gives a piquant change which often sounds as though he were caroling
"three cheers," "three cheers." The chirp is very sharp, so much so in fact,
that the sound distinguishes them from other birds.
It is unusual for a female bird to sing, but the lady cardinal often
joins her mate in a duet. They may be heard at dawn long before other birds
began their twittering. Hot or cold, rain or shine they continue all
thorough the day and often carry on until full dark descends.
The male is partial to an audience and after due attention has been
paid his mate he flys to a treetop, a fence or write where he delivers a
concert, using all his glorious notes.
The Florida cardinal is slightly smaller than the northern variety, with
a plumage of deeper red. Of the four species of "redbirds" found in the
State the male summer tanager is the only one completely red, but the
feathers are of a rosy color and do not have the brilliance of the male
cardinal. They are sometimes mistaken for that bird as is the male finch,
who has bristles on his head, that when ruffled give a likeness to the
The appellation of "fiery grosbeak" was given to the regal bird by
James Lane Allen in his book, The Kentucky Cardinal and this paragraph
taken from it describes him with great beauty: "Nature is Kentucky has no
wintry harmonies for him. He could find these only among the tufts of the
October sumae or in the gum tree when it stands a pillar of red twilight fire
in the dark November woods, or in the far depths