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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 21:30   #1
rereedrumr
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USA - San Diego - Help identifying nocturnal bird

Greetings birdforum.net

I'm hoping for some help identifying a bird that has been keeping me up at night. I live in a pretty urban area of San Diego, North Park. Not downtown, but in a neighborhood that has businesses, isn't really the subburbs. A bird seems to have taken up residence in my back yard, and has been a real pain in the neck. It starts making noise most nights, anywhere between 12 midnight and 3 am. It's an incredibly loud, varied pattern of calls, that usually goes on for twenty minutes or so.

I've gotten a look at what I believe to be the culprit once or twice. It was blue, maybe around the size of a pigeon. Very prominent tail feather, sort of trapezoidal. There appears only to be one of them. It lives in a tall tree or the bamboo in my backyard.

I'm wondering if anyone has any advice as to A) what the bird might be and B) how to kindly suggest that it sets up shop elsewhere.

Thanks in advance.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 21:37   #2
Motmot
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That sounds to be a Great-tailed Grackle, very noisy birds, especially when roosting in flocks. Hopefully it will leave the area soon, don't know any suggestions as to how you could get rid of it, maybe try to scare it at sunset, when he comes to the tree, but probably he'll be back if nesting in the area.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 22:38   #3
djleahy
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My first thought is that it could be a Northern Mockingbird.

With luck, it will quiet down as spring turns to summer.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 22:46   #4
rereedrumr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djleahy View Post
My first thought is that it could be a Northern Mockingbird.

With luck, it will quiet down as spring turns to summer.
This looks like a winner! The Grackle is too dark, but thanks for the suggestion. The behavior description on wikipedia sounds spot on, and the pictures resemble the brief glimpses I got, both hopping around and in flight:

"The mockingbird is limited to imitating short units of sound, which it repeats several times before moving on to a new sound. " -CHECK

"The Northern Mockingbird, in addition to being a good mimic, is also one of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. It often sings through the night, especially unmated males, or when the moon is full." DEFINITE CHECK. he's even unmated.

Looks like I will have to either drive him out or find him a lady. Thanks for your help!
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 23:56   #5
Gillian_M
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Help him find a lady....it would be so neat to have a nest of mockingbirds in your backyard!

PS - welcome to birdforum! I hope you enjoy browsing the forums and the galleries....there's a ton of information on this site.
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Old Friday 12th June 2009, 00:37   #6
djleahy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rereedrumr View Post
This looks like a winner! The Grackle is too dark, but thanks for the suggestion. The behavior description on wikipedia sounds spot on, and the pictures resemble the brief glimpses I got, both hopping around and in flight:

"The mockingbird is limited to imitating short units of sound, which it repeats several times before moving on to a new sound. " -CHECK

"The Northern Mockingbird, in addition to being a good mimic, is also one of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. It often sings through the night, especially unmated males, or when the moon is full." DEFINITE CHECK. he's even unmated.

Looks like I will have to either drive him out or find him a lady. Thanks for your help!
I got one right! Interesting bit about full moons, I hadn't heard that before. The moon was full just a couple of nights ago.

It's not uncommon to get a little frustrated with mockingbirds, not just because of their loud non-stop singing; their ever-changing, never-repeating song is more disruptive to listen to than a bird that repeats his song over and over. I'm very fond of mockers, though, because I find the mimicry so amazing. That, and the fine book by Harper Lee.
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Old Friday 12th June 2009, 07:11   #7
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The only song bird in San Diego ( I live here too) that would be singing at night is a Mockingbird.
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Old Friday 12th June 2009, 16:51   #8
rereedrumr
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Yes, I'm pretty certain it is the mockingbird. After listening to the song here:

http://www.learnbirdsongs.com/birdsong.php?id=4

It's definitely what I've been hearing.
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