Who are the people and birds in your neighborhood?
April 13, 2019 2:26 PM   Subscribe

There's a bird or maybe a family of birds or maybe some other kind of creature or maybe an alien(?) that has set up camp in my neighborhood and makes a distinctive cry. It's been here for a couple of weeks (or maybe it's always been here and I just now noticed?) and I was curious about what it was, and then I thought, I wonder if there's a way to find out? It makes a really distinctive yell that's like AH AH AH AH AH AH

Every 10-20 minutes or so it lets out another AH AH AH AH AH AH AH.... AH AH AH AH AH AH AH and then gets quiet again. It must be really loud based on how loud and far away it sounds so I thought it must be coming from a big bird. My synesthesia says it's white with blue feathers on its head. Does that help???

I downloaded an app that lets you take a recording but the results were inconclusive. I can't seem to get a good recording because I don't know where this thing is to get closer to it and my phone's mic is not that powerful. I have listened to a lot of recordings of bird calls over the last day or two and haven't found it yet. Any other suggestions or is that about my only hope?
posted by bleep to Science & Nature (9 answers total)
Oh and I'm in the San Francisco Bay area.
posted by bleep at 2:27 PM on April 13, 2019

Sounds like a woodpecker or flicker to me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:33 PM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I agree. Here's the Pileated Woodpecker call and here's a cute article on Woodpeckers you can find in Golden Gate Park.
posted by amanda at 2:37 PM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'll take it! I wonder if this also explains the scary knocking on my roof that gave me a panic attack the other night! Thanks!!
posted by bleep at 2:49 PM on April 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Yes came to say woodpecker and YES it's also the scary knocks. As often as not you can also listen for knocks that come soon after you hear the weird AH AH AH/laughing sound because they tend to fly when they make their cries, then land and peck.
posted by nantucket at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Agree about the woodpecker. We've been tussling with one for a month or so. It seems to like the open knot-hole above our apartment's entryway. A few weeks ago it (or one of its friends) was banging on the metal chimney cap (didn't seem like a productive endeavor to me).

My wife bought an off-brand super soaker-type watergun. It has just enough range to sprinkle the bird, not strong enough to blast it with water. It's getting so it leaves when it sees her.
posted by lhauser at 4:29 PM on April 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

I live in a neighborhood with a lot of Douglas Fir trees and pines. We have quite a number of woodpeckers and their calling and banging around can create quite a racket. I think banging on metal is just showing off for the ladies.
posted by amanda at 6:54 PM on April 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

... Is that why Woody Woodpeckers laugh sounds like that?
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:32 PM on April 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

We had flickers come to our feeders when we put out sunflower seeds. Then we started hearing knocking on the back of the house. The flickers were eating the carpenter ants that were eating the house. Without the flickers' noise we might never have noticed the ants. We had to hire a pest control to dig up and clean out the ant nest, and a carpenter to repair the house.
posted by Cranberry at 12:34 AM on April 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

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