What Does a Cardinal Song Sound Like?

Northern cardinals are one of the few bird species with both male and female singers. Learn what a cardinal song sounds like and how cardinals communicate.

Listen for the Cardinal Song

Did you know? Both male and female cardinals sing! Northern cardinals are one of the few species whose female also sings. A pair of cardinals might even share song phrases, using them to communicate at nesting time. Experts believe the cardinal song duet strengthens their bond. Listen for pure, repetitive whistling from cardinal pairs. Females sometimes call while on the nest. Males bring food to the females as they care for baby cardinals to ensure nesting success.

Do northern cardinals mate for life?

Listen to the cardinal’s song in the audio clip below.

Bird songs courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

You won’t want to miss these simply stunning photos of cardinals.

Learn about the differences in male and female cardinal songs by watching this video from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Next, check out the best bird feeders and birdseed for cardinals.

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 is certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener and is also a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.