Posted 25 November 2006 - 12:01 PM
I have heard its call from a eucalyptus tree outside my window, in my yard in Northwest Los Angeles (the San Fernando Valley) at about 7:00 PM in October and also seemingly from a Palm Tree in the Palm Desert (near Palm Springs) area of California, at about 8:00 AM in November.
Each time, I have run outside with binoculars, but have never been able to spot the bird. The bird seems to be able to "throw" its call, so that depending on where I move, the call sounds like it's coming from a different spot in the tree.
The bird sounds like a rattlesnake, or like someone is shaking a maraca. It's quite loud; I was able to hear it even through closed windows.
I have been through my bird book and have searched online, but the closest I've come is the burrowing owl.
I would appreciate your help. Thank you.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 04:36 PM
Are you sure it isn't an insect??? There are a lot of insects that sound like rattle snakes, and there have been a lot of people wondering what kind of bird they're hearing, and it ends up being an insect.
Posted 25 November 2006 - 05:13 PM
The first time I heard it, I ran outside and tried to locate it in the tree. At one point, I could tell that it flew from one branch of the tree to another, and it continued to make that rattlesnake sound. Unfortunately, since the tree is so huge and full, I never actually saw the bird itself.
Thanks again for the suggestion. This has had me stumped for over a year.
Posted 26 November 2006 - 05:19 PM
Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:58 PM
Here's my description of the little I've seen of this bird. For such a big sound, the bird itself is quite small -- very wren-like, it's a grayish/brownish nondescript color. It has a distinctive bill though -- long, narrow, and slightly curved downward. It is definitely NOT a hummingbird. It is very active and flits from branch to branch, managing to stay well hidden -- so a good description including eye color etc. is hard to come by.
I hope this helps ID the bird as it has been one I've been wondering about for quite some time. There's another visitor to my yard that I want to ID but I'll use a separate post for that.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 05:47 PM
I know the Carolina Wren has a call that sounds a lot like that. Maybe it's a Bewick's Wren.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:36 PM
Posted 01 December 2006 - 11:34 AM
Posted 01 December 2006 - 04:01 PM
The scolding call of a carolina wren sounds similar to your description, so maybe it is a bewick's wren.
Posted 01 December 2006 - 05:40 PM
You're right -- if the bill is that long, it doesn't seem that it would be a gnatcatcher or wren.
David Lukas, can you help?
Posted 01 December 2006 - 06:06 PM
Posted 01 December 2006 - 07:36 PM
"I was thinking. The wren could be a Canyon Wren. Its call is a set of descending notes like you described. Also, its bill is much longer than the other wrens. If this is the bird, you are lucky, they are
neat little birds and are often only heard and not seen."
Again, the Canyon Wren's song is far too melodic, but perhaps when it's scolding? Anybody else have any thoughts?
Posted 02 December 2006 - 10:25 AM
Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:23 AM
Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:03 AM
Ffurry50 -- does the California Thrasher look like the bird you saw? That's the only one native to all three areas -- Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego. It seems to be larger than what you described, though.
I have not heard the bird since my first post.
Posted 09 December 2006 - 08:32 PM
I've found ID'ing birds to be difficult at best, unless they are a very common species that doesn't interbreed. Take the junco that frequents my yard -- its coloring is a combination of the slate grey and the oregon junco and my SD bird source tells me they do interbreed so there can be many variations in coloring that might not be shown in any pix or books.
Regarding our bird: like you, I have not heard it since shortly after we started this quest, so I guess they've moved on. I'll let you know if and when I ever hear them again.
Posted 09 December 2006 - 09:47 PM
I'll post again, too, if I ever hear the bird again.
This has been my first time in this forum, and I really appreciate everyone's help. It's fun to speak with others who enjoy birds as much as I do.
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