What bird is making this song?
April 16, 2006 5:06 AM   Subscribe

I hear a bird from my apartment all morning and well in to the evening. Its call is three notes, in a minor key, descending in pitch. In fact, those three notes sound almost EXACTLY like the first three guitar notes of the Black Crowes' song "Remedy." I can't see the bird. Any help?
posted by trey to Pets & Animals (20 answers total)
I'm having a similar problem with a bird outside that starts chirping at 4:00 in the morning, 3 hours or so before sunrise. Wakes me up every morning. I have no advice for your bird problem, but I will be watching this thread for solutions.

One thing I have toyed with is a blast from an air horn to scare it away. At 4 in the morning though that would piss off my neighbors.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:09 AM on April 16, 2006

Well, I suppose I should rephrase. I'm not particularly interested in scaring it off. I want to identify the bird. It can be annoying at times, but my lack of knowledge is even more annoying.
posted by trey at 5:16 AM on April 16, 2006

In your area the only songbird that sings at night is a mockingbird.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:28 AM on April 16, 2006

One thing that would help other folks help you identify it would be to let us know (approximately) where you live. Makes it lots easier.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 5:29 AM on April 16, 2006

Oh my mistake. I live in Williamsburg, VA (about 45 minutes from the eastern shore). It's not singing at night, it's starts early in the morning and sings until about 8:00 at night. We have plenty of mockingbirds around here but I can usually identify them by their long and convoluted songs.
posted by trey at 5:35 AM on April 16, 2006

trey lives in Williamsburg, VA.
posted by matthewr at 5:35 AM on April 16, 2006

posted by matthewr at 5:36 AM on April 16, 2006

Could it be a white-throated sparrow? They usually have a song with three notes in a minor key. The distinctive part of the call is the repeated note at the end, though, so if your bird isn't doing that, then it's probably not a white-throat.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:37 AM on April 16, 2006

That's it! Thank you!
posted by trey at 5:47 AM on April 16, 2006

I don't have the Black Crowes song but another minor-sounding three note bird call is the Eastern Towhee (there's a RealPlayer sample on the page). They're reasonably common and very vocal but also a bit secretive so you might not have seen them.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:47 AM on April 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Whoops! You've got it.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:48 AM on April 16, 2006

I'm impressed that you knew the call was in a minor key.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:00 AM on April 16, 2006

Wow, that really does sound like "Remedy." That's so neat.
posted by jennyb at 7:34 AM on April 16, 2006

Johnnyassay - thanks for referencing that site - it's wonderful. I wish there were a way to search via region, but it's thrilling to hear the call of so many bird varieties.
posted by docpops at 7:44 AM on April 16, 2006

Interesting connection to the lyrics (likely 100% coincidence)

Baby, Baby why can't you sit still?
Who killed that bird out on your windowsill?
Are you the reason that it broke it's back?
Tell me did I see you baby laugh about that?
posted by davey_darling at 7:49 AM on April 16, 2006

FWIW, lately I've been hearing white-throated sparrows here in Brooklyn too. I suppose they're migrating to the mountains up north. They're not repeating the final note, which sounds kind of weird--up in the mountains they usually repeat it about 4 times.
posted by A dead Quaker at 9:27 AM on April 16, 2006

Servo5678, I'd guess yours is a Northern Mockingbird (the sound file here does not do justice to the volume, variety, and sleep-deprivation qualities of their calls.) It's a pretty sure bet that if a bird is driving you out of your mind, it's a mockingbird.

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do except invest in earplugs and a white noise machine.
posted by stefanie at 11:06 AM on April 16, 2006

Anyone know of a non-realplayer link? I don't really want to install that.
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on April 16, 2006

I have a mockingbird outside my window that likes to sing at three in the morning. I kind of like it, though. He sounds like he's having fun.
posted by MadamM at 1:32 PM on April 16, 2006

delmoi, there's always Real Alternative.
posted by mediareport at 9:36 PM on April 16, 2006

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