In the winter, cardinals aren’t as active and tend to sleep more during the day. They look for insulated places where they can rest. They love to find instant shelter in a birdhouse, dense shrubs, chimneys, sheltered roofs, and tree cavities. They often stay in these areas until the weather turns warmer.
As the sun sets, northern cardinals roost for the night. It is important that they can rest comfortably and remain protected from predators. During the breeding season, mated pairs may sleep together. Otherwise, a male and female will seek out a separate place to rest for the night.
Cardinals choose spots where they can easily hide if attacked by a predator. They also prioritize safety from rain, snow, and wind. A good location offers a 360-degree view of their surroundings, so they can quickly react to any potential threats.
A safe roost will have plenty of space to accommodate their bulky body while also offering ample warmth. They will fluff their feathers to create pockets of air that trap their body heat and reduce energy loss. They will also adjust their feathers to regulate the temperature in different weather conditions.
Like all warm-blooded animals, northern cardinals require a constant body temperature. This requires a lot of energy, which is why it is important for them to conserve as much energy as possible during the cold season. They can accomplish this by sleeping in a suitable place and by adjusting their feathers to the appropriate temperature.