Friday, April 21, 2006


Do you think it’s maybe possible that aliens have taken up residence in my yard? They don’t seem to be unfriendly aliens, exactly, but have left me wondering and slightly weirded out, as I’m home alone this evening. These particular visitors must have some very speedy flying objects (or maybe wings?), since I never caught a glimpse, just heard them. I was on my way to the coop in the rain at dusk, when from above me came:


It was fast, with a continually rising pitch and a usually emphatic ending. It had a slightly whistle-y, tuning-fork quality to it, a bit like a vibration. There seemed to be at least two of these creatures conversing. They sometimes passing quickly overhead from one side of the yard to the other. I listened politely, consulted the chickens (4 eggs, 1 broody hen with her own 4 eggs) and told the nice aliens to enjoy their evening before rushing in to consult the all-knowing Internet. I wanted to appreciate my (un)natural history experience while all properly educated, y’know. It must be easily explainable, right? I’m not really a birder, and figured it would be something simple that I should know. Hmmm.

But even through the powers of Google, I wasn’t able to find much. I’m still leaning towards ALIEN, at least until tomorrow when I can consult a birding friend.

Anyone have a quicker idea for me? When I went out later to record them for sharing, it was darker and they’d quit. So much for spooky night space-aliens!

Some other sonic visitors to our little corner of the world have been a much more identifiable variety of frogs and spring peepers. Deb recently mentioned needing to learn the frog calls again each year. I always need a review, too, and found this great site. Scroll down to get to the frog videos. Visuals always help me remember. Now if only I had one for the “aliens”….



Sue said...

I bet they were woodcocks- one of the harbingers of spring! There's a sound clip at, to give you something to compare to. The "peent" is the vocal call, and whistly noises are made by the wings. The Common Nighthawk makes a similar "peent" call, and a booming wing noise, but it's a bit early for them.

Sue said...

Sorry, that whole web address didn't fit on one line in your comments! If you go to and search for "woodcock", it will take you to the specific page.

Deb said...

I'm thinking maybe woodcock too, and like Sue says, listen for the "peent" to be sure. We have a lot of them around here, and I'm ashamed to say I haven't been out deliberately listening for them at twilight as often as I would like.