Are Cardinals Aggressive? Behaviour towards Humans and Other Birds

Are Cardinals Aggressive

Have you ever played the game “Angry Birds” ? This is a game which is popular all over the world. You may be familiar with Cardinals who are impressive song birds. In summer your morning can start with a cardinal’s whistle which sounds like “cheer cheer”. So we were on the topic of angry birds, they usually get angry when they are in mating time or their breeding season.They make their territory that time so that they can save their female mate from humans and predators.

Now the question arises that these angry birds are really angry by their nature? The Answer is No. Cardinals are normally social and singing birds but whenever they feel that there is any predator who can make them feel awkward during their breeding time or they have babies in their nest they can be aggressive. In this article we are going to describe more reasons why they can be aggressive and what they do when they are in a highly territorial mood.

What Makes Cardinals Become Angry ?

In case of northern cardinals they get angry whenever their breeding season starts, this their high peak time. Also when the Male cardinals change their nest that time they also become aggressive just because they want to make their territory in a new place. And some cardinals also fight to get the nearest nest to their source of food.

Are They Territorial to Their Same Species?

Cardinals are so native and social with each other. But sometimes when they are building their nest or they are breeding with females, they become so aggressive that no other cardinals don’t even try to be near them.Whenever they feel angry they warn their species by flying against their opponent.

Cardinals start to fly together when they are done with their nesting and they start to search for food together. Being together can help them to search food sources faster and that can help them to bring safety towards predators.

Which Cardinals Are More Aggressive Based on Their Gender?

Male and Female Cardinals both are Aggressive but Male cardinals are more aggressive whenever they are guarding their nest. But when the Male cardinal is not present in the nest the female cardinals also have to be aggressive to save their nest and children from Predators.

Do Cardinals Attack Other Birds?

Cardinals usually don’t attack other birds, but when there is a matter of any other bird is trying to steal food from their feeders or trying to be nearly their nesting spot. That time Cardinals aggressively fly and make sounds to scare them off.

Do Cardinals Attack Other Birds

The Big Birds are also the predators who can attack them but cardinals use the same technique to make a safe sound environment so they can save their female and eggs. Outside of the breeding season, cardinals are generally very non-aggressive, but in the winter, particularly when severe weather makes it more challenging to search for food naturally, there may be occurrences near bird feeders.

How do Cardinals Behave When They Feel Angry?

Cardinals search food in a group that helps them to search food sources easily. And when they find food the hungry cardinals may shove for position and they claim that spot by aggressively striking to assure their territory.

Do Cardinals Become Aggressive by The Reflections of The Mirror?


We Know that Cardinals become aggressive when they can see that some other birds are on their feeder or someone is trying to be in their nest. But cardinals became aggressive that time that led them to fight with their reflection in the mirror. That time they think that there is another song bird who can destroy its territory.

Read: How Long Do Cardinals Live? Cardinals Lifecycle

Can Cardinals And Humans Become Friends?

Many Researchers say that the relationship between humans and cardinals can be turned into friendship. Cardinals usually visit human backyard because they set the feeders in  their backyard to make their yard more attractive. From that feeder you can easily make friends with cardinals.

Cardinals And Humans Become Friends

Cardinals usually don’t think humans are a threat until they don’t do any harm to their nests. Cardinals are so intelligent that they can distinguish between the trusty and the humans who have harmed them before.

Do Cardinal Attack Other Birds in The Feeders?

Cardinals don’t attack other birds when they are together in bird feeders. They are so friendly with them. But When there is winter they become more competitive for food as in winter there may be a shortage of food.


This Kind of interaction can be held for a few periods where Cardinals are fully dependent on the feeders which are provided by humans. In that period they are so aggressive towards others and fight for their territory.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do Cardinals Become Aggressive When They Are in Feeders?

    Yes. Normally they are so friendly but In case of winter they have to depend fully on humans  so they have to be aggressive.

  2. Do Cardinals Fight With Their Same Species?

    Yes. When they are breeding with each other they don’t want that any other cardinals can be nearly of them.

  3. Do Cardinals Always Aggressive When They See a Mirror?

    Not only when they had a fight with another cardinal that time if you put a mirror to them they may be aggressive towards the mirror.


From this research this can be concluded that Cardinals are aggressive during breeding season, when they are building their place. The main reason for their defending moment can be created whenever they can see that predators or humans are trying to spoil their nest and babies.

Hence we can say that it’s too easy for humans to befriend with just placing a feeder that can attract your backyard also. If possible then make a feeder that contains delicious food as how they will make a nest in your backyard.

Mosharraf Mahmud

Mosharraf is an MSC in Computer Science. He has been passionate about birds since childhood. He is the author of the blog Birds Indeed, where he regularly shares his knowledge and experience about different birds. He is passionate about helping others to understand the beauty of birds and their ecosystem.

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