Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The red flag of courage

Judging from the robins that have arrived fat and riotous, things were good in the South. They were welcomed by an old friend: the red flash that never leaves. Cardinals are non-migratory, though they do dial back their operations a bit during the winter.

An interesting consequence of their sedentary life is that cardinals apparently develop "dialects" in their songs. In a manner of speaking, our cardinals have a Minnesota accent. That's a subject that Birdchick, our favorite Twin Cities birdwatcher, discussed at her blog a while back.

While humans feel redeemed by the song of birds, we ought to feel threatened. Most birds sing in order to mark their territory. And the cardinals are not shy about scolding all interlopers and trespassers.

Birdchick, http://www.birdchick.com/blog.html

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