Isn’t it amazing how we find ourselves captivated by the vibrant charm and distinctive beauty of Cardinals? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself gazing out your window, brimming with curiosity about their life cycle – particularly, understanding how long it takes for their eggs to hatch.

This comprehensive guide shines a light on this intriguing mystery while offering riveting insights into the nesting habits of Cardinals, along with an enchanting journey through their hatching process.

So stick around! These enlightening Cardinal egg facts are sure to make your bird-watching moments even more satisfying and delightful!

Key Takeaways

  • Cardinals typically lay 3 to 5 eggs at a time, which take about 11 to 13 days to hatch.
  • Female cardinals incubate the eggs and stay with them until they hatch into baby cardinals.
  • Baby cardinals stay in the nest for about 7 to 13 days before they are ready to leave and explore their surroundings.

The Nesting Habits of Cardinals

Cardinals are known for their unique nesting habits, which often lead them to choose shrubs and trees as their preferred nesting locations.

Where do Cardinals nest?

Cardinals make their homes in thick bushes or small trees. They choose parts that are about three to ten feet off the ground. Their nests are strong and safe, built with twigs, grasses, and other plant things.

Cardinals also use soft materials to line the inside of their nests like moss or hair from other animals. This gives a warm and soft bed for their eggs. These birds take great care in picking the perfect spot for their nest.

They want it hidden from view to keep safe from predators.

Do Cardinals nest in the same place every year?

Cardinals do not nest in the same place every year. They build a new nest for each breeding season. The female cardinal carefully selects a suitable location, usually in dense shrubs or trees, to construct her nest.

She may choose different spots within her territory from year to year. Cardinals prefer locations that provide good cover and protection for their eggs and young. So, if you see a cardinal nesting in your backyard one year, it doesn’t mean they will return to the exact same spot next year.

Do Cardinals nest in backyards?

Cardinals are known to nest in a variety of habitats, including backyards. They prefer dense shrubs and trees for nesting, so having plenty of vegetation in your backyard can attract them.

Cardinals may choose to build their nests in bushes, vines, or low branches near the ground. Providing bird feeders with food and water also increases the chances of cardinals nesting in your backyard.

Keep an eye out for their beautiful nests made of twigs, grasses, and leaves!

Do Cardinals use nest boxes?

Cardinals do not typically use nest boxes. They prefer to build their nests in shrubs, trees, and other natural habitats. They construct their nests using twigs, leaves, grass, and bark strips.

The female cardinal is responsible for building the nest while the male assists by supplying her with materials. Cardinal nests are cup-shaped and can be found about 3 to 10 feet above the ground.

While they may not use nest boxes like some other bird species, providing suitable vegetation and a safe environment in your backyard can attract cardinals to make their homes nearby.

How Long Does it Take for Cardinal Eggs to Hatch?

Cardinal eggs typically take around 11 to 13 days to hatch, and during this time, the female cardinal diligently incubates the eggs. But there’s more to learn about this fascinating process, so let’s dive in and discover the details!

How many eggs do Cardinals lay at a time?

Cardinals usually lay a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs at a time. The female cardinal is responsible for laying the eggs and she will incubate them by sitting on them to keep them warm. During this time, the male cardinal helps by bringing food to the female.

After about 12 days, the eggs will hatch and cute baby cardinals will appear!

Do Cardinals stay with their eggs?

During the incubation period, female cardinals stay with their eggs and take care of them. The male cardinal may occasionally visit the nest to provide food for the female, but it is primarily her responsibility to keep the eggs warm and safe.

She will incubate the eggs for about 12 days until they hatch into adorable baby cardinals.

How long do Cardinal eggs take to hatch?

Cardinal eggs take about 12 to 13 days to hatch. The incubation period is usually around 12 days. During this time, the female cardinal takes care of the eggs all by herself. She starts incubating them after about a week of laying them.

Once the eggs hatch, it only takes baby cardinals around 7 to 13 days before they are ready to leave the nest. Both male and female cardinals contribute to feeding their young ones once they hatch.

