Lived in Virginia the majority of my life and I have an avid fondness for cardinals. I love your photo. Not just for the vivid beautiful shot, but for the delicateness of the pine branches. Perfection!!!
Very good closeup of this lovely male Cardinal in all his glorious colour. I like the angle you used here, showing just a few fronds from the tree. The softened background makes a good frame. Lighting and focus very good. Very nice composition. Good luck in the contest.