Hello again Harriet,
On Sept 18, I wrote:
>Without really knowing where you are or what your local birds are, I'd say you
are describing a Nightjar call - a species of either Eurostopodus or
>Here in southern Queensland, our White-throated Nightjar mysticalis has a call
>rather similar to your description.
I should have made that Eurostopodus mysticalis, for our nightjar. Sorry.
I also copied you message to <naturerecordists> a discussion group in the US
of A, and append below two responses.
If you are set up to listen to sounds on your computer, do let us all know
if either fits what you are hearing.
Syd Curtis in Brisbane, Australia.
Depending upon where Harriet is, of course, it sounds like it could be the
call of the Lesser Nighthawk - listen to one on my page at
http://www.naturesongs.com/caprpici.html#LCAPR - it is an unusual time to
hear this call, though, but sometimes weird calls are heard in the early
Doug Von Gausig
Clarkdale, Arizona, USA
Nature Recordists e-mail group
Possibly Harriet is hearing the trill-call (= bounce call") of an Eastern
Screech Owl. These often last six seconds or more, and usually drop in pitch
at the end. But some aspects of Harriet's description don't fit (such as the
gurgles at the end), so this is probably not the right ID.
Also possibly, she is hearing the whinny-call of a screech owl, with the
trill added at the end.
Lesser Nighthawks would not be hear in SW NC. E. Screech Owls do a lot of
calling at this time of year.
Harriet can hear the E. Screech-Owl here:
(Lang Elliott <>)
> From: manya ogle <>
> Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 13:25:57 -0400
> Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] ??
> I hear something around 10:00-12:00 midnight. The sound does not come
> from the same place each night. Some nights I don't hear it at all. Last
> night I heard an answerin call far away.
> I live in SW NC at about 1700' in the woods (mostly). Look down on
> Hiwassee Lake (huge).
> I can't make the sound. It begins as something like a bird
> purring/vibrating. The sound is high pitched and lasts about 6 seconds.
> Usually the pitch gets lower. The last thing I hear is a series of
> gurgles--but not always. Last night he seemed about 50-70' away.
> Do you have any idea?? Anything I can do to find out?? I don't have a
> recorder. Thanks, Harriet
> Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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