Cardinal Egg Hatching Process

Cardinal eggs typically hatch after an incubation period of about 11 to 13 days, with the female cardinal responsible for keeping the eggs warm during this time. Once hatched, the baby cardinals stay in the nest for approximately 9 to 11 days before they are ready to fledge and leave the nest.

During this period, both male and female cardinals take turns feeding their young, providing them with insects and seeds to help them grow.

What do Cardinal eggs look like?

Cardinal eggs are small and oval-shaped, with a smooth and glossy surface. They have a light blue or greenish-blue color, often speckled with brown or black markings. The size of cardinal eggs is about 1 inch long.

Once you spot their nest, you may find 2 to 5 eggs in it. Female cardinals lay one egg per day until the clutch is complete, which usually takes around 3-4 days. It’s fascinating to see how these beautiful eggs eventually hatch into adorable baby cardinals!

What happens after the eggs are hatched?

After the eggs are hatched, the baby cardinals grow quickly. Here’s what happens next:

  • The baby cardinals stay in the nest for about 7 to 13 days.
  • They rely on their parents, both the male and female cardinals, to feed them.
  • The parents bring food to the nest and feed the baby cardinals small insects and seeds.
  • As the babies grow, they become more active and start exploring their surroundings.
  • After a couple of weeks, the young cardinals will leave the nest and begin to explore beyond.
  • They are considered fledglings at this stage and may be seen hopping on the ground or perching in nearby trees.
  • While they continue to receive care from their parents, they begin to learn how to find food on their own.

How long do baby Cardinals stay in the nest?

Baby Cardinals typically stay in the nest for about 7 to 13 days after they hatch. During this time, their parents take care of them and feed them until they are ready to leave the nest.

Baby Cardinals grow quickly, so they are able to fly and explore the world outside the nest within a couple of weeks.

What do baby Cardinals look like?

Baby Cardinals, also known as nestlings, are small and cute. They have a plump body with short wings and a short tail. Their feathers are mostly grayish-brown with a reddish tint on their crest, wings, and tail.

Unlike adult Cardinals, baby Cardinals do not have the vibrant red color yet. They have a black beak that is slightly shorter than an adult Cardinal’s beak. As they grow older, their feathers start to develop more colors and patterns until they eventually resemble their parents.

Do Cardinals move their eggs or babies?

Cardinals do not typically move their eggs or babies. Once the female cardinal starts sitting on the eggs, she stays on the nest and rarely leaves. She is responsible for keeping the eggs warm and protected until they hatch.

After the eggs hatch, both the male and female cardinals work together to feed and care for their young in the nest. They bring food to the nestlings frequently throughout the day.

So, it’s unlikely that cardinals will move their eggs or babies once they are in their nests.


In conclusion, Cardinal eggs take about 12 to 13 days to hatch. During this time, the female cardinal is responsible for incubating the eggs. Once hatched, the baby cardinals grow quickly and are ready to leave the nest within 7 to 13 days.

Both male and female cardinals help in feeding the young. Remember, cardinal nests are not reused and are only used for one brood. So keep an eye out for these beautiful birds as they go through their nesting process!


1. How long does it take for cardinal eggs to hatch?

Cardinal egg hatching time is about 11 to 13 days after the female lays the eggs during the incubation period.

2. What factors can influence how long it takes for cardinal eggs to hatch?

The gestation of bird eggs, especially cardinals, may vary depending on factors like weather and safety from predators.

3. How do male and female cardinals feed their young?

During the nestling period, both male and female cardinals help in feeding their young or juveniles. They bring food back to the nest many times a day.

4. Can I move a fledgling cardinal if it’s on the ground?

No, you should not touch a fledgling cardinal even if you see one on the ground. It’s part of their learning process before they fully fly.

5. Why is understanding the egg hatching process important for bird lovers?

For bird lovers, knowing about things like duration of incubation periods or hatching timeline helps them see when young birds might leave their nests.

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