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View Full Version : What kind of bird starts making noise at midnight?


Azile
05-16-2009, 03:19 AM
That's what I've been asking myself for the last week, except there's usually more cursing thrown in. Some sort of bird has made its home RIGHT NEXT TO MY WINDOW, and every night it joyously starts up with its amazingly loud imitations of car alarms and crosswalk chirps (along with other random bird noises) around midnight, just as I'm going to bed.

At first I thought it was just the full moon, but it hasn't stopped... am I in for an entire summer of this? Please say it ain't so! An open window is the only cooling system this room has, and I'm getting cranky from the lack of decent sleep.

zagloba
05-16-2009, 04:12 AM
Sounds like a mockingbird to me. Where do you live?

cerberus
05-16-2009, 04:22 AM
With apologies to Neko Case:

mockingbirds sing in the middle of the night
all his songs are stolen so he hides
stolen from the mouth of the whiporwill, screaming car alarms
he sings 'em for you special
he knows you're afraid of the dark

Windwalker
05-16-2009, 05:05 AM
With apologies to Neko Case:

Holy feces, that's probably the most apt and relevantly in-depth use of song lyrics to answer a question I've ever seen. Bravo, cerberus (and Ms. Case, of course).

Xema
05-16-2009, 08:18 AM
I've encountered lots of mockingbirds in various location; so far all have (mercifully) been active during the day and quite at night. Your location might help with the identification.

samclem
05-16-2009, 08:22 AM
Definitely mockingbird. I lived in Arlington VA for some time, and every night after 12 the sucker sang until the morning light. I got up a few nights and hosed him with water. He left afer a few days.

Colibri
05-16-2009, 11:53 AM
If you live in the US, I agree that it is almost certainly a Northern Mockingbird. Aside from nocturnal birds like nightjars and owls, it is by far the most likely species to be heard singing in the middle of the night.

If you are in Europe, the Nightingale is the most likely culprit (a habit that is the origin of the name). Here in Panama, the Clay-colored Thrush begins singing in the middle of the night in the dry season.

Spoke
05-16-2009, 12:05 PM
What kind of bird starts making noise at midnight?
A damned impolite one.

ShibbOleth
05-16-2009, 12:10 PM
How about this Bird (http://recollectionbooks.com/bleed/images/music/yardbird.jpg)?

John DiFool
05-16-2009, 03:11 PM
I once had a "problem" with a bird in my old front yard (big front yard, with a large scrubby area)-durned thing would sing all night long and keep me up. Once I found out what it was (chuck-will's-widow), I accepted his right to be there and let him serenade me to sleep. Learn to live with your new neighbor.

CC
05-16-2009, 07:09 PM
We have robins that start REAL early in the morning, but there's dim dawn. I was once camping, however, when I heard a whipoorwill calling at about 1 am. I heard, "Whipoorwill....whipoorwill...whipoorwill...whip..AWK...EEK..awk." Never heard any more calls all night.

Markxxx
05-16-2009, 08:35 PM
What kind of bird makes noises at midnight? The kind of bird that lives near someone that lets his cat out at midnight then goes to bed.

:)

Azile
05-17-2009, 04:45 AM
Oh, wow, sorry, I forgot all about this thread! (comes from posting in the middle of the night, I guess.)

I live in Northern California. Mockingbird sounds most likely, thanks for the answers. Now... how do I get rid of this fucker? I'm thinking high-powered squirtgun... of course, this is somewhat of a moot point as the stupid thing could be sitting almost anywhere in the cul-de-sac, and also I'm really lazy, but I'm seriously not relishing the idea of this continuing long-term. "Learning to live with my new neighbor" is all well and good in theory, but earplugs are mondo uncomfortable.

cerberus
05-17-2009, 05:12 AM
:rolleyes:

Those things outside your house? Animals. Animals live "outside" - the "outside of your house" is their house.

The last thing those stupid things/fuckers need is to be further displaced by the residents of cul-de-sacs that have already disturbed their natural habitats - kindly leave unmolested the few remaining animals/fuckers/stupid things that have successfully adapted to current habitats, cul-de-sacs and all.

Colibri
05-17-2009, 01:33 PM
The singing is most likely to become less frequent later in the spring and summer. Right now the guy is looking for a mate. Once he finds one, he won't need to put so much effort into advertising.

