The song of the northern cardinal sounds like a car alarm to my ear – so much so that if I didn’t know their song so well, I might think the sounds were coming from a mockingbird who was imitating a car alarm. I have never come across another description of the northern cardinal’s song that matches my own and so I must conclude that I am alone in my opinion, but if you have the chance, dear reader, to listen to a northern cardinal sing, do let me know if you agree with me!
Northern cardinals are territorial birds who rigorously defend their territories during the breeding season. That said, I often see many cardinals in the same area getting along just fine. I saw two bright-red male cardinals on a lawn with only about 24 inches between them when I was out walking today. They seemed to be on friendly terms, though I could hear the car-alarm song of another northern cardinal somewhere nearby. Perhaps that unseen, third bird was not at all cool with the situation.