Fun encounter

by Lisa Spoonts
(Federal Way, WA, US)

No picture, sorry...but was entertained by a bird that I first noticed due to it's noise. I then looked up and saw it hovering, but kind of floating skyward, where it would swoop down in a looping motion and make a little "woop" noise. Seattle area, mid-morning about 45 degrees in the sun. HELP!

Comments for Fun encounter

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Feb 01, 2017
"Whoop" NEW
by: Anonymous

Brook, a single "whoop" that rose in pitch as it progressed is how I recall it. The noise was made at the bottom of a repeated long elliptical loop each time, and could have been made by it's wings catching the air as it arrested the fall. The area where the bird was practicing these aerial maneuvers was protected to the west by a 4 story building, and lit from the east by the late morning sun.

I have looked for it numerous times now to no avail, but keep my hopes up!

Thank you for trying to help.

Feb 01, 2017
fun encounter NEW
by: Brook

Hi Lisa and Judy, I'm curious about the noise you described as a "whoop". Did the sound come from it wing beats or was it a vocal call, was it loud or soft? Is there any other way you could sound out the noise, because many times what one person might describe as a whoop could seem like a whoosh to another person and just a slight bit of difference can help ID a bird.

My Anna's hummers make a number of different sounds, one being a wing beat noise that could possibly be described as a repetitive whoop by someone.

Jan 30, 2017
Unknown bird NEW
by: Judy-Seattle

Hi Lisa. I meant to say that I can Not help you with indentifying the bird. It's not an Anna's Hummingbird is it? They winter here, but don't make the sound you described. Hmmmm? Get the smartphone! You have really sparked my curiosity.

Jan 30, 2017
Hmmmm. NEW
by: Lisa

Judy, thank you for offering your help! However there weren't trees of any considerable height around. There was a 4 foot tree, maybe a weeping cherry within 10 feet of the action, but nothing like what I believe you are describing. I have also seen crows swooping downward towards a bird of prey that I always figured was after their nests for eggs/young.

The bird in question was smaller than a Robin, maybe as small as the palm of my hand, but it was moving upward with a hovering kind of motion, like a helicopter. It may have been mostly black.

I continue to look for it in the late morning, but I have had no luck since this first sighting. I'll keep my eyes open and try to provide more specifics if I see it again. Something like this may just be what I need to finally get a smartphone!



Jan 29, 2017
Swooping bird NEW
by: Judy-Sesttle

Hi Lisa. I can help you identify the bird from your description. Di you notice the color or size of the bird? Wasn't it hovering and swooping near a tree? I live in Renton and have often seen birds exhibiting that kind of behavior when they were trying to intimidate a hawk or owl or eagle perched in a tree.

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