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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:35 am 
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They just stopped about 3am. I think I was lightly sleeping and they woke me up...they are getting louder. This is the second night in a row I've really noticed them. Last night they sang right after a long, rainy day, so I thought maybe the rain threw their cycle off. Several days ago they started about 9pm after the sun went down but I fell asleep early so I didn't notice how long or how loudly they sang. Tonight they woke me up from about 2am to 3am non-stop. Not just one or 2 birds, but a whole gang of birds. Singing, tweeting, harmoniously calling and responding, very beautiful, but very loud with the windows open. It's warm here in New York City but not quite hot enough to put an Air Conditioner in the window yet. I'm pretty much in the heart of the City but this community is a bit woodsy. Many people, including myself, have small gardens around here, and small trees in their front yards. The bird population has steadily increased in the past few years. This intense night singing of the birds makes me think some great biological change is occurring. It was really strange to hear tonight and made you think some great hurricane or something was approaching. But I guess not. It's completely calm and peaceful now. I just finished some quick research on this phenomenon and it seems others in California and England have experienced such strange bird behavior: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article. ... cardi66001
and http://www.thegeminigeek.com/why-do-bir ... -at-night/
and this video is similar to what I experienced but these birds tonight were even louder and a huge chorus, I would say even bolder and deeper than this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRwKt7ntsGA

Daniel.

Now I'm wide awake. They woke up my kitty cat too :)

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:23 am 
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Strange that you would mention this today! Last night, somewhere between 12 and 1AM, the wife and I were both awake, she was still reading her book, and I was awakened by something, not sure what, and she says "why are birds singing at this time of night"? Well, of course, I didn't have an answer, just grumbled and rolled over trying to get back to sleep, still hearing those birds chirping outside. Our windows are closed BTW, and we could still hear the birds quite well.

Now it's after seven in the morning, the sun is shining brightly, and those birds are still signing away.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:28 am 
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Light pollution can affect bird behaviour. Street lights are a common cause. I remember hearing about Long Lartin, a high security prison in the Worcestershire countryside. Its perimeter lights were so bright that the birds slept during the day and woke up at night.
Luckily I live in a rural area with no street lights so the birds behave naturally ... they start shouting at 04:00 when the sun rises at this time of year.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 9:55 am 
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Around here it's the mockingbirds that are up late at night/early in the morning. It's mating season and the males are trying to impress the ladies :) .

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:03 am 
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It was a mocking bird that we were hearing last night as well, plus we have a rather bright street light that is visible from our bedroom window. So, I guess we have two reasons to hear the birds at night.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:01 am 
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Thank you for your observations ...

Well things settled down a bit after that one week stretch of late night singing. I think I have a pretty good explanation for this unusual bird behavior. Indeed it has to do with mating season. As I said the bird population has steadily increased the past several years with more people planting trees and small gardens around here. And by the way, we have a wide variety of bird species here in the City- not just pigeons. I have seen such beautiful Cardinals, Blue Jays, Robins, Woodpeckers, Hummingbirds, migrating Canada Geese, and of course many kinds of Sparrows. We also have Mockingbirds but I don't think they are a dominant group in this area. And I don't think they were the ones singing away those nights. I think it was the large groups of sparrows I see whistling, flying around, momentarily alighting on a branch, and darting back and forth amongst my hedges, bushes, trees and those of my neighbors.

So, as the weather started getting very warm, and because the thriving bird communities were not able to finish all of their calling/ cooing/ whistling/ singing and other rituals of mating during the day, (amidst the noisy background and many interruptions of life in the city), they ended up going into extra innings, late-night sessions of serenading their mates. As I said, it was pleasant and interesting to hear the birds calling and responding so harmoniously one to another, but it was very intense, purposeful and dominating- with some clear competition going on among our feathered friends. I'm glad to know the birds are healthy and happy. I really didn't mind their singing at 2am and waking me up. I'm not a grumpy or grouchy person by nature. I have a peaceful spirit and thought it was just an amazing experience. And we seem to have a warm season ahead of us- a heat wave just hit us here in the City, bringing in the beginning of summer. So the birds are very busy and we can expect a lot of little bird babies :wink: Hooray !

