While looking online for the meaning of the cardinal's name, I found that some people believe these beautiful red birds are messengers -- that their name is from the Latin cardo, meaning an axis or a hinge and that the cardinal is the hinge on the gate between Earth and the spirit realm and the carrier of messages between the two.
You are advised, on sighting a cardinal, to recall just whom
among your departed friends you were thinking of as the cardinal is bringing that person's message.
There were two cardinals the day I took these photos. Some
days there are six or seven or more. The number of messages is overwhelming at times.
I also found that some Christians see the cardinal as a symbol of Christ's blood and of Christmas.
And some Native Americans regard them as lucky, believing that the person who sights a cardinal will receive good fortune in twelve days time.
As we see cardinals daily and year round, the Native American belief is my favorite.