Electronic birds

I believe I have figured out what the chih-bird is.

It’s going to sound like tinfoil-hat stuff to a lot of you; all I can say is that I am not particularly paranoid, am stable emotionally, and not given to delusions as near as I can tell.

Anyway, this is what I think:

It’s an electronic bird analogue. It starts out making a repetitive “chih” sound, probably to get real birds to respond with their own calls. Then it samples those calls, analyzes, and mimics them. (I don’t think it’s simply playing the birdcalls back.)

Since there are mostly crows and the occasional seagull around here making calls that carry at all, that’s what it simulates. The problem is, while crows will often caw three times in a row, they don’t always do that; and while they often have a roughly equal time between calls, they often don’t, or they do that cool beak thing in between.

The calls that I believe are artificial are always exactly the same; the same number of calls in a row at exactly the same interval. Furthermore, the mechanics of a genuine birdcall involve air, organic tissue, resonance etc., and while the calls are convincing enough if you don’t really notice birds anyway and aren’t paying attention, they really sound more like a toy bird.

I have heard the chih birds almost around the clock, all around town. And while two weeks ago they were almost constant, now I hear them infrequently, and am hearing more of the questionable other birdcalls instead.

Certainly the technology to do all these things exists. Oh, and there’s one more thing contributing to my theory: occasionally something will go wrong with one of these birds, like once recently when there were a bunch of police aircraft around where I work because of someone waving a gun outside a schoolyard. The birds will fly around in a tight circle going “chihchihchihchihchihchichichichichi!!!” in a very very fast and unnatural way, and then the sound will degrade into a “something is wrong with my Speak & Spell” kind of thing.

It would be so awesome if they would then explode… Alas, no. They vanish or whatever. Back to the source, maybe.

Well, there you have it. I won’t venture a guess on what the purpose of such a thing would be. I don’t even know why I felt it was necessary to tell anyone about it. But there it is.

The squirrels around here make that noise. It’s loud and constant, too. Little bastards…why you gotta be so cute? It gets in the way of working up a proper hate.

You’ve outed Colibri’s Advanced Ornithology Simulator (CAOS). Now you’re in for it. You think one chih-bird was bad…

Yup, right here. Hate 'em. And that’s way more likely than electronic birds all over town that shut up at the sight of cats. :slight_smile:

Aah, you did your homework. You’re right, the cat part is the weak point in the whole thing. Maybe it was a coincidence that the bird shut up when the cat went out. It only happened once.

It’s not squirrels though; I’ll hear the chih! a few times, then a shadow will zip by the window with a general sound of something flying. In point of fact, no actual birds come anywhere near the window and roof, because of the cats.

I did a PCB layout for such a device.
It was from a UC Davis group studying non-lethal bird control.

I am resurrecting my own zombie thread for a couple of reasons. First of all, I gave up on the thread last year just about an hour before beowulff’s post, immediately above this one, and thus missed out on sweet vindication. I want to express my delight at reading it a year later, though. It’s always nice to know that you’re not crazy; at least, not this time.

Also, I wanted to say, “That’s what they told you.” lol

And, this is where I work. And where a lot of the robobird activity is.

It’s still very much more likely that you’re being pestered by actual flesh and feather birds.

Just because something is kinda possible, doesn’t mean it’s happening to you every day.

Anyone else having trouble loading the second link?

Also, Mangetout, I like and respect you a lot; so I will say that yes, it probably is statistically more likely that something unusual is not happening. It is always statistically more likely that something unusual is not happening.

Nevertheless, statistically unlikely stuff still happens pretty often.

Their technology was pretty old. If they were going to hide the board I designed in an artificial bird, it would need to be a Condor!

Google " lyrebird youtube amazing" and then come back and tell us how sure you are of anything re being able to distinguish the sounds real birds can make.