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night bird??

Posted by cofeidi (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 18, 09 at 9:51

I was camping this weekend in Southeastern MN (Lansboro) and kept awake by a strange bird sound. I assume it was a bird because I could tell it was up in the tree and seemed to be moving from tree to tree. The sound would be far and then near. I think there were at least two birds.
The sound was not at all pleasant and not rythmic. It started high and got higher and then ended. I would describe it as a screech, but I listened to the sound of a screech owl and that wasn't even close. This was far more annoying. The sound went on and on through the night (until a storm hit). Can anyone give me any clues as to what kind of bird it is?

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RE: night bird??

Could it have been a whip-poor-will, or a poor-will? Whip-poor-wills are quite loud (if you are near one). However, I suppose that you would recognize a whip-poor-will; their song is so distinctive.

Another night bird sound comes from a screech owl. Its not so much of a song, but more of a blood curdling scream. It is not repeated often as a regular bird song would be. Ornothogolists think maybe the purpose of the screech owl's scream is flush prey, thereby having a different use than a territorial song. If you have ever been 'flushed' from a sleep by one of those, you will not forget the sound. It makes you look around to see who is under attack.

Another song bird that will sing at night, maybe more like in the early morning hours from 3am until good light is the male mocking bird. This song is territorial and can be acrobatic. However, this song habit occurs in spring and early summer when the bird is declaring his territory and attracting a mate. For the casual observer, it appears the bird is singing for the joy of spring. If his song sounds garbled in mid-song, its worth it to get up and give it a look. At that time of the year, a male mockingbird will perform aerial acrobatics during his song. I have seen them leap into the air and flip over then land on his perch. The song is garbled during the flip over, almost like something was throttling the bird. This display is amazing and well worth getting out of bed to see. However, I have seen this behavor only during the mating season and territorial stake out. It disappears after the couple settles down to the business of nesting and raising young.

Again, I'm sure that you would recognize a mockingbird's song.

RE: night bird??

Definately a mocking bird. Just like you said jemdandy they will sing all night looking for a mate. Nice ears.

RE: night bird??

I don't 'hear' mocking bird in that description, whatsoever. Though they can be annoying in their all-night serenades, their sounds are highly repetitious, and usually melodic.

I don't think that it's a whip-or-will nor screech owls, either. Screech owls don't ever make a 'blood curdling screams', but something that sounds like a low trill and their famous, haunting, melodic whinny. They've been sadly misnamed.

Other birds are known for singing at night: Cardinals, crows, bluejay, and a host of owls. And don't forget that tree frogs and toads are mistaken for screeching birds very commonly.

RE: night bird??

Are you sure it was a bird. You might want to consider Bobcat or Fox.

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