A Cardinal Experience is defined as the moment a red cardinal appears unexpectedly after the loss of a loved one. This may occur while you are experiencing a difficult time or even as you are celebrating a special occasion. Numerous real-life Cardinal Experiences have been reported across the country. We hope you enjoy our growing collection of real-life Cardinal Experiences and that one day you will have one of your very own to share with us. Scroll past the submission form to view these beautiful and inspirational stories.
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MY FEATHERED FRIEND
After experiencing the sudden loss of a close friend, I endured a lengthy period of grieving. Larry and I shared several mutual friends and a lifetime of hilarious memories.
Several months after his passing, Larry’s parents invited my family to join them in Florida for a much-needed vacation. One afternoon while relaxing at the resort’s pool, I was sharing one of my favorite Larry Memories with his parents. In the middle of my story, a beautiful red cardinal flew over the swimming pool and landed onto our balcony. There were over 100 balconies, yet he chose ours! We sat quietly in awe and stared at the cardinal for several minutes before he flew away. For the first time since Larry’s passing, this beautiful moment provided us with a true sense of inner peace.
This event was captured with my cell phone, which at the time was just a flip phone. The photograph may be extremely blurry, but my memory of this moment will remain crystal clear forever!
Interesting Note: This Cardinal Experience belongs to Leesah Marie Noon and was the inspiration for Caring Cardinals™.
LEI’D TO REST
My sister and I held a special Celebration of Life for our mom on the North Shore of Oahu on the one-year anniversary of her passing. The reason for that location was because our mom went to high school and college in Honolulu. She also visited Hawaii on a regular basis throughout her life to visit her best friend and a small group of very close friends. On the day of the celebration we gathered together with family and friends to celebrate our beautiful mom.
On the morning of my mom’s celebration, I was enjoying a peacefully quiet moment alone outside when a red northern cardinal landed on the ground below my balcony. This set the tone for what turned out to be a beautiful and joyous occasion later that day.
With everyone gathered together, we scattered Orchid petals into the ocean and set free two biodegradable sea turtles that were filled with cardinal feathers I had found near my home. A pregnant woman and her three children were nearby enjoying themselves while also respectfully observing our celebration. Suddenly we noticed the mother and her children leaving the beach in a rush, so we asked her if everything was okay. We quickly learned that she had just gone into labor and was heading to the hospital! Everyone in our group clapped and cheered as we continued to celebrate the passing of my mom’s life and now the beginning of another. This was a truly touching moment that reflected the Circle of Life.
A few days later, I went to Maui with my sister and two of our best friends. During the first morning there, I was relaxing in our condo and enjoying our breathtaking ocean view. Out of nowhere, a vibrant red cardinal landed on our balcony railing and remained there long enough for me to capture his photograph! The following morning, a female cardinal stopped by and stayed long enough for me to snap her photo as well.
These blessed experiences occurred at a time when I needed them most. I know in my heart it was my mom letting me know she was alright and that we celebrated her life in a truly special and loving way.
GOD AND MY DADDY
Bossier City, Louisiana
It was a very rainy day in April 2017 when my Daddy passed. My husband, sister and I had been visiting with him all day at the hospital and left around 5:30 in the evening. The hospital’s front entrance featured a half circle drive that was completely covered with a large awning. As we exited the front door, I silently asked God to give me a sign so I would know that he had come and taken my sweet Daddy home.
While standing quietly out front, we just stared at each other with extreme sadness and grief. Suddenly, two beautiful red cardinals flew side by side under the awning and directly in front of us! It was the most extraordinarily peaceful and reassuring blessing I could have ever imagined!
I know there is a God. He held our hands and warmed our hearts on this very special day. I still see red cardinals in my backyard often, and sometimes it is even two males together. In my heart and mind … I know it is God and my Daddy checking in on me.
