Is this a bird?

  • Just for the record, I've just been sitting out at the back of the house and a Starling did, in quick succession, a Common Kestrel, a Buzzard, a faulty dot-matrix printer, and an ill-fitting bike pump trying, and failing, to inflate an old Mitre football.
  • I was about to say could it be a starling?

    I can hear a crow and a goldfinch and then a whistle that does sound like a starling.

    I used to work backing onto the hills near Fulwood in Sheffield, and I would hear buzzards all day. Their cry is somehow always cold sounding (I am not saying that to their detriment, I love a buzzard). This sounds warmer and friendlier somehow!
  • Afternoon Kiera,

    I'm also used to buzzards meeowing plaintively as they glide through the mist-clad treetops (for example). But in spring I think they're a bit more jolly sounding. And I wonder if Starlings sound cosier because of their range and general chattiness. Perhaps if they just 'did' a buzzard, it would give us the same shivers that buzzards do (or do me, anyway).

    If our local buzzard impersonator is around this afternoon, I'll try to record him/her and we can do a 'stork or butter' kind of test.

    We were up in the hills above Zurich yesterday and heard Black Woodpeckers laughing. Now, we're used to lots of their calls, but it seemed to me that this year is the first time we've heard that laugh. Always something new to hear, I think.


  • I’m fairly certain it is a starling, I heard it again when there was only one bird I could see in the area it came from which was almost definitely a starling!

    I would love to hear one mimic other things (although maybe I have and haven’t realised)
  • Black woodpeckers!!! I'm very jealous :)

    In our urban area, the starlings do the neighbour's faulty house alarm and a version of the Homebase annoucement system, which somehow manages to be boomingly loud AND inaudible at the same time. If they weren't so lovely, it would be annoying!

    I'm not an expert, but there seems to be a burgeoning area of research on bird sounds. The Sound Approach are doing some incredible work in this area!
  • In reply to Dagallagher:

    Glad to hear that your mystery is solved Dagallager. And you make a good point.

    In fact, maybe I myself am a Starling. Kind of thing.

    Yesterday, it was kestrels again, along with a Geiger counter (from the orignal series of Mission Impossible) and a very believable balloon-animal salesperson.

  • In reply to Kiera:

    Yes Kiera, we're lucky to have them locally; particularly spottable in winter when the forest behind the house is more bare. And Wrynecks too and the other usual suspects.

    House alarms and Homebase. That's great. We have a local Blackbird that does the first two bars of the theme from Star Wars. And a young girl who, conversely, does all the birds, including kites. And no-one seems to have noticed.

    I've got a Sound Approach book sitting in the kitchen, but haven't yet found the time to sit down and listen/read at the same time, which I think it requires. I like the preamble; as I was (in a previous life) a sound engineer (live music, TV, and radio) it appeals to me.

    Then you take a look at who's involved in the Sound Approach. And you think, well, it's going to be incredible, right?

  • An old thread, I know, but 'our' Starling has, this week, moved on from impersonating Red Kites and is improving daily with its Golden Oriole impersonation. It started with three descending notes and has moved on in sophistication and is now getting the hang of the sluring style.
    Last year, I visited an interesting site locally and, on arrival, commented to a Blackbird that it must have been hanging out with orioles. And then found the nesting pair just a few hundred meters away.
  • Lovely to hear your update, which made me laugh!

    Golden Oriole is one of my favourite bird sounds, but sadly we never hear them here in Sheffield.

    I heard a local starling give a whistle the other day and thought of you!
  • Sheffield. Nearly went to university there many moons ago. Didn't seem like an Oriole-friendly location, although it had other things going for it, I seem to remember.

    Nice that starlings remind someone of me. My greatest starling experience of all time was watching around 300 demolishing a garbage can in China Town, New York (got that on video somewhere).