This is my first post, as I just joined about an hour ago. I'm originally from Chicago and though I don't know much about birds, I am fascinated by them and believe I must have been sworn in to the cardinal family one day as I walked in the woods. I heard some whistling, and saw in the branches a beautifully red-feathered cardinal. I whistled back. Then he whistled again and so did I. This continued until I noticed several more cardinals dotting the foliage above me. We all sang on for quite a while, and I felt somehow baptized into their circle, (although I have yet to sprout any red feathers!).
I also love to listen to the vast musical repertoire of the mocking-bird here in my present coastside home in California and another favorite is the Cuckoo bird, for its strange home-wrecking habits.
Although I'm a rank beginner, I enjoy listening to the experiences of all you birders and look forward to your stories.