Charles City, Virginia
For years my mom has been telling me she had asked her mom to send a cardinal when she got to Heaven. My aunt also asked her to send a sign. They knew she would be in Heaven but still desired a message from her. I believe this was because the three of them have always been so incredibly close.
On January 20, 2019, I experienced the most amazing event at my aunt and uncle’s house in Virginia. My daughter and I stayed with them while in town for my grandma’s Celebration of Life service after she went to be with the Lord on January 9.
My daughter, parents, aunt, uncle and I were sitting around the dining room table yesterday playing Canasta, my grandma’s favorite card game. Suddenly, we heard a loud thud against the kitchen window. My aunt and uncle went outside to investigate. My aunt came back in and said they did not see anything. A couple minutes later my uncle came in carefully holding a red cardinal in his hands! He had hit the kitchen window and was completely stunned. We were in complete awe. This was a sign from Heaven above to let us know that my grandma was there, safe and happy! The cardinal remained inside for several minutes while we each petted it very gently. My mom and aunt both held the cardinal, which was incredibly emotional for all of us.
After a few minutes we carried the cardinal outside, hoping he had recovered and would fly away. My aunt held him in her hands and was encouraging him to fly, but it kept holding on to her and then hopped onto my mom. For nearly eight minutes, they stood there holding the cardinal, which was also holding onto them. They decided to place him onto a tree branch, where he sat for a minute and then flew off into the sky!
I cannot adequately describe the way this beautiful event made us feel. I will never experience anything like this again in my entire life. I was in the presence of a miracle.
Just a few hours earlier, my mom and I had been talking about the cardinal sign she requested from her mother. She asked God to make it happen in an unimaginable way. In her mind, she thought it would occur near our home in California, as we do not see cardinals there. The Lord answered the prayers of my mom and aunt and did so in a way where there is no doubt whatsoever it was a sign from my grandmother to her sweet, caring, beloved daughters.
Paul says in Ephesians 3, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
The Lord went so far and above the prayer requests of His two precious daughters. He sent the sign and literally placed it into their hands. The Lord’s kindness and goodness, His comfort, His peace, and His glory surrounded us on this day, and we will cherish it forever. There are no words.
THE GIFT OF INNER PEACE
My Mom passed away Good Friday, April 3, 2015. She was 93 years old and in wonderful health up until just two days before she passed. My Dad died many years ago at the age of 61 from cancer. Throughout the years I had conversations with my Mom every single day. She lived very close to us, so my sons would visit her almost daily. My Mom’s grandchildren loved her tremendously and she truly adored them all.
The day following my Mom’s death, I was staring out my kitchen window watching several birds land upon my feeder. Thoughts of everything I could remember about my Mom were swirling through my head. My heart was broken; I felt completely lost and was thinking “How on earth could I go on without her in my life?” Suddenly, two cardinals appeared at the feeder … a male and female. I had never seen this cardinal pair near my home and now they visit me every day! Without a doubt, I know my Mom and Dad are watching over us. These cardinals give me such genuine peace whenever I see them.
Cardinals are a true blessing for anyone who has experienced the loss of someone special. Every Christmas since my Mom passed, I give each of my guests a cardinal ornament to take home and place on their Christmas tree to remember their loved ones who are no longer with us. It feels good to give the gift of inner peace.
I had the most wonderful Cardinal Experience early in the morning after letting my dogs outside. While waiting for them on my front porch, I could hear a cardinal chirping but was unable to see it. I finally spotted the female cardinal of a pair that reside in my yard. She was off in the distance and hiding in one of the evergreen trees along my driveway.
I began chirping back to her and held out my hand in her direction to see if she would fly to me, hoping she might even land on my finger. She did not, but she continued chirping away and looking toward my direction.
After my dogs joined me on the porch, I scooped up Ally and held her facing the cardinal so they could see each other. Ally was my mom’s dog, and she joined our family after my mom passed away about a year and a half ago. I pointed at the cardinal and told Ally that mom was visiting us. Suddenly, the cardinal flew across the driveway and landed in the tree directly in front of us! She was just a few feet away and at eye level. She was hopping around and chirping for several minutes before flying away.
