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Where do Cardinals Sleep at Night?

Cardinals Sleep

Cardinals are small, red birds that can be found in North America and parts of Central America. They are known for their bright red feathers and song, often used to mark the beginning of spring. Cardinals are also known for being very territorial, and they will defend their nests fiercely. But ever wondered where do cardinals sleep at night? 

In this article, we’ll answer where do cardinals sleep at night. Of course, these creatures love sleeping in their nests and other places. But, they also need some specific requirements and requirements to sleep well.


Where Do Cardinals Sleep At Night? Reasons to choose a good spot

But before discussing where do cardinals sleep at night, we need to discuss something else. The four things cardinals consider before sleeping. These are good viewing angles, quick reactions, sound sleep, and safety.

Good Viewing Angle

A good viewing angle has something to do with safety. For instance, a cardinal wants to sleep in a place where it can see danger immediately. For example, worms or snakes might attack a cardinal while sleeping. So, they want an angle that makes it easy for them to see foreign things as soon they open their eyes.

“Position” is another word we can use instead of “good viewing angle.” The view will be better from a better sleeping position.

Quick Reaction

Cardinals might get attacked by predators while sleeping. So, they need to sleep where they can react quickly. Also, a location where it’s easier to hide quickly might be a compatible sleeping place. Dense bushes or shrubs are the best to consider in this situation.

When a predator comes to attack these creatures, they can easily hide deep in the bushes. So, quick reaction is related to a location where these creatures can react fast.

Sound Sleep

Who doesn’t want a sound sleep? Well, everyone does, and cardinals aren’t different from the others. They select a place to sleep where there’s less commotion. When living in the forests or wild, there’ll be unexpected noises even at night. An owl may be calling his mates or other creatures, causing sounds. But, a cardinal loves places to sleep where there’s little to no sound.

Also, the temperature is a requirement for sound sleep. Cardinals usually sleep in mild temperatures. However, different zones in a forest have temperature differences. So, that’s another thing to consider.


Cardinals always prefer to sleep or rest at high altitudes. The most feasible yet high place they can find possibly. There’re lesser risks of big cats, snakes, and other predators attacking during the night at higher altitudes. But, without feeling safe, a cardinal will stay awake all night. Hence, safety is a crucial factor for a cardinal’s sleep.

What Time Do Cardinals Go to Sleep?

Cardinals Sleep at Night

We’ve been talking about cardinals sleeping at night. But, What time do they go to sleep at night? Let’s find out the timing of a cardinal’s sleep. Usually, cardinals don’t sleep during the day. Instead, they hunt for food and return to their nest or sleeping place with full stomachs during these times.

However, the usual time for a cardinal’s sleep is right after the sunset. These creatures wake up early in the morning. And they go outside their home in search of food. That’s the cycle they follow. These creatures wake up early, hunt for food, come back within sunset, and sleep afterward. That means they sleep just when the evening hits or a bit later.

Do Cardinals Sleep in The Same Place Every Night?

It all depends on the situation. But, under normal conditions, the Northern Cardinals are seen sleeping in the same place. However, they might change the location if they sense danger or incompatibility.

Also, other cardinals usually change their sleeping place now and then. It’s because they feel their predators might be tracking them. So, as expected, they don’t sleep in the same place every night.The Northern Cardinals sleep in the same place because they sleep together with their opposite mates. That means females and males sleep together. So, as a result, they’re less prone to get attacked by predators.

Where Do Cardinals Stay At Night When It Rains?

Cardinals run to cover as quickly as possible during rain or stormy winds, like dense shrubs, roofs, etc. When the weather goes back to usual, they return to where they were before.

Rain is another thing that makes cardinals need to move. They choose a place that will be easy to get to in the rain or wind. So, where do cardinals sleep at night when it is raining? You already got the answer.

Where do Cardinals sleep at night in winter

Cardinals sleep at night in winter

It’s an extraordinary situation. First, they go deep in the bushes and sleep with a flock of their species. In this way, they keep each other warm in times of sheer cold. Besides deep bushes or shrubs, cardinals also go to holes or caves in the forest during the winter.

As we know, the temperature in a cave will be moderate. So, during winters, cardinals do two things:

  • They sleep together in a group
  • They find a cave or deep shrubs as a sleeping place.

As you can see, the Cardinals have different sleeping habits. Some of them sleep together, while others don’t. Some of them love high altitudes, while some like the ground.

It all depends on the situation they’re in and the season of the year. But, under normal circumstances, cardinals usually sleep after sunset and wake up early in the morning. That’s their daily cycle.

Do cardinals sleep with their babies

Yes, mother cardinals will always sleep with their babies. It’s because the babies need care and warmth. In the loving hands of the mothers, cardinal babies sleep peacefully.

Also, the babies won’t survive on winter nights without adequate warmth. Hence, cardinals are often seen sleeping with their babies.

Do Cardinals Sleep in Birdhouses?


At times, cardinals sleep in a birdhouse. However, it’s important to note that cardinals love to sleep in an open house with multiple entries or exits.

Cardinals are creatures with high alert. They react quickly to dangers and move away. So, they usually prefer a birdhouse with an open-ended entry and exit. Also, flat birdhouses are loved by cardinals.

Do Male and Female Cardinals Sleep Together?

Yes, male and female cardinals often sleep together. For example, during the winter, they’ll sleep side by side to gain warmth from each other.

When they sleep together, the chances of getting attacked by a predator become less. But during the breeding season, they’ll sleep together.

But, note that they might get separated from each other after the breeding and the winter season. Possibly, they sleep in separate places with separate nests.

Do Cardinals sleep during the day?


Usually, cardinal won’t sleep during the day. So instead, they start looking for food early morning and until the evening. In the evening, they sleep early at night and repeat the process. Hence, they don’t sleep during the daytime and maintain their natural sleep and eat cycle.

What does it mean to see a cardinal at night?

African cultures believe that spotting a cardinal at night signifies the visit of a soul of a dead family member. Also, many Native Americans believe in bad luck when they spot a cardinal at night. Overall, different belief system has different meanings for seeing a cardinal at night.

Can Cardinals Sleep With Their Eyes Open?

The answer is No. Cardinals can’t sleep with their eyes open. Instead, they close their eyes and sleep soundly at night. Even if they sense danger, they won’t open their eyes while sleeping. Cardinals have a natural gift of not letting anyone or anything disturb them while sleeping. So, even if you try to wake them up in the middle of their sleep, it would be challenging.

Do Cardinals Sing At Night?

No, the cardinals don’t sing at night. They only chirp and make other small sounds during the daytime. Even though cardinals can sing beautifully at night, they don’t do it.

The reason is that their predators are always looking for them at night. So, if they sing at night, their enemies quickly identify their location and hunt them down.

How Can You Help Cardinals Find The Right Sleeping Place?

We can by doing a few things. For example:

We can let them use our backyards if we have one. We already know that cardinals love dense shrubs and leaves. So, if we can grow dense shrubs in our backyard, they’ll love to sleep there. Also, note that cardinals love eating different types of seeds. If we manage to install a feeder with sunflower or likewise seeds, cardinals will love to stay for a long time in our backyards.

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