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Spargett's avatar

Its 1:15am: Why do I hear birds singing?

Asked by Spargett (5377points) May 16th, 2008

It’s essentially the middle of the night. Why are the same birds I hear in the mornings singing right now?

I live in in Northern California if this helps.

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32 Answers

simone54's avatar

Must Owls. Are they saying “Whooooo”?

wildflower's avatar

How far north are you and what time does the sun come up?

Around here (south west Ireland), they start around 3am-ish, but the sun only comes up 5–6am-ish

Randy's avatar

I noticed the other night that there were birds singing at about 2:00 AM. I’m in north central Arkansas so it seems like it must be a fairly common thing being that spread out.

DeezerQueue's avatar

They’re busy planning an attack on your house spiders.

playthebanjo's avatar

….just like me, they want to be….close to you.

wildflower's avatar

[completely off topic, but has to be asked]: Can you play that on the banjo?

mcbealer's avatar

Same phenomenon here in Western MD. Sometimes they are so loud, mostly in the summer, that you’d have to shut the window in order to fall asleep. I’ve thought of recording them before and having the local Audubon check it out for possible identification.

playthebanjo's avatar

@ wildflower: anything can be played on the banjo. the real questions is would anyone want to listen to it. LOL (yes, I can)

wildflower's avatar

I’d listen! That would sound so cool :)

syz's avatar

Mocking birds are so insanely territorial, they often sing from a prominent location beginning hours and hours before dawn. They’re pretty loud, too. (My grandmother used to get so frustrated, she’d go outside and throw her slippers at one.)

simone54's avatar

Back when I lived in South Jersey I had bird that used to wake me up every mourning. They were like Whip-poor-wills but they called Mark-Wake-Ups.

Every morning hey would go…

Hey-Mark, Hey-Mark. Hey-Mark, Wake-Up, Hey-Mark, Hey-Mark. Hey-Mark, Wake-Up,

AstroChuck's avatar

I live in Sacramento and can tell you here in NorCal mockingbirds will sing at night, often all night. It can drive you nuts. I think that the males sing at night during mating season. At times I swear I’d mate with him if he’d shut the hell up!

babygalll's avatar

I live in NorCal to and in my area it’s Owls and Mockingbirds.

I wake up in the middle of the night to their singing and I think it’s morning already!

gailcalled's avatar

@Sparg: if you are not a birder, mockingbirds can imitate (repeatedly) most other bird calls, plus frogs, dogs, fire engines, squeaky gates, human whistling etc. So it could be one bird who sounds like dozens of other species.

Owls have very easily recognized who-whoo-whoo whoo’s (barred owl) and similar hoots.

And some more nocturnal singers; nocturnal species such as owls and whip-poor-wills. A few birds, however, normally regarded as diurnal, are also known to sing at night, especially if there is a full moon. These species include the marsh wren, mockingbird, yellow-breasted chat, common yellowthroat and cardinal. Artificial lights around shopping malls and car lots can induce birds such as robins to sing in the middle of the night.

Allie's avatar

That is kind of an odd time for birds to be singing. Down the street from my house a rooster crows at (or close to) 4:07pm every single day. Aren’t rooster supposed to crow at sunrise? Maybe he’s blind…

gailcalled's avatar

If you are a mockingbird, it is not (kind of) an odd time to sing.

Roosters crow at random times.

Allie's avatar

gailcalled: Oh, ok. Thanks for clearing that up. =]

gailcalled's avatar

I only know because my sister had one (two, actually) before the foxes or coyotes had Coq au vin for supper. That’s roosters, not mockers.

breedmitch's avatar

mmm… mockingbird au vin..

mcbealer's avatar

@ breedmitch ~ Is that you or your avatar talking?

Spargett's avatar

Thanks for the feedback. Based on your responses, I’m pretty sure its a mockingbird. I’ve seen quite a few of those out and about.

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

early bird catches the worm!

gailcalled's avatar

Anyone remember the song I Hear Singing but There’s No One There?

It was a duet from the Broadway musical, CALL ME MADAM, starring Ethel Merman.

vbarton24's avatar

pigeons have been coping all night here and the little birds chirping normally we say an earthquake is going to happen soon I’m from california

breedmitch's avatar

I’m glad the pigeons can cope! he he.

inatizzy's avatar

I have a lot of Cardinals around my home and I hear singing at 2–3 AM also. Guess thats what it must be. I have Owls too but thats very distinctive. Im not sure what a mocking bird looks like, may have those too. Will have to look them up. Hmmm, learn something new every day.

gailcalled's avatar

Cardinals have very distinctive clear, repetitive whistles. One sounds like the wolf whistle. It would not sing at night. But the mocker can imitate the cardinal; even I can.

Now the cardinal’s version.

Coloma's avatar

Sometimes male birds that have not yet found a breeding partner will sing all night, ups their odds of attracting a female.

alphamailman's avatar

I had essentially the same question. My bedroom is very close to the canyon and a pepper tree. For the past 3 nights at about 2:00 am really load chirping starts up. It was so loud that I thought I’d left my windows open but got up only to find that they were closed. This is maddening! I think whatever bird it is has a nest there. I went out once in the day when I heard it and it got louder as I got close to what I think was its nest. It seemed defiant. Like a teenager telling it to pipe down had the opposite effect. This is a very new phenomenon and I am not charmed! ;) What kind of bird is it and short of moving, wearing ear plugs or nest destruction is there a solution?

Coloma's avatar

It is full swing breeding season right now for most species.
North american songbirds nest between Feb. and June/July, often raising more than one brood.

It is illegal to remove/destroy/tamper with a nest/eggs/nestling/fledgling birds.
Once a nest is vacated it is then okay to remove it.

A good reminder that you share the planet with other living beings that have a right to their privacy too.

AstroChuck's avatar

@gailcalled- Call Me Madam with Ethel Merman

(You’re dating yourself, sweetheart.)

gailcalled's avatar

@AstroChuck: Long time no see. Check my answer (which ID’s CMM and Ethel) and then join the club. We are a nice group…well-read, funny and helpful.

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