Man Forms Amazing Friendship With Red Cardinal, Shares Lunch With Him Every Day for 20 Months

By Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.
August 20, 2021 Updated: August 20, 2021

Kentucky man Joe Castello became known as “The Cardinal Guy” after he befriended a red bird in 2019 and posted a video on TikTok.

It was a snowy December in 2019 and Castello, 58, was at work, having lunch in his truck, parked next to a protected wild space, when he spotted a cardinal on the fence.

“I tossed him a piece of food and the next day he was back,” Castello told The Epoch Times. “We’ve been lunch partners for 20 months now.”

He named the red bird Siva and started recording their dining sessions and then posting them on the video platform.

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Joe Castello)
Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Joe Castello)

“My daughter recommended I start a Siva TikTok page,” Castello explained. “Once I did, two weeks later, Siva’s page ‘The Cardinal Guy’ went viral with over a million views.”

Soon enough, the man and his red-feathered friend had attracted global following, who were awed by the unlikely friendship.

And as the months flew by, their relationship bloomed.

(Courtesy of Joe Castello)

Epoch Times Photo
(Courtesy of Joe Castello)

“After tossing him food for six months, I started placing the food on my truck mirror for him,” Castello said.

“Forward a year later to December 2020, I went to place his food on the mirror and he shocked me and flew down and took the food out of my hand.

“I’ve been feeding him by hand for eight months now.”

All of the chirping on social media attracted attention from ABC News, who contacted Castello to feature the rare and unique friendship on the air.

“After that, I saw an increase in followers, comments and views, Siva also has become a small celebrity,” Castello added.

(Courtesy of Joe Castello)

Siva is not trained, nor is he a “backyard bird,” the Cardinal Guy explains. He lives in wild protected wetlands and faces danger from predators every day.

“Cardinals are a protective species since 1918 and are extremely skittish,” Castello said. “He knew I was there for him to finally build up enough trust in me to eat from my hand. Cardinals do not do this.”

In a new development, Siva’s own daughter and son have been visiting his truck for quick cashews.

“To now have two of Siva’s offsprings eat from my truck mirror is crazy. It is a blessing and very majestic and I do not take it for granted,” Castello added.

Share your stories with us at emg.inspired@epochtimes.com, and continue to get your daily dose of inspiration by signing up for the Epoch Inspired newsletter at TheEpochTimes.com/newsletter

Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired Staff
Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.