“What was that?”
A cardinal, what else.
This is the time of year when the beautiful and usually mild-mannered cardinals go on attack. The males are very territorial and mark out their territories with song. During courtship, the male feeds seeds to the female beak-to-beak.
In late March, the redbirds quickly decide which bird controls which turf. We usually have a half dozen male cardinals which winter and feed in our back yard as I provide a constant supply of sunflower and safflower seeds. But come mid-March, male cardinals begin to see anything red as a mortal enemy and feathers fly.
As a rule, my back yard cardinal population is whittled down to a couple pair, which tolerate each other, but still skirmish from time to time.
Cardinals are also notorious about attacking their own reflections on glass panes and some declare war on rear view mirrors.
They are beautiful birds, but how smart, I’m not sure.