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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 18:53   #1
dhavlena
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Can anyone identify this night-peeping bird?

HI
This bird (attached MP3) has been "peeping" up
a storm all-NIGHT-long, non-stop (except when it
darts from tree to tree) for the past two nights.
It's very loud. So far have not been able to get
a glimpse of it. I SHOULD know what it is,
but don't. I live in the woods, near the northern tip
of Michigan's lower peninsula, about 9 miles from
Lake Huron, within sight of large Mullett Lake.
THANKS!
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 unknown-bird---NONSTOP-6-4-2010.mp3 (178.4 KB, 2256 views)
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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 19:21   #2
stonechat1
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Your description remembers me on the Little Owl - fledlings we had in our courtyard last year. Not even one quiet moment.
Not familiar with US - bird calls in nighttime.
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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 20:45   #3
HelenB
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Hi dhavlena,

and as this is your first post, welcome to Birdforum.

I listened to your MP3 file and it is sort of bird-like, but it is quite possible that you are not hearing a bird at all, and my best guess would be some kind of herp (amphibian or reptile). It might be a tree frog, but I'm no expert in the herp field. I do remember reading about this type of night calling on a Texas forum a few years ago, and the culprit was a herp, but in this case, it was a short chirp or peep like call, and went on all night!

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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 21:12   #4
danehower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HelenB View Post
[font=Verdana][size=2][font=Times New Roman][size=3][font=Verdana][size=2]Hi dhavlena,

and as this is your first post, welcome to Birdforum.

I listened to your MP3 file and it is sort of bird-like, but it is quite possible that you are not hearing a bird at all, and my best guess would be some kind of herp (amphibian or reptile). It might be a tree frog

completely agree - this is a spring peeper
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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 21:48   #5
dhavlena
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Unknown night-peeping bird

HI and thanks much for your two replies --
Well, I SAW the thing fly several times-- not nearly well
enough to ID it, but it was a bird! When I got near to it it flew
frantically to other trees across the yard, travelling
maybe 100' each time. My first thought was a "non-bird"
but......
I have two programs/CDs of bird songs and
carefully went thru each -- but nothing even came
close to what I was hearing. Again THANKS!
Dennis at the Mackinac Straits, northern Michigan
PS: As an aside, When I was down south, I heard
almost the identical "peeping" in a swamp and verified
that is was (of all things) young alligators! Once
they get older, the stop peeping & start roaring.
But don't have many alligators up here in the north!!
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Old Sunday 6th June 2010, 23:40   #6
Parula6
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What I heard on your MP3 was a spring peeper, a frog.
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 03:40   #7
dhavlena
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peeping bird

Hi
With all due respect, working as a naturalist for the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, and after years of maintaining a backyard pond specifically for frogs, as well as living at the edge of a large marshy area, I intimately know
spring peepers as well as other frogs & while this indeed does resemble a spring peeper, it's not. This bird flew, as I watched and heard, from one side of our back-yard to the other. Sincerely -
Dennis dhavlena@gmail.com www.DennisHavlena.com
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 03:58   #8
fugl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhavlena View Post
Hi
This bird flew, as I watched and heard, from one side of our back-yard to the other.
How big was this bird?
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 05:33   #9
dhavlena
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peeping night bird

I have attached another MP3 that I recorded as I walked about 100'
towards it. The only time it shut up was when it flew when I got too close.
There are trees all around my yard and the glimpses of this bird were
not good. What I saw was more or less a blur -- at least the size of
a robin but being in the trees, nothing identifiable. Sorry to bother
you folks with this, but this bird has me stumped. Shortly after it
"relocated" to another tree, the peeping sound would commence and
the direction of the sound corresponded to the new position that I
saw it assume. During the time I was out there, the thing "relocated"
several times. This "peeping" was very loud & clear -- we could even
hear it inside the house, with shut windows. Thanks.
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File Type: mp3 peepng-bird--another recording.mp3 (989.4 KB, 711 views)
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 11:58   #10
Jeff hopkins
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I would agree it doesn't quite sound right for spring peeper, but it's no bird I know of.

I've never seen or heard one, but what about a flying squirrel?
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 13:23   #11
dhavlena
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Jeff -- you might well have hit upon it! Just spent several hours on the internet
and came across this web-page of Flying Squirrel sounds:
http://www.soundboard.com/sb/Jerboa_Sounds_music.aspx
Sound #8, while certainly not exact, does resemble the timing, "urgency" & somewhat
"Spring-Peeper-like" timbre of what I heard/recorded.
???
I'll keep searching. Thanks!
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 13:33   #12
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Interesting. Did you get a sense of the relative size of the bird you saw?

I've heard young gators peep, too. Not a sound you'd expect a saurian to make!

I have flying squirrels around my house and I've never heard a sound out of any of them. I doubt that's the culprit.

Calling for that long is strange behavior in a bird other than begging young in my experience. So: nocturnal bird, constant vocalization, staying in one general area... a newly fledged owl as another poster suggested? The baby barred owls near me don't make that kind of racket, but perhaps other species do?
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Old Monday 7th June 2010, 14:30   #13
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Interesting.Calling for that long is strange behavior in a bird other than begging young in my experience. So: nocturnal bird, constant vocalization, staying in one general area... a newly fledged owl as another poster suggested?
I agree, if indeed avian it's hard to imagine what else it could be.
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Old Monday 13th August 2012, 04:31   #14
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Hi dhavlena,

I've heard the exact same peeping sound under the same circumstances you've described. A bird that sounds like a Spring Peeper, but calls from high in a tree at night for hours on end, and hops from tree to tree. It's quite loud, and can be heard through closed windows. (I've never seen it, though.)

It's definitely NOT a Spring Peeper, because it calls from September to April, and the Spring Peepers around here (Connecticut) *only* call in the spring (early March to late May), and (from what I've heard anyway), they call from low brushy areas at or near the sides of ponds or small lakes, not up in the trees. The peeper I've heard is calling from the very tops of the trees (oaks and maples) on our mostly wooded property.

Spring Peepers also tend to quit their peeping around midnight, while I've heard our mystery tree-top peeper at 2:00AM and 4:00AM. And Spring Peepers usually peep in a large chorus. It's rare to hear only one peeping at a time; that usually happens only for a short while when the temperature is a bit chilly for all but one extra-hardy frog.

The best bet for an ID I've seen so far is the Swainson's Thrush, which makes a *somewhat* similar call while flying overhead at night during its migrations. And several people I've seen online have described the Swainson's as "sounding like a Spring Peeper." But I've listened to several Swainson's Thrush flight-call recordings, and I think it's a bit different: softer, breathier, thinner and sometimes more of a "wep" than a "peep." Not as "urgent," as you say (good word choice), either. And Swainson's Thrushes reportedly migrate in huge flocks, so that you can hear hundreds of them peeping overhead all night long. What I've (and it sounds like you've) heard is a single bird that stays in one general area, at most hopping from tree to tree. Perhaps what we've heard is a louder variation of the flight call, when the thrush is resting in a treetop before continuing the migration?

I listened to the 8th Flying Squirrel recording and thought it sounded pretty different.

But I'm not sure about that Swainson's Thrush ID. It's definitely been driving me nuts that I haven't been able to solve this mystery! I'll keep looking and post if I find anything interesting.

Last edited by hummiefankid : Monday 13th August 2012 at 04:35.
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