Laura KP

by Laura KP
(Apple Valley, MN, USA)

We've lived in this house for 9 years, and the birds common in our wooded back yard (red pines and honeysuckle bushes) are:

Northern Cardinals
Black Capped Chickadees
Northern Flickers
Blue Jays
Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers
Gold Finches
Dark Eyed Juncos
Catbirds (when I'm lucky!!!)
American crow (occasionally, but they don't stay long)
White throated sparrows (I call them Michigan sparrows because they have the same "hockey helmets" :) - but these guys move on pretty quickly and only stop for a couple weeks.
At night in the winter, we sometimes hear Great Horned Owls.

I'm used to waking up to the various bird songs from all these guys.

This morning, however, I heard a call I haven't heard before, and I'm wondering if you can help me out??

It was two distinct tones. If I were to put a word to it, it would sound kind of like "Crick-et" (with the 2nd syllable being roughly 1 pitch higher than the first.)

The "baritone-ness" of the bird would suggest it's about the size of a cardinal or bluejay.

There was no slide, glissando, or tremor in the tones.

It resembled the sound of a creaking hinge (but not raspy--just the tones that might make).

Of the birds that frequent these pines, I'd suggest the mimic-ing possibility of a catbird, but this call didn't digress into a bunch of different sounds like catbirds do. (In my experience, the catbirds usually do a call twice, one right after the other, than switch immediately to another call, do that twice, then on to another, etc. (reminding me of those original car alarms: dee-do dee-do, blip! blip!, beedledoo beedledoo, honk honk, churreeblip! churreeblip! dee-do dee-do...etc.

On the contrary. This one did the 2 tone call once. Then waited several seconds. Then did the exact version of the call again. Waited several seconds...This went on for 8 or 10 calls over the course of the 3-4 minutes it took me to get out of bed, locate my glasses, raise the shades....and then it stopped and was gone for the rest of the morning.


Comments for Laura KP

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May 11, 2017
by: Tammy in CA

I'm fascinated by your ability to put bird calls into words! I'm very curious to know what this bird you described is and hope someone can help you out. I lived in a house fir 17 years on a riparian corridor. We had the birds on your list visit our feeders with the exception of the catbird. Our new house is close to the beach, has few trees and no river. We have a lot fewer birds but I'm putting out all types of feeders and hope we'll have some visitors. So far we've had a scarlet tanager pair, two black-capped chickadees, and titmice. It's a start! I've set up a fountain so hopefully they'll be drawn to the sound of running water.

Good luck and I hope someone can help identify your mystery bird!

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