Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sure, They're Virginia's Bird, but They're Not So Bright

Take it from Cornell University: although Cardinals are the commonwealth’s bird, they’re not so smart.

“The male cardinal fiercely defends its breeding territory from other males. When a male sees its reflection in glass surfaces, it frequently will spend hours fighting the imaginary intruder,” says the “All About Birds” web site from the Cornell Lab or Ornithology.

Last year, try as I might to capture a local cardinal on video attacking the hell out of my neighbor’s door, I could not.

The bird stood on the door knob, looked in the window, attacked and flew off to a nearby bush. Then, it flew to the next doorway and repeated the process. Back and forth it flew all last spring attacking and retreating, but never attacking when I was close enough to video it. Until now.

The cardinal, as you will see in the 30-second video below, is not just saving its vitriol for the glass of doors, but for our basement window, as well. It will attack for five or six minutes at a time before giving up, for a while.

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