male cardinal this guy stopped by the feeder out the kitchen window ...

Your chirping’s like a dying smoke alarm,
Your rapid calls a firing laser gun,
Yet neither threatens listeners with harm
Or gives them any cause to flee or run.

–Paul Burgess


6 thoughts on ““Cardinal”

    1. paulwhitberg Post author

      Thank you! The laser guns and smoke alarm comparisons did not require much thought. Before we’d pinned the sounds to cardinals, my wife and I used to wonder, “What’s making that sound that smoke alarms make when the battery is dying?” and “Which bird has the laser gun call?”


  1. paulwhitberg Post author

    I think they use the high alarm-like beep to warn each other that something large or threatening is near. Since I have only heard males make the laser sound, I think the lasers are a mating call.



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