Cardinal’s mating call from high in a tree

Northern Cardinal trumpeting his spring mating call, Assabet River Wildlife Refuge, Maynard, MA. © DE Wolf 2016.

Northern Cardinal trumpeting his spring mating call, Assabet River Wildlife Refuge, Maynard, MA. © DE Wolf 2016.

We had a late spring snowstorm last night and, as expected, it didn’t amount to much – only about five inches and it is melting fast. So I can return to the view that since it is day one of spring it, actually is spring. And nothing is more representative of spring in New England than the mating call of the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). It is distinctive, and once you hear it your eyes automatically search for the crimson bird at the highest point in the highest tree.

I remember this so vividly from when I was a graduate student in Ithaca, N.Y. I used to devilishly record the male cardinals and then play them back, which invariably led to a war of song. Perhaps we should have called it a birdsong selfie.

With all of this in mind, I took the photograph of Figure 1 of a particularly plump and scarlet male high in a tree and singing his heart out at the Assabet River Wildlife Reserve last weekend. Calling all lady birds and you guys stay out of my territory. The cardinals are such a treat! All I had was my 70 to 200 mm zoom, yet still managed a pretty acceptable image.

Canon T2i with EF70-200mm f/4L USM lens at 200 mm, ISO 1600, Aperture Priority AE Mode, 1/4000th sec at f/7.1. with no exposure compensation.

This entry was posted in Personal Photographic Wanderings.