Now I have to be prepared. It's baby bird season. Over the years I have been involved in a lot of bird rescues. I have fond memories from my childhood of rescuing baby birds with my brothers and sister... and the help of our cats. That's right- our cats :idea: . Our kitties were always well-trained and would never eat a defenseless little baby bird, or so we hoped... Each year, after the eggs hatched and a new group of fledglings started to mature, the mother birds would have flight lessons with the youngsters. And as the baby birds were learning to fly they would inevitably crash into windows, fences, walls, fall out of trees, or come short of making it up to a branch with their developing wings (sort of like my chubby kitty trying to make a long jump from the floor up into a window, half-making it and scrambling the rest of the way, sometimes hurdling onto the windows sill and sometimes tumbling her fat self back to the floor LOL)....

So the cats we had then were very gentle and when one of them would find a scared little baby bird scrambling around in our yard, it would chase it around a little, scare and traumatize it, catch it in its mouth and bring it to us- sort of like, "Hey, master, you are the head cat and leader of our group- look what I found! Aren't you proud of me? I am a great hunter. Here- look! No, I didn't eat it yet- I want to share it with you." And, as we petted and encouraged the cat, it would drop the bird on the ground. The bird, of course, would be in shock. Good thing the cats never bit or seriously injured the bird. We would then take the poor little bird, put a few drops of water on his head and beak to revive him, check that his wings were not injured , and put him into a basket, cage or whatever we could find. Then we would climb up and set him on top of the garage. We would shy away from him a little so that he would start calling for his mother.

The mother bird and her search party were never far away. They would soon start circling and swooping downwards. Once we knew they had seen the baby, we would climb onto a step ladder and try to open the cage door so the baby bird would start jumping around. Then we would move away again. It was a sight to see- the love and attraction, and fearlessness of that mother bird, as she would leave the other members of the search party in the nearby branches and swoop down closer and closer to the baby. She knew we were there, though we had moved away to give her room to maneuver. And of course she could smell our scent on the baby. But there came a moment when, with the coaxing of that mother, and the excitement of that baby, and the noisy tweeting back and forth, and everyone in suspense- from my brothers, sister, I, to the other birds looking on- that wonderful moment would occur, where that baby bird would scramble, spread its wings, half-perched on its mother's back, and she would take off, lifting and buoying him up. And, as she hit full stride, releasing him on his own, he would take courage, and somehow, with the frantic flurrying of those feeble wings, as if lifted up by God Himself, make it back to a high branch. And we would watch in such joy as that mother and baby would bounce from one branch to another, heading for their nest, and make it safely home...

It was one of those great moments in life.

Daniel.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:06 pm 
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You might find this article pertinent to the discussion: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6591649.stm

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:02 am 
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Thanks for the lovely story Daniel - I've become quite down in recent weeks with one thing and another, and this has really lifted my spirits.

Oh for the simple life eh?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:38 am 
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poshgeordie wrote:
Thanks for the lovely story Daniel - I've become quite down in recent weeks with one thing and another, and this has really lifted my spirits.

Oh for the simple life eh?


Glad my little childhood story cheered you up old chap :)

We all have moments of discouragement. The baby bird escaping the jaws of the kitty, struggling upward, somehow making it back to the nest safely... reminds me of so many struggles in my own life. But God's goodness always comes shining through. There is an S.O.S., a Source Of Strength we can depend on, not our own.

When I have some time I would like to share another story.

Quote:
You might find this article pertinent to the discussion: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6591649.stm


Well I guess I should've been a ornithologist. Oh how nice for these chaps who get paid just to study birds for a living. That's exactly what I concluded after my own little informal study these past few months. Seems to have to do with the noisy buzz and "busyness" of city life, not the bright lights of the City. Oh for the simple life eh?

Thinkpad Lover wrote:
So, as the weather started getting very warm, and because the thriving bird communities were not able to finish all of their calling/ cooing/ whistling/ singing and other rituals of mating during the day, (amidst the noisy background and many interruptions of life in the city), they ended up going into extra innings, late-night sessions of serenading their mates.


Daniel.

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