Not only do birds vary in their morphology, but also in their vocalizations. Often, birds can be heard before they are seen, making their calls very important in identifying their species. However, many birds are excellent mimics, replicating calls of other birds, animals, and even inanimate objects. This article highlights 13 avian species that produce vocalizations that sound like car alarms.
List of Birds That Sound Like Car Alarms
The syrinx enables some avian species to mimic vocalizations, including human speech as demonstrated by the blue jay. Mockingbirds continue to add new sounds to their repertoire throughout their lifetime. S
species such as the gray catbird and common starling can mimic the calls of other bird species. Mechanical sounds, including car alarms, are produced by species including the marsh warbler and Eurasian thrasher.
Scientific Name: Cardinalis cardinalis
Male northern cardinals boast bright red plumage and bill with a black mask. Females however have grey-brown feathers with a red bill. Both sexes sing, producing two-parted whistles that are repeated and varied. They live in open woodlands and have a diet of grains, seeds, and fruits, which they forage for on the ground. These birds range across Eastern North America.
Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
Northern mockingbirds have grey-brown plumage with white wing patches. These birds are omnivores, feasting on arthropods, fruits, and even lizards. They are famous for their plethora of vocalizations, of which they imitate birds, other animals, and even inanimate objects.
They continue to learn new songs throughout their lives. They live in suburban habitats throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis
As their name suggests, these birds are almost entirely gray, except under the tail which is black and rufous-brown. They feast on insects and berries they pick out from tangles of vegetation. They are so-called due to the cat-like shriek they make.
They also mimic other birds’ songs, as well as mechanical sounds. Gray catbirds live in open woodlands and are native to North America and migrate to Central America and the Caribbean in the winter.
Scientific Name: Acrocephalus palustris
The marsh warbler is grey-brown above and has a white belly. Their diet consists of primarily insects but also spiders and snails on occasion. These birds can imitate a number of sounds, from mammals to raindrops to car alarms. These birds live in marshy areas near water sources. Marsh warblers breed in Europe and migrate to Southeast Africa for the winter.
Scientific Name: Quiscalus quiscula
Male common grackles have an iridescent blue head and a shiny, bronze-colored body. Females are less glossy and brown overall. These birds have a complex, vocal repertoire, including songs and emulations of other bird calls.
They forage in large flocks, pecking at the ground for agricultural grains and seeds. Common grackles reside in open habitats across Central and South America and Mexico.
Scientific Name: Quiscalus mexicanus
Males are mainly iridescent black with a blue-green sheen. They have a tapered tail that folds into a V shape. Females are dark brown above and paler brown below with slender tails. They are diverse foragers, feeding on plant matter, small mammals, and bird eggs.
They produce a wide variety of vocalizations ranging from calls to songs to chatter. They inhabit shrubland and are resident throughout North America.
Scientific Name: Spiza Americana
Males have a grey-brown head and back with a white belly. They have a bright yellow face and chest, adorned with a black V. Females follow a similar color pattern but are more subdued colors and lack the black V. Dickicissel’s forage for seeds on the ground or among low-lying shrubbery. These birds live in grasslands, breeding in North America and migrating to South America and Mexico.
Scientific Name: Coccyzus americanus
These birds have grey-brown upper parts and are white underneath. Their tail is black and adorned with large white spots. They produce a croaking ‘Ka’ noise, with each successive syllable getting drawn out more. Caterpillars make up the majority of their diet. Yellow-billed cuckoos live in woodland habitats spanning from Canada to the Caribbean to Argentina.
Scientific Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos
American crow’s plumage is entirely black and has a slight sheen to it. Their feet and bill are also black. They are an intelligent and social species. These birds can mimic other animal alarm calls, chainsaws, and car sirens. They inhabit rural and urban environments and feed on almost anything from fruit to carrion. They are distributed throughout Canada and the United States.
Scientific Name: Sturnus Vulgaris
The common starling is also called the European starling. Their plumage is dark, iridescent purple and green, adorned with white speckles. Common starlings have an enlarged syrinx which allows them to vocalize a variety of sound frequencies.
They can imitate other bird calls as well as mechanical sounds. They live in urban environments and feast primarily on insects. Their range extends throughout Eurasia, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata
Blue jays boast a violet-blue crest and back with a white underside. Their wings and tail are bright blues, adorned with black stripes and white wing bars. They mimic human calls, hawk cries, and rusty pumps.
Although they are omnivores, plant matter makes up the majority of their diet. They are common in both urban and suburban areas, favoring habitats with oak trees or bird feeders. They range throughout Canada, Central America, and Texas.
Scientific Name: Garrulus glandarius
The Eurasian jay is predominantly pink-brown with its iconic blue wing feathers adorned with black bars. They make a raspy, screeching sound but are also known for their mimic vocalizations, such as birds of prey calls and mechanical sounds.
Scientific Name: Toxostoma rufum
Brown thrashers have red-brown upper parts and pale brown underneath dabbled with dark brown streaks. They have a repertoire of complex musical phrases and can also produce mechanical and alarm noises. These birds are omnivores, eating insects, berries, and worms. They live in scrub habitats, ranging throughout the Eastern United States.
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