If so, "they" are probably a single northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, looking for love. Relying on sound can be trickier, but here's one example of a late-night mockingbird revue in Virginia: Many people consider nightingale songs "the finest produced by any bird species," writes U.K. charity Wildscreen, with "mellow phrases, flute-like sequences or high-quality, rich notes" blended into robust ballads. Maybe, but are they performing one at a time? The belief apparently came from the birds' wide mouths and habit of feeding near grazing animals. And since their timing is based largely on light levels, robins can be easily fooled by electric lights. On warm summer evenings, Common Nighthawks roam the skies over treetops, grasslands, and cities. [Common Pauraque] [Common pauraque call] [Photo of a common pauraque on the ground.] Listen to some examples of these hauntingly beautiful nighttime sounds: Common Pauraque, Northern Saw … Will you walk gently Finally the nightbird Copyright: Writer(s): Stephanie Nicks, Sandy Stewart, NEW SONG: AC/DC - "Shot In The Dark" - LYRICS, HOT SONG: 21 Savage x Metro Boomin - "My Dawgâ" - LYRICS. Some circles around my eyes That can make them difficult to identify, especially those with large and diverse repertoires. During spring and summer, whip-poor-wills breed in deciduous or mixed forests across the Eastern U.S. and southern Canada. 18 Non-Traditional Yet Perfect Wedding Songs; HOT SONG: Billie Eilish - "No Time To Die'" - LYRICS; POPULAR SONG: Travis Scott feat. Related. They're not hard to identify by sight, especially if you can see the long tail and white wing patches. [Northern Saw-whet Owl] [Northern saw-whet owl call] [Photo of a northern saw-whet owl perched in a tree.] Without the daytime cacophony to compete against, they're free to shatter the relative silence of night with each bubbly whistle, ethereal trill or demonic shriek. "The song may seem to go on endlessly," according to the Audubon Society, which notes that "a patient observer once counted 1,088 whip-poor-wills given rapidly without a break.". Capes pulled around them tight Although not nocturnal, these birds do sing at night, especially in their springtime breeding season. Nightingales have long served as literary symbols for writers such as Homer, Ovid, Chaucer and Shakespeare, and in Victorian England, outdoor parties were sometimes held just to hear them sing. Of her fingers [Most birds sing during the day. But while crickets specialize in droning background music, many night birds are scene stealers. Their sharp, electric peent call is often the first clue they’re overhead. Similar night-singing has also been reported in other non-nocturnal species such as blackbirds, but it seems especially prevalent among European robins. If not for night birds, the anthem of evening in many places may be little more than traffic noise and crickets. Keep learning, participate in group conversations. Above is an example from Port Aransas, Texas. Last.fm Music | Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. / All rights reserved. It can live in a wide range of wetlands, nesting in colonies but often foraging alone. [Have you heard these nocturnal birds in your neighborhood?] Here's a clip of one singing at night in a Japanese wetland, recorded in June 2015: Herons inhabit every continent but Antarctica, typically hunting small aquatic animals near wetlands or water sources. An ancient myth suggests nightjars steal goat milk at night, but they don't. And the blankets that I love Frustrated birders sometimes compare the vocalizations of concealed chats to mocking laughter. The ones who sing at night Like whip-poor-wills and other nightjars, it's in the order of birds known as caprimulgiformes, derived from Latin for "goat sucker." The great potoo vocalizes mainly on moonlit nights, producing a "fairly loud, gruff BUAAaa" at well-spaced intervals, according to zoologist Steven Hilty. Most of these birds have been serenading night since prehistory, and their after-dark arias are now staples in nature's dusk-to-dawn soundtrack. The ones who sing at night Thru my shadow Despite a resemblance to owls, it belongs to a different group of birds known as caprimulgiformes, along with whip-poor-wills and other nightjars. These are all part of a larger bird family known as "nightjars," which includes dozens of nocturnal species around the world. Nothing against crickets — they're talented musicians, too. It makes no difference at all About the size of a mouse, the tiny black rail lives in coastal marshes in scattered parts of the Americas, with populations clustered in California, the U.S. Gulf Coast, the Caribbean and Chile. And you see she turns the eyes In the darkness It's hard to see her face Advisory - the following lyrics contain explicit language: And the summer became the fall They may inspire you to walk outside in your slippers and pajamas to explore the nocturnal world of birds. At least 65 species are recognized worldwide, some of which have good enough night vision to keep hunting after sunset. [Explore more at AllAboutBirds.org]. Their name is onomatopoeia (vaguely) for their call, which males sometimes repeat for hours in breeding season. As biologist Davide Dominoni told the BBC in 2015, urban lights may convince robins that daytime never ends — and their extra singing isn't necessarily harmless. In fact, ecosystems around the planet host a surprising variety of night birds — from nightingales and mockingbirds to corncrakes, potoos and whip-poor-wills — whose voices can be as haunting as any hoot from an owl. Lovecraft, Robert Frost, William Faulkner, Frank Capra and Hank Williams, to name a few. Northern mockingbird (North America) It's 1 a.m. Could there really be a dozen bird species singing … These fairly common but declining birds make no nest. Only male nightingales sing — they can master more than 200 different songs — and those performing on spring and summer nights are bachelors hoping to woo a mate. For seven species, however, the night life has been so lucrative they're now mostly nocturnal, forming a diverse, cosmopolitan group of birds known as night herons. It hides in trees by day, using ridiculously good camouflage to mimic broken branches. In the dim half-light, these long-winged birds fly in graceful loops, flashing white patches out past the bend of each wing as they chase insects. The common potoo makes "one of the most hauntingly beautiful sounds of the American tropics," according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and it deserves a wild-card spot in this list: European robins tend to hold a territory, and thus keep singing, year-round. Pulls back the net I am surrounded sometimes Here's a clip of one singing at night in Germany: Like the Old World nightingale, the American eastern whip-poor-will has long inspired humans with its nocturnal opera. These small, insect-eating songbirds range from Western Europe and Africa across Asia and Oceania, and some live as far east as Hawaii and Kiribati. This is the call of a great potoo, one of seven potoo species *, all nocturnal insect-eaters from the neotropics. 'Cause I wear boots all summer long, My eye make up is dark and it's careless One widespread species, the great reed warbler, breeds throughout mainland Europe and Asia during spring and summer, then migrates to sub-Saharan Africa for winter. Unlike many night singers, northern mockingbirds aren't shy, often choosing easily visible perches like a high branch, post or wire. And for anyone who's heard a whip-poor-will's soulful song flowing through a forest, it's little wonder why this bird is a mascot of American summer nights. Listen for yourself in this video from Brazil: Not to dwell too long on potoos, but it's worth seven seconds to hear another, very different-sounding member of this bizarre bird family.