84°Scattered Clouds

Were the Birds Crazy Loud This Morning?

by Prince Of Petworth April 14, 2016 at 11:25 am 22 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user angela n.

Saw some folks on Facebook and twitter mentioning some loud bird squawks very early this morning. Anyone else hear more than usual springtime squawks? One reader asks:

“There seems to be a tropical bird squawking outside my window or in the area. I live in Brookland two blocks from the metro by Dance Place. I’m guessing someone lost their pet bird? It has been making non stop noise since 1:45am. Can not spot it, but can defiantly hear it.”

What do you think pet bird, or just regular birds. Though 1:45am does seem usually early? Do we have an ornithologist in the house?!?

  • jumpingjack

    I have no idea, but that’s an amazing photo! (And perfectly chosen.)

  • Bird dog

    Probably a mockingbird. We have one in Petworth near the circle that just won’t quit, nearly all night long!

    • DCer15

      Agree that it’s probably a mockingbird. I did some research after being awakened at 1am — that’s the time that they like to sing. And they keep it up for hours.

  • Dadric

    They were probably hosting a punk rock festival in their tree. So rude.

    • too soon…

    • textdoc

      If I had been drinking anything, it’d be over my keyboard now. :)

  • transplanted

    I don’t know about a tropical bird in Brookland, but the regular old District birds were pretty out of control this morning. I woke up to a *lot* of bird noise and thought “well, it’s not the worst way to get woken up, even if it’s a bit before my alarm goes off…” then rolled over and it was FOUR IN THE FREAKING MORNING.
    I’m putting up an owl house pronto. Stupid bird raves.

  • anonymous

    Starting about 3 weeks ago they’ve been outside my bedroom(front of the house) First night I could not sleep at all. I dragged the following day at work.

  • General Grant Circle

    It is the time of the year that some bird species are encouraging their young to leave the nest (which is essentially accomplished by squawking at them). It takes about 2 weeks for most songbirds to incubate eggs and then another 2 weeks for them to leave the nest.
    You are most likely hearing the bird version of “time to leave the nest time to leave the nest time to leave the nest”

    • Emmaleigh504


    • Ally

      My 10-month-old has started loudly squawking at us around 4am daily (hilarious rendition of the only words he knows: Mama, Dada, Baba, and Barf). Perhaps he’s trying to get us to leave the nest.

    • MsSunshine

      The singing at this time of year is about defending turf or finding a mate. It’s too early for chicks.

  • textdoc

    Tropical bird, eh? Could it be this cockatiel, lost in Petworth in late March?

  • Dan

    What you hear this time of year is known as the morning chorus. Birds who stayed in DC over the winter (northern mockingbird, Carolina wren, Northern cardinal, etc) and the neo-tropical migrants (warblers, orioles, tanagers, etc) that add just starting to arrive are declaring breeding territories and calling for mates. This will continue for a while until they are busy feeding nestlings and fledglings.

    Birds sing mostly on cooler mornings for several reasons. Sound travels further in cooler temperatures, so birds sing and are more active from sunrise until about 11:30ish. It is partially a matter of energy efficiency and thermoregulation when the days get really hot.

    If you hear a bird singing at 1:45am, blame your street light and light pollution. Street lights and other light sources can throw off bird behaviors that are linked to photo-periods. The bird outside your window is singing its heart out at 3am because it has been tricked into thinking the sun is rising.

    • Awoken

      The neo-tropical migrants are in town?! Awesome!

      • anon

        Is that another name for hipsters?
        I’m gonna name my band after that.

    • anonymous

      that explains because there is a street light right in front of my house- though I don’t get much light pollution- just have blinds- I guess it’s bright enough for the birds because the chirping is definitely during the wee morning hours. literally could not sleep.

    • LittleBluePenguin

      This is great info, thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    Ugh, don’t these birds know that there are CONDO OWNERS trying to sleep?
    Please catch the nearest Greyhound bus back South to warmer climates.

  • wdc

    Missed Caption Contest opportunity here.

  • SassyinDC

    Possible solution: ear plugs. If foam ear plugs help drown out the myriad of helicopters and mortar fire in Baghdad, they might work on bird song in DC.


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