From here (http://wild-bird-watching.com/Mockingbird.html)

Once a pair bond is established, the songs are shortend and more subdued. Sitting together quietly both mockingbirds make a "hew-hew" call to keep in contact.

However:

Mockingbirds are strongly monogamous. If a male fails to find a mate he will sing loudly until late in the season. If no mate is found he will abandon his territory.

So you better hope he's hot stuff. :)

Sapo
05-17-2009, 06:43 PM
So there you go. Just buy a dozen females and release them in your backyard.

ETA: Include a couple of ugly ones to be sure.

Diamonds02
05-17-2009, 07:09 PM
I also hear birds at night, but they definately are not mockingbirds nor owls. What other birds make noises at night?

Colibri
05-17-2009, 07:12 PM
I also hear birds at night, but they definately are not mockingbirds nor owls. What other birds make noises at night?

You'll have to be a little more descriptive than that. Nightjars, rails, and some other birds call at night, and other songbirds besides mockingbirds (especially thrushes) may sing as well.

The Stafford Cripps
05-17-2009, 07:25 PM
European robins also sing at night, pretty much irrespective of the season. Though possibly not loud enough for you to hear them.

njtt
05-17-2009, 07:54 PM
I live in Southern California (L.A. suburbs) and there is some kind of bird we get here that sings very loudly at night, but just in the summer I think. I do not think it is a mockingbird. It does not seem to be imitating other types of sound. I have never managed to actually see one of them, although it is easy to tell which tree they are in.

Philster
05-17-2009, 08:51 PM
:rolleyes:

Those things outside your house? Animals. Animals live "outside" - the "outside of your house" is their house.

The last thing those stupid things/fuckers need is to be further displaced by the residents of cul-de-sacs that have already disturbed their natural habitats - kindly leave unmolested the few remaining animals/fuckers/stupid things that have successfully adapted to current habitats, cul-de-sacs and all.

The area doesn't belong to anyone/anything that can't make it theirs. If the human shows up and wants it, then that's nature in action, bub. Ain't nothing that belongs 'naturally' to them or us. The human getting what he wants is natural.

Derleth
05-18-2009, 11:10 AM
The area doesn't belong to anyone/anything that can't make it theirs. If the human shows up and wants it, then that's nature in action, bub. Ain't nothing that belongs 'naturally' to them or us. The human getting what he wants is natural.It's amazing how many conservationists must be creationists, since they apparently believe humanity to be a separate (and lesser) creation from the rest of the planet.

ducati
05-18-2009, 11:15 AM
I must have quiet to sleep. That's just me. I typically sleep with a pillow over my head to muffle the occasional bird or car going by. The robins and blue jays begin around 4 am here in the Atlanta area, and I can't stand it.

One Saturday morning, far earlier than I wanted to get up, it seemed the entire county's bird population decided to let loose right outside my window. Pillows didn't help, and after 20 minutes I went ballistic. I ran to the window, tore aside the curtains, threw up the window and started yelling to all those inconsiderate avian bastards that I'm this close to opening fire with my son's BB gun. These threats, plus the sight of a fat naked man with wild hair leaning out the window had virtually no effect on the situation.

Because there, on a branch about 24 inches away from my nose, sat a baby Barred owl, looking quizzically at me over his shoulder. It was amazing. All the local birds were hopping and flying around making such a racket over this little guy. After some time, we could hear his mom (or dad) hooting nearby, and others as well. I woke up the kids, got the camera and video camera and proceeded to document his torment over the next 30 minutes. He sat calmly while all the robins, jays, cardinals, etc... came to voice their disapproval.

He eventually flew to a tree out in front, where he met up with 2 of his nestmates. We suspect that that morning was first flight for all of the babies, and certainly they're a concern for the rest of the community.

Hopefully when they have babies, it will be in someone else's yard!



Whippoorwills? Gah!
I went camping with my son's scout group last summer. Sitting around the fire by the lake, chatting with the dads was great. Then a Whippoorwill started up around 9pm. Cool! I said. I haven't heard one of those since I was a kid! I love this!
Experienced Camping Dad™ said "not after a while, you won't."
And he was right. That damn bird sat 40 feet away all night whipping and willing. I bundled all my extra clothes on my head and never got a wink of sleep.

The children saved this bird, for had it not been for them, I surely would have emptied a clip or two in his direction!

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