Every year, in late summer, in Maine, at night, I hear a noise coming from the trees. It sounds like a cardinal's chirp (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/sounds, fourth sound down), but longer, scratchier, and lower pitch. The sound starts and ends abruptly. There are three to six chirps in a row from the same tree, and then silence for a few minutes. Sometimes I will hear it again after a few minutes from the same tree, and sometimes from a different tree. No one else in my family can hear it. Does anyone know what this is?

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    Welcome to the site! Thanks for the excellent description, but, especially with identification questions, the more details, the better! Does the sound start off louder, then become more quiet? Does the pitch stay the same? Do you ever hear what appears to be an answer from somewhere else, or is it just a lone voice in the woods? If there's anything else you can think of that would help narrow it down, you can edit it right into your question. It's interesting that you're the only one who can hear it. You must have great ears! Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 17:03
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    Without a recording, this will be very hard to answer. Many frogs can make bird-like sounds at night, just to name one of many possibilities. If nobody else hears them, then how do you know they are real? Do you hear these along with voices that say "must kill ..." and the like? Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 19:31
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    @OlinLathrop my husband and I often hear things the other can't, he has a superior high range but has tinnitus so I often hear low noises he doesn't. Not massively uncommon especially if people aren't aiming to hear said noise.
    – Aravona
    Commented Aug 29, 2015 at 21:30
  • Thanks for those details! I'll see if there's anything similar I can find to suggest. My situation resembles @Aravona's, but I'm the one with the hearing disorder, so in certain ranges, my husband hears things I can't. I'll ask him for help on this one! Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 19:53
  • @IOWF - any chance you could post a recording?
    – That Idiot
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


This is my answer to your question, I am new here but I really enjoy this type of thing. In 2011, we had a very bad tornado come through our property. After that I have heard 4-5 new bird calls, which I have never before around here (Tennessee), and 2 at night. If you think back to when you first heard this bird, had there been any bad storms where you live? I hope this helps, I've been an outdoorsman all my life and know how frustrating it can be to know how things are usually, and all of a sudden something new comes along and no-one else has noticed.

  • Welcome to the site! We're so glad you found us! Thanks for this interesting answer. I haven't thought of that before, and it's definitely worth doing some observing in that way. Just to let you know, we do things a bit differently than some other sites. Our tour and help center explain things, but it can be overwhelming, so please leave a note here if there's any way we can make it easier for you! You've already helped us a lot, and we hope you'll stay and have fun! Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 19:35

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