ID sound from trees - SW Michigan

I’d appreciate assistance identifying the source of a sound we heard from high in the trees last weekend in SW Mich - NE of Muskegon.

The call was a single note, repeated maybe 10-15 times. The most significant aspect was that the frequency with which it repeated slowed - reminding me of a motor slowing down and stopping. I do not know how best to represent the sound. The closest I could vocalize was by clucking my tongue with my mouth open. tooktooktook took took. took. took. took

There was almost a guttural aspect to it, reminiscent of a swallowing noise.

It was high in the trees - white oaks. Near a lake. Temps in 80s. I think I heard it most in the midday. It would be repeated a few times (5?) but not over and over. Then I might hear it from a different tree- but not like a call/response. That made me suspect a bird (tho I never saw one obvious). My search of bird/frog sounds has been unsuccessful.

So what did I hear? A bird? Frog? Insect? Arboreal chupacabra?

Click beetle?