I’m not quite sure what Ally thought, but it certainly made my day!
A THANKFUL CARDINAL
My dad passed away on April 27th seven years ago; exactly one week after we had celebrated his 75th birthday. I think about him a lot during the month of April; so many memories.
One of my favorite memories of my dad is the Thanksgiving he spent with my family at our home. He and I were going to prepare the traditional feast for everyone. I remember he did almost everything, only stopping to ask me for a sharp knife, a big bowl, a cutting board….
He shared his (from-his-head) recipe for stuffing as he made it. (It really was the best stuffing.) And then he went outside and returned with a pumpkin he had brought with him from his home. He noticed my puzzled look and said with humor, “Just wait and see what I’m going to do. This is going to be soooo good!” He took a carving knife and cut the top off the pumpkin, just as one would do when carving a pumpkin at Halloween. Then he cleaned out the inside of the pumpkin, wiped it out, and put his stuffing into the pumpkin! His stuffing-filled pumpkin went into the oven to heat through. The stuffing was delicious; its presentation unique and perfect. I still smile when I think about my dad and me cooking together on my very favorite holiday.
The first Thanksgiving after my dad died, I was excited and proud to remember his famous stuffing and the “pumpkin bowl” he invented. I decided to repeat his tradition. I stood at my kitchen counter, cleaning out the seeds and pulp from the pumpkin I had carefully selected for this purpose. So many thoughts and memories of my dad were going through my head. At one point I looked up from my task and glanced out my kitchen window. At once, a beautiful cardinal landed on my bird feeder, stood there majestically, and just stared at me. I began to cry. I knew the special story about cardinals, and I was emotionally in awe of the fact that the cardinal appeared as I was thinking about my dad and continuing his stuffing-in-a-pumpkin bowl tradition. I cried for a moment ... and then I smiled.
Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. I will continue to make my dad’s stuffing, serve it in a pumpkin bowl ... and look for my cardinal.
CARDINALS OF LOVE AND SIGNS FROM ABOVE
Melville, New York
On March 22, 2008, a little red bird flew to my side during the darkest moment of my life – I had just received the news that my sister Mary had lost her life. I was standing outside in the breezeway of my home, lost in grief when a beautiful red cardinal landed on the shrub in front of me. He took my breath away; he was such a vibrant sight. For a moment, my pain disappeared. The very next day I flew to Texas to prepare for my beautiful sister’s wake. As I was driving down the main road to the funeral home I couldn't believe what was flying right next to me. Not one, but two beautiful red cardinals, racing me to the home. The little red bird was just the beginning to the many signs and synchronicities that showed me that there is more after this life and there is more all around us.
A few months later, I started a blog titled www.lovingmaryforever.com in honor of my sister Mary because she was an AMAZING light of love. Her light shined wherever she was our entire life. I was three years older and felt blessed to be viewed as her star. I loved that she often called me her Silly Sis. She loved you before she knew you – it was in her DNA. In the early stages of blogging to my Mary, amazing things started happening. Signs were EVERYWHERE. I documented each amazing occurrence one by one and my faith grew as these confirmations revealed my sister was still with me. My grief lessened and hope prevailed. My little red bird kept appearing at crazy places and special times (along with making a home in my backyard), making her appearance to me along with fun synchronicities! I giggle just thinking about her.
I am alright today but feel sad at times when missing her physical presence, her amazing Mary smile that lit up every room she entered, and the loving energy she always radiated to everyone in her contact. Sharing my Mary's story has given so many people hope, so I will continue to cherish her memories and share her signs of love to help others heal from their loss too. Also, with a soft nudge from above, Little Red Bird Chirps was born on Facebook. It is a comforting place to visit that confirms what the little red bird is – a sign from above!
Grateful, loyal and blessed to call Mary my sister.
Howell, New Jersey
My husband passed away in February and shortly after his death, my little red cardinal friend began to stop by the house every morning. I explained to my 10-year old son that he was a visitor from Heaven and that he will be there whenever he needed him. I saw the little redbird every day for quite a while. One day a Baltimore Oriole appeared and after that, I was no longer seeing the red cardinal. My son however, continued to see the vibrant redbird every single day. I researched the spiritual symbolism of Baltimore Orioles and discovered they are a sign representing that even though you are going through the hardest part of your life — the worst is over. I am a firm believer that birds speak to us in ways that no one else can!
A SHOO-IN FOR SPECIAL SIGNS
My beautiful mother passed away three years ago the day after Thanksgiving. Losing her was extremely difficult because we had such a wonderful mother-daughter relationship. She is always on my mind, but more often around the holidays. Just a few days after the anniversary of her passing, I was walking down the hall toward my classroom when suddenly, I stepped on something and became lodged in the bottom of my shoe. I continued walking, reached my classroom and quickly sat down amongst the students. There were several little faces surrounding me as I attempted to remove a tiny object from the base of my shoe. After a few minutes, I was finally able to pry it out, only to discover it was a tiny red cardinal with a metal prong. I was in complete disbelief and wonder what was bigger – the smile on my face or the smile in my heart. My amazing mother always had such a great sense of humor and this was definitely a shoo-in for one of her best and most meaningful jokes ever!
A ROSIE REDBIRD
Canyon Lake, Texas
One week after my sister Rose passed away, my son and his family came to visit for comfort. My six-year old granddaughter was up early one morning enjoying her breakfast while I drank my coffee. The rest of our family was still asleep. Suddenly in a surprised and startling voice, my granddaughter said, “Grandma — There’s a redbird on the rail!” Resting on the handrail of my deck was a bright red cardinal. I replied, “Yes, that is Aunt Rosie letting us know that she is in Heaven; she is alright, and she is happy.”
A little while later her mother woke up and joined us. My granddaughter jumped up from her chair and exclaimed, “Mommy — Aunt Rosie was here!” Her mother looked at me with a bewildered expression on her face. I quickly explained that my sister Rose had sent a red cardinal as a messenger to let me know she was safe, happy and in Heaven.
Every single day for the next week, a vibrant redbird sat in a tree next to my deck. It was seldom that I had seen a red cardinal before that time. Rose loved to sit inside and watch the birds through windows. She also had a wonderful book about birds and enjoyed looking at it often. It was only fitting that she would send a red cardinal to let me know she was alright. I miss her so much but love when she sends me a Rosie Redbird!
My mom passed away in September 2017. In June of this year, about a month before what would have been her 79th birthday, I noticed a pair of cardinals in my yard for the very first time. They seemed to go out of their way to make me notice them. Separately, my sister had also started noticing the cardinals, but neither of us mentioned it to the other until one day when we saw the male cardinal at the same time. We both said aloud, “I think that’s mom.”
At that point we had not ever heard about the spiritual connection of these magnificent creatures. I wanted to get cookies decorated like cardinals for my mom’s birthday celebration. While trying to find cardinal cookies online, I learned about the special meaning of red cardinals.
Not long after my mom’s birthday, I was leaving the house and the male cardinal flew down my driveway and landed right in front of me before I entered my car. I was able to snap a couple of photos before he flew away.
As I backed down my driveway, I noticed a feather on the lower part of my windshield. As I started driving, the feather made its way to the middle of my windshield. It stayed there throughout my drive and I snapped some photos along the way. It was about a three-mile drive. When I got to where I was going, the feather was still there. Of course, I kept it.
The next day while I was cleaning my garage, the male cardinal stopped by and chirped away. After he left, I was walking on my driveway and I dropped what I was holding. When I bent down to pick it up, I found another feather. Once again, I kept it.
This September my sister and I had a celebration of life for our mom in Hawaii, a very special place for her throughout her life. We had two biodegradable sea turtle urns that we put some of her ashes in, along with one feather in each, and released them at sea. On the morning of the celebration, a red cardinal came to visit. It was the first time I had ever seen one in Hawaii. Throughout the rest of my time in Hawaii, I spotted several more. Cardinal visits are a true blessing!
LITTLE RED FEATHER
Ithaca, New York
Two years this July, I lost my wonderful father. He raised me, so I took it very hard. At the beginning of autumn following the one-year anniversary of his death, many memories of my dad flooded into my mind. Fall is hunting season in our area. The smell of the fresh air, strong coffee and crisp leaves made my heart ache for his presence. I had always felt that a sign from him would ease my pain. One day I was walking my kids to the bus stop, and while approaching my car, I spotted what appeared to be a tiny leaf stuck to the driver’s side window. While leaning in to remove it, I discovered it was the smallest red cardinal feather I had ever encountered! My heart swelled instantly as it felt like a true sign from my daddy letting me know he was with me. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude. The feather will always remain with me in a crystal jewelry box engraved with my name on the silver lid … a gift from my father.
A THANKSGIVING BLESSING
I have been blessed by the comfort from "my" red cardinal quite often and truly believe it is my special angel helping me find the courage and strength to carry on.
I traveled a very difficult journey with my Mom through her illness for eight years. At times they were difficult, but it mostly felt like our gift to one another. We helped each other while I encouraged my Mom throughout her health issues. She was such a character, loved her family very much and was continuously here for us.
My Mom ALWAYS prepared Thanksgiving Dinner for our family. I knew the first Thanksgiving after she passed would be difficult for me, but I was determined to be strong and keep our family together! The big turkey was in the oven, the table was set with Mom's beautiful china and of course the veggies were cooking as well. I glanced out the sliding glass door in our kitchen and right there sitting on our deck was the MOST BEAUTIFUL RED CARDINAL looking right at me as if to say, "Mom is watching and I am alright!" Mom KNEW I needed her support and encouragement. Our turkey was delicious, the gravy was not quite as good as my Mom's, but our family was TOGETHER and that is what was important to both of us.
That was the first of my many visits from my little red angel. My son in law was in the kitchen on that Thanksgiving Day and he too was a bit overwhelmed as we talked to our little red cardinal!
I do BELIEVE in the beauty of our love shared and will cherish the visits from my little red bird always. Love never dies.
MY CARDINAL CALL
Black River Falls, Wisconsin
Several years ago, I experienced three great losses within a period of only 15 months. The first was my mother who passed just 10 days before Christmas in 2006. Then, I lost a very dear aunt in October of 2007. Easter Day in 2008 my father passed away. Needless to say. my grief was overwhelming.
My father loved cardinals which appeared often in his yard. Not long after his death, we began to see several cardinals in our yard. Shortly thereafter we moved across the state. My grief was extreme, and it continued until a vibrant red cardinal started to appear regularly near our home. I would hear his call and felt as if he was calling for me to look out the window, and I did. He would sit on his perch and stare directly at me through the window.
I decided to learn the call of the cardinal. While outside, I call for him and he calls back from a distance. Eventually he flies toward my direction and lands on a tree branch directly above my head. We continue calling back and forth for several minutes each day.
I believe it is my dad, mom and perhaps other family members who have passed on and were reaching out to me with their love and support until my grief had passed. I always feel so blessed when calling back and forth with this gorgeous red cardinal, and it has most certainly peaked my belief in the afterlife!
THE CARDINAL COTTAGE
My daughter passed away in March of 2016. There was no comfort for me until one day I was sitting by my window and a little red bird appeared. He was so beautiful, and I always considered male northern cardinals as strikingly beautiful, but never more so than the day he first appeared right outside my window. Cardinals appear in my yard every day now, and naturally they are always welcome! I named my house The Cardinal Cottage after this little red bird that brings me so much comfort. I truly believe he is a messenger from Heaven!
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