This forum is for asking questions and providing answers on bird identification. New and visiting birders are encouraged to ask and participate.
By oldisnew45
this morning at about 1:30am, I hear a group of birds chatting quite loudly. at first I thought they were bats because they have a similar pitch. but I decided they sound more like birds. and I didn't observe any flying or swooping as bats at night do.
they seem to be sitting on a high up pole in a parking lot. I've heard birds call at night but never anything like this.
it on Cambie and Georgia at the makeshift bus loop for the north van buses.
I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this dark mystery
thanks in advance!
User avatar
By BirdingBC
Hi there,

First, welcome to the birding forums!

Thanks for giving the location as that helps narrow down what might be stirring at night in your area.

Given that we are in downtown Vancouver and city lights can keep birds awake well past dusk and into the night, there are few common city birds that would be candidates: House Sparrow, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, White-crowned sparrow, and Golden-crowned sparrow.

When you say they were sounding like bats, that clues me in to think "European Starling" over the other likely species as starlings can make chatty/high-pitched squealing sounds and like to perch high up.

Have a listen to see if this is a match: ... ing/sounds

That is not all the possibilities, just the first likely species that comes to mind.

By oldisnew45
Hi thanks for responding.
Ive been an avid bird watcher for half my life (not bragging just trying to establish some reference )
I was going to say they are definitely not starlings but now that I think that..I am going to give them another listen with that possibility in mind. They are constant..they all sing in unison. there is never one bird doing a solo..I must admit for the last three years my life was in upheaval and I found myself Downtown (I've always lived in the outskirts of Downtown) so I may not be very familiar with night time birds. it just strikes me as so peculiar . fascinating in a way.
I will go out tonight and record them, maybe my phone will pick up their chatter.
I feel a new sense of optimism in solving this mystery .
thank you so much!!
By Michelle
I was haunted by that same sound for a while. Always at night, sometimes tantalizingly close, and often near a construction site. One night I saw one go by with that bat-like chee-chee chee-chee sound. I'm almost 100% certain its a kildeer. Take a look/ listen at a video or two and tell me if you agree!
By oldisnew45
I think it was white crowned sparrow
but im going to do some intensive observing soon. the weather has been so chilly at night I have not ventured out as much
By oldisnew45
late response.. they were not starlings. I know that sound from years of starling invasions in Ladner BC :lol:
but as I mentioned white crown sparrow is on my radar
2022 BC Birding Photo Challenge! :)[…]

Rose-bellied Bunting (Mexico)[…]

Yellow Rumped Warbler

There seems to be way more Myrtle Yellow-rumps thi[…]

2022 Birding BC Video Challenge

Killdeer at Englishman River Estuary. https://you[…]