12 Birds That Sing At Night
The dawn chorus, as well as the wonderful melodies their favourite birds sing during the day, are well known to most birders. It can, nevertheless, be disconcerting to hear various birds chirping at night.
Many bird species, in fact, prefer to sing at night when there are less ambient disturbances and less vocal competition from other birds.
Recognizing these nocturnal singers is an excellent opportunity to hone your birding-by-ear abilities while also enjoying a unique facet of avian communication. How many of these midnight singers are you familiar with?
1. Barred Owl
It’s no wonder that owls are loud at night, as well as the barred owl has a melancholy hooting sound with lengthier notes at the end that may be heard across the eastern United States, western Canada, and the Pacific Northwest.
During the courting and breeding season, these huge owls may sing as soloists or in duets. A couple of owls might call to one another continuously all throughout night, and individual birds might sing for hours beyond dark.
2. Barn Owl
The barn owl is amongst the most common owl species, and it can be spotted on every continent excluding Antarctica. Although its lengthy, harsh, rasping shriek isn’t a truly beautiful song, it may be heard anywhere at time of night when these birds are active.
Their additional sounds have included a clicking, kleaking chatter, and more whispery pleading cries used by young birds to win the attention of their parents.
Birders who install barn owl boxes might hear all of these strange sounds throughout the night.
3. Northern Mockingbird
The northern mockingbird, a skilled mimic with a diverse repertoire, is one of the most well-known night-singing birds.
These birds, which may be found in the United States, southern Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, sing varied tones, notes, and sequences in groups of three, regularly switching to a new melody to demonstrate their vocal talent. They are prevalent in urban and suburban settings and frequently sing from a high perch.
4. Eastern Whip-poor-will
Because of its highly disguised plumage, this representative of the nightjar family is considerably more noticeably louder than seen.
As these birds are nocturnal, they normally sleep silently throughout the day, but at night they speak openly with a chanting song that rises towards the conclusion.
At any time of night, the distinctive notes that sound exactly like the bird’s name might well be echoed in a continuous, even sequence for several minutes.
5. Hermit Thrush
This reddish-brown thrush is one of North America’s most attractive songbirds, with a range that extends from Mexico to Canada based on the season and migratory timing.
This bird is easy to hear, with a flowing song packed with beautiful whistles and warbles, and it frequently sings late at night or early in the morning. This is especially true in early spring and late fall, when this bird’s song may last well into the night.
6. American Robin
This ubiquitous backyard bird of North America has a well-known song and is a member of the morning chorus.
Light pollution in cities and suburbs, on the other hand, may easily fool this thrush into singing all night, specifically in the spring when songs are part of courting rituals.
Because this bird may stay in most of its range all year, nightly singing can occur even in the fall and winter, no matter how surprising its melodies may be.
7. Black-crowned Night-heron
Whereas these wading birds do not have a song, their harsh, croaking sounds may be heard all night long. This can provide an ominous overtone to the marshes, swamps, and wetlands where these birds live across their range.
Since these birds may be found all over the world, notably North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, many birders are acquainted with their cries, as are the calls of other night-heron species.
8. Common Nightingale
The common nightingale, one amongst Europe’s, Asia’s, and Africa’s most abundant songbirds, might appear simple at first glance, but its singing is anything but. This bird has around 200 songs in its repertoire and may sing them all at night.
While the common nightingale is timid and typically hides in deep vegetation, its rich, flute-like voice and diverse songs may be heard over large distances as well as for extended periods of time, as this bird never tyres of singing.
9. Yelow-breasted Chat
This huge, warbler-like bird has a brilliant yellow neck and breast, although it likes to keep inconspicuous in thickets.
Whenever it wants to sing, it may periodically wander into a more open area and delight observers with warbling chirps, whistling chatters, and scratchy notes all intertwined into a loud and readily heard song. These birds normally only sing in the spring, however, they are frequently heard at night at that period.
10. European Robin
The European robin, a little songbird with a powerful voice, frequently sings all year as it guards territory, and strong urban or suburban lights can deceive this bird into singing all night.
Thankfully, the high, lilting melody and sometimes whistling tones combine to create a lovely sound that many birders like at any time of year. When not fooled by artificial lighting, the European robin frequently sings in the early morning and late evening.
Even at night, this well-known shorebird has a characteristic piercing cry that can seem like a frenetic, chattering song. These birds also frequently sing while in flight, regardless of the time of day, and might even call all night when they migratory in late fall and early spring.
To listen killdeers, although, birders must look for them in the right environment, such as near shallow water or broad, barren fields that are perfect for breeding and feeding.
12. Black Rail
The black rail is a furtive swamp bird that may be found in dispersed sections of the southern United States, notably coastal Texas, as well as the Caribbean and isolated regions of South America. It makes a peculiar song-like cry.
The ki-ki-kooo cry, which has a deep, pipe-like tone, may be heard repeatedly throughout the night. Since these birds are cautious and secretive, hearing their unusual song is frequently even more difficult than detecting their black plumage at night.