The repeated, sad-sounding trill of Fan-tailed
This nostalgic Australian icon can be found in open forests across the country, particularly in gumtrees, and are often heard in suburbs around the Adelaide Hills. Its loud cackle of 'koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-kaa-kaa-kaa' is often sung in a chorus with other kookaburras.
It's a lyrebird in an Australian zoo. What's so special about this one? Well the bird is creating noise (quite literally) for perfectly mimicking a crying baby.
The green catbird (Ailuroedus crassirostris) is a species of bowerbird found in subtropical forests along the east coast of Australia, from southeastern Queensland to southern New South Wales. It is named after its distinctive call which sounds like a cat meowing, although it has also been mistaken for a crying child.
If you hear a startling scream in the swamp at night, chances are it's a limpkin. At least, we hope it's a limpkin. These uncommon wetland birds are found in Florida and parts of Central and South America.
The most common call is a raspy mew that sounds like a cat. Catbirds also make a loud, chattering chek-chek-chek and a quiet quirt.
In the 1930s, a population of lyrebirds was introduced to Tasmania from Healesville in Victoria. For generations, the translocated lyrebirds continued to mimic the whip-crack song of eastern whipbirds, which are not present on the island state.
The bush stone-curlew is probably heard more than it is seen. Its call sounds like a wail or a scream in the night. When scared, it screeches – a sound similar to the screech of a possum.
The Trumpeter Hornbill is a gregarious bird, usually living in groups of 2 to 5 individuals, although sometimes as many as 50. They have a very distinctive and very loud cry often sounding like a crying baby.
Australian Owlet-nightjars make a variety of sounds, the most commonly heard calls include a series of soft churring notes. The calls of this species are one of the most commonly heard sounds of the Australian bush at night.
The lyrebird is considered one of Australia's best-known birds — you might recognise them from our 10 cent coin — but do we really know them? Famed for their spectacular courtship display, you may have seen footage of lyrebirds mimicking human noises such as chainsaws and camera clicks.
Lewin's Honeyeaters are perhaps best known for their main territorial song, a loud machine-gun like rattle which carries quite along way, so they are more often heard than seen.
The Australian magpie, voted bird of the year by Guardian Australia readers in 2017, is well known for mimicking the sounds it hears most frequently, such as dogs and car alarms.
The eastern whipbird (Psophodes olivaceus) is an insectivorous passerine bird native to the east coast of Australia. Its whip-crack song is a familiar sound in forests of eastern Australia.
When a Mourning Dove takes off or lands, it flaps its wings quickly. The air rushing through these special feathers makes them vibrate and create sound (kind of like a kazoo).
The Northern Mockingbird is typically the culprit in these all-night song marathons. Mockingbirds that sing all night long tend to be young, still-unattached males or older males who have lost their mate, and so the best way to shut him up is to entice a female mockingbird to your yard, too.
Danger. The night chirps of birds can be a warning signal as they have a swift danger sensing ability. Most of the time, when the birds shift their places, they feel fearful of the surroundings, which also results in high tone noise levels at night to stay alert or to seek help from fellow birds.
Wild birds use vocalisation to warn others in the group about impending danger, such as a predator in the area. If a pet bird is afraid, it will do the same thing. Birds who find themselves away from the flock call to the group and find their way back when the group answers.
Fast Facts. The Barking Owl is named for its harsh 'barking' call but can also make a much louder, wailing cry, which has given rise to another name, the 'screaming-woman bird'.
Lyrebirds are gorgeous creatures with an unusual trait–they vocalize like human babies! These aren't the only birds that make unusual sounds, but their cry may be the most troubling to hear if you don't know what it is! Let's take a closer look at the lyrebird and its unique call.
It might look demure, but the bush stone-curlew has a call that would make just about anyone's blood run cold. Nicknamed the 'screaming woman bird', their high-pitched, drawn-out shrieks can be heard across the night as they try to contact each other.
Cockatiels. Cockatiels are among the most communitive and emotional birds. Famed for the crest on the top of their head, they use it to communicate exactly how they are feeling to their flock (in this case, you!)
Bell Miners are heard more often than seen, their loud 'ping' contact calls incessantly ring out across the forest from morning to afternoon and are a characteristic sound of the Australian bush.