day year-round. During the spring, they often perch in my blooming crabapple tree. I love this time of year when birds sing and blooms show their beauty,” says Rebecca Granger of Bancroft, Michigan. Why do birds sing in spring?

cardinal birdCourtesy Anita Stevens

Curious Cardinal

Anita Stevens shared this adorable cardinal picture of a bird in an inquisitive pose. He seems to be wondering about the identity of this mystery bird.

cardinal birdCourtesy Marty Maynard

Sunrise Cardinal

“I sit on my back porch waiting and hoping to get cardinal pictures. I was about to give up and go in when this one landed and stayed for a long time,” says Marty Maynard. Check out super pretty pictures of finches.

cardinal bird in snowCourtesy Deanna Mayhew

Snowy Cardinal Image

Deanna Mayhew of Crocker, Missouri, says, “Northern cardinals are always a welcome sight. They decorate the landscape with a pop of red as they sit atop the branches like fluffy ornaments. They’re so refreshing when it’s dreary.” We found the snowiest bird photos ever!

baby cardinals with femaleCourtesy Jody Miller

Mama Cardinal on Duty

“While watering my newly purchased hanging fern basket, I was overjoyed to find a nest with two brown and cream speckled eggs. Over the next few weeks, I watched the cardinal momma diligently attend to the nest. Then the pair of birds took an equal interest in feeding the chicks after they hatched,” says Jody Miller. See more cute and heartwarming baby cardinal photos.

eastern redbud treeCourtesy Deanna Mayhew

Redbirds in Redbuds

“I took this photo in my yard in Crocker, Missouri. The contrasting colors of the purple in the redbuds and the reds on the birds make it beautiful,” says Deanna Mayhew. Don’t miss the 51 best spring bird pictures ever!

cardinals in a snowy evergreen treeCourtesy Beth Huebner

Two Redbirds

“These male cardinals love to sit on a tree outside our kitchen window. At any time they are spectacularly beautiful but capturing them in this snowstorm added a magical quality to their dramatic red color against the snow,” says Beth Huebner. Check out 50 beautiful winter pictures across America.

cardinal in a conifer treeCourtesy Kristine Sorenson

Cardinal Pictures at Sunrise

“While my husband and I sat and enjoyed our first sunrise on our new acreage this summer, this beautiful red cardinal stopped by to say good morning. As he watched over us in the nearby evergreen tree, we decided we should have a picture of our very first visitor! He has since brought many of his friends to enjoy our peaceful little nook,” says Kristine Sorenson.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.