What Kind of Song Birds Sing at Night?

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Bird song at night can sound particularly loud and noticeable because it does not compete with daytime noises such as traffic. Many birds sing at dawn. This is called the dawn chorus. Some people find bird song at night irritating, but there is little they can do to prevent it. The best solution is to use soft ear plugs.

Northern Mockingbird

The northern mockingbird imitates the songs of other birds and many other sounds that it hears, such as barking dogs and creaking doors. The male mockingbird sings to attract a mate. It often sings in urban and suburban neighborhoods, perched on TV antennas and chimneys. It is a small bird, about the size of a robin, with a medium gray back, lighter gray breast and dark gray wings. It possesses patches of white on its wings and the edges of its tail that are visible when it is in flight.


The whip-poor-will is a nocturnal bird. This means it wakes at night and sleeps during the day. It sings loudly at dusk. The whip-poor-will lives in woodland. It is not easy to see because its coloring blends well with its surroundings. It will hover in the air near its nest if an intruder approaches, showing the white tips of its tail feathers. It nests on the ground and feeds on insects.

Hermit Thrush

Thrushes are famous for their singing ability, but many people who appreciate bird song consider the hermit thrush to have the best song of all birds. It often sings in the late evening or at night. It is a migratory bird that lives in Alaska, Canada, and the western and northeastern United States, and it spends winters in the southern U.S. and further south. Its habitat is woodland. It is small, brown and white with a spotted breast.


In cities, birds sometimes sing at night during the breeding season. Researchers found that in the case of the American robin, the cause was connected with urban light pollution. This was possibly because the birds confused the high levels of artificial light with sunrise. Other research in the UK on European robins showed a connection between urban noise pollution and night singing, and concluded that the birds may have been trying to avoid competing with background noise in daytime.


About the Author

A graduate of Leeds University, Jenny Green completed Master of Arts in English literature in 1998 and has been writing about science since 2007. Green's work appears in Synonym, Sciencing, and other websites and ezines

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