Where Does a Cardinal Sleep At Night?

Cardinal Bird Sleeping

Cardinals, in general, will want to sleep as high up in a tree as possible. This can mean either an unoccupied branch, a tree cavity, or even a birdhouse. Regardless of where they actually end up sleeping, what will matter for them the most would be to have some sort of protection over their heads.

You should keep in mind that a cardinal’s sleeping place will usually change depending on the weather it is faced with.

When rain is approaching, you will see most cardinals find cover inside a tree cavity, a place where they might spend a lot of time. This is one of the reasons why they might change their resting spots quite frequently.

Most Cardinals will be pretty picky when trying to find the perfect spot for them to rest in. Among the most important qualities of their future resting place will be how safe it makes them feel. They will do extensive due diligence to make sure that no predators will be around throughout the night, while the birds sleep.

You might also like my articles on whether birds can get high, whether they can suffer from down syndrome, and how to stop birds from chirping.

While some Cardinals will want to return to the same spot to rest every night, others will keep switching the places in the search for the safest one.

Below you will not only find out where cardinals sleep, but also why would they pick one particular place.

Top Reasons for Cardinals to Choose a Certain Spot

1. Their need to feel safe

Safety will usually be the main thing they will look for in the search for the perfect resting place.

If the bird will feel unsafe in a particular place, it will not be able to rest, which will make it leave this place pretty soon. That particular spot can have all of the other needed qualities but if it doesn’t make the cardinal feel safe, it will be enough for it to leave.

They will want to rest in a place that keeps them away from any harm, while also being pretty easy to reach.

This is why they will usually go for a branch high up in the tree, a tree cavity, or even a birdhouse.

They will usually avoid resting close to the ground because this is where most of their natural predators can be found. This is why, although during the daytime they might come down to the ground, sleep will probably find them as high up in a tree as possible.

2. Undisturbed Sleep

Cardinal at NightNobody wants to be disturbed during a long, deep sleep and birds are in no way different.

This is easily understandable if you just put yourself in the bird’s shoes, being woken up from a deep sleep, for no particular reason, by either a powerful sound or a nearby creature. This happens even more in the wild, where creatures don’t have the comfort of a house that protects them from powerful sounds or unwanted interactions.

This is why they will spend a considerable amount of time looking for a place that offers silence and peace.

The easiest way of finding peace and safety from any predators is by going as high up into a tree as possible.

Birds are pretty lite, making it easy for them to stay on tiny branches that would break under the weight of most of their predators. At the same time, birds can fly, which makes it very easy for them to reach those heights.

3. Good Viewing Angle

The viewing angle is also an important factor in figuring out the perfect resting place for a cardinal.
Regardless of how safe a place might seem, these birds will also want to know that when a powerful would is heard, they can see exactly where it comes from and what is causing it.

Birds in general will try their best to avoid becoming the victims of surprise attacks by predators, which is why they will want to always know what happens around them.

They are most vulnerable while they sleep, which is why they want to have a complete view of everything that is happening around them.

A good viewing angle will help them react quickly

A good resting place with a considerable viewing angle will offer the bird the possibility of seeing danger as soon as possible, enabling them to fly away before a predator can get close. A good place will also offer them more than one direction in which to escape without feeling trapped when someone gets close.
A great resting place will either have an entrance so small that it will prevent predators from getting in, or be high enough to enable them to fly away sooner than the predator can attack.

Finding a place to offer all of the above conditions might prove to be hard for a bird, which is why cardinals will spend quite some time in the look for the perfect spot.


So where would a cardinal sleep during the night? It will usually be pretty hard to pinpoint the exact place where cardinals will choose to sleep.

While some cardinals will find the perfect resting spot high in a tree on a branch, others will spend more time looking for a place, ultimately going for either a tree cavity or some other good shelter they might find to stay away from known predators.

It will not only depend on each independent situation, but also on how many cardinals occupy the same area. If they are in a small group and know they don’t make a lot of noise, then they will usually be OK with just spending the night on a branch high up in a tree.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *