I’ll bet that part of the problem is light pollution confusing the birds. There are countries on the Korean Peninsula where light pollution is not a problem and people sleep soundly at night. But, as we’re constantly reminded, light pollution is a sign of civilisation and success. Don’t take it out on the poor birds (and strangle them) – just think of Joshua Stanton’s blog and thank progress. 😉
Eujin, I can’t figure out which bird it is! I have heard cuckoo’s in the past, calling out in the night, but this one is different. I’m only kidding a little since I can close my window but I went out walking around, trying to find out where the guy was but it kept moving. Maybe he had a truck and a loudspeaker.
Where can I find the audio for this?
Per #3, You can’t. I transcribed by ear. It’s accurate.
I had the same problem. Early morning, late at night, sometimes during the day. It’s definitely a cuckoo. I did extensive research. At first I thought it was an alarm, and some describe the sound as a “submarine sonar.”
Anyways, interestingly, cuckoos are complete assholes. They exhibit “mafia” behavior on other nests, and try to dish their children off. They are “brood parasites.” The white trash of the bird kingdom.
There’s really only 5 kinds of Cuckoo birds in Korea. If any of them sound like “submarine sonar”, it’s the Hodgson’s Hawk-cuckoo (Cuculus fugax).
I think it’s also the only Cuckoo of the 5 that sings at night. Listen for yourself.
OK, maybe the Himalayan Cuckoo (Cuculus saturatus) sounds like sonar too.
This birdsong above (b minor) is different from the recording, which is interesting.
I have found that there are variations in birds here in Korea that are not really documented, for example the Eurasian Jay. I can find several different photos of this bird, each of which are different from the ones I’ve found out and about the Seoul area. That bird is also pretty smart and almost sociable too.
Here in CA, we have mocking birds which start singing around midnight. They supposedly imitate the songs of other birds but I swear there is one which imitates a beeping alarm clock sound.
I remember a cuckoo (?) in Korea that uncannily sounded like it was saying ‘Fuck You’, so naturally it’s named the fuckyousae.
“Dead Bird Singing in the Black of Night”
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I just heard this bird, during the day, at Gilsang-sa by Gwanaksan. The monk there called it “the rain bird” because it always called the rain. It is definitely not a Cuckoo.