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The Northern Cardinal for many of us is that first blaze of color after a long winter.
They begin to sing in the late winter, early spring
and you see that male cardinal dashing across your yard
to take up a post to sing it's brilliant whistled song.
The song of the cardinal is actually fairly simple.
It's a series of whistled syllables,
usually each song is comprised of one to two, sometimes three syllables types.
One component of a cardinal's song that often goes overlooked, but if you listen
carefully you can actually hear,
is a churr or purring that occurs at the end of the song.
And it's much softer than the actual whistled notes and they don't always give it.
A female Northern Cardinal
is as adept as a male at singing.
Often this goes overlooked because we assume it's only the males that sing. But
if you listen carefully, if you watch you may actually see and hear a female singing.
Humans use their voice box to produce sound.
We're only able to produce one sound at a time. Birds use another type of organ called the syrinx,
and it's located right where the two bronchial tubes come up from each lung.
It's a paired structure, it has two sides to it that are equivalent in their
ability to generate sound, and a bird
actually can produce one sound on the left side and another independent sound on the right side.
When a cardinal sings a beautiful upwards sweep whistle
it's actually using the left side to produce the lower portion of that whistle.
And without any obvious break to us as human beings
it produces the higher pitched portion of that whistle with the right side.
Just amazing physiology involved in sound production.
To see a flash of red and then these fantastic bursts of clear whistled song
it's one of those invigorating things that signals the transition from late
winter into early spring.


Birding by Ear: Northern Cardinal Song

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Why Why 發佈於 2013 年 3 月 27 日
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