Chirping Cardinals, Part I

I’m posting these photos specifically for Angie and Marilyn who indicated in the comments of my Wordful Wednesday post that they had never seen a cardinal in real life.  These photos show a male cardinal.  (You can click on them to view a larger version of them.)

Also, I mentioned that cardinals chirp very regularly.  It seems that they frequently will chirp while they are feeding at the bird feeder (and/or at the dog’s dish).  After listening to several videos of cardinals “singing,” I’m determined to try and capture the tweets/chirps that we hear from these cardinals.  As they approach the deck area (right outside our back door), they chirp.  Then, while they are eating, they continue to chirp.  I don’t know if they’re saying, “I’m here eating now.  See me?” — or what.  🙂  I need to do some more research on them, I guess.

What is your experience with cardinals?  Do they often chirp when eating at bird feeders near your home?  If so, what type of chirp is it?

12 thoughts on “Chirping Cardinals, Part I”

  1. wow what beautiful pictures. I’ve never seen one in real life either. I think the chirping would drive me a little batty after a while … lol 😉

    Thanks so much for stopping by and following.

  2. Yes my cardinals do the exact same thing. Male or female. While they are eating they will make these little chirpy squeak sounds lol it’s really cute, but I’m like you. I wanna know what it means and why they do it only when they are close to my feeders or while they are eating.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Kevin. (How did you come across this part of my blog after nearly six years since I posted this?!)

      Maybe the cardinals are telling everyone that they are enjoying a meal and they are not to be disturbed. 🙂

      1. I googled “why do cardinals chirp while they eat” and I found your thread! I’ve been watching several pairs male/females raise babies and eat from my feeders for about 2 years now and I really enjoy it. I was just curious as to why they make those little squeaking sounds while they eat lol.

    2. I’m glad you decided to leave a comment, Kevin. I’m always curious as to what Google can find. 🙂 (I amaze some of my friends … with the things I find on the internet. lol) Also, it is interesting to note that Google indeed does NOT ‘know all’… as in THIS case with the mystery of the cardinals’ chirping.

  3. The pair that visit my feeder arrive with continuous chirping also. They love the safflower seeds. The male makes the most noise and I have seen him pass seeds to the adult female’s beak when she perches with him. The male is very aware of where I am even if I am seated and motionless he looks directly at me while he shells the seed. It seems the chirping is a signal to each other regarding meal time and it only stops when they are finished. I like to think the cardinal’s stare is appreciative, but more realistically it is probably survival alertness.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kevin. It’s incredible to me (in a way) that people from different areas of the country/world have had similar experiences in observing cardinals. And yet, that’s apparently how God designed them. Would be interesting to find out the true reasoning/cause (if any) behind their stares, chirping, and other behaviors.

    2. I have had this happen also. There is a spot hidden behind a bush but visible from the backside of my screened porch, where I leave sunflower seeds specifically for the cardinals. They feed regularly from this hidden spot. When I hear their familiar chirp I refill the seeds if need be. It’s like their signal to me to refill!
      This year I had not one, but two cardinal nests made that were totally visible from inside my screened porch. I believe it may have been the same pair. I was able to watch from egg to hatch, to baby leaving the nest! I set up the spot for sunflower seeds, and now that the babies have left, the cardinals keep returning to feed.
      They are definitely my favorite bird and I love their songs.

      1. What a sweet story, Jon Thomas. Thank you for sharing it. 🙂 Cardinals are indeed special birds.

  4. I just recently set up some bird feeders outside my sunroom to bird watch. I have a suet feeder that hangs from my dogwood tree thatthe cardinals love! There are 2 cardinals that come to the feeder (a pairing/ mates) the female watches as the male picks from the suet then the male goes back to the branch and feeds the female. The male is quiet but all the while the female is chirping like crazy at the male. The odd thing I am trying to figure out is why the female shakes and ruffles his feathers like crazy while the male is feeding. She doesn’t stop shaking or chirping even while being fed.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Joshua. It’s neat that you’re able to watch and observe them well enough to realize several things including that it’s the female doing most of the chirping and that the male feeds her. (Interesting that he tolerates all of her loud “talking.” ha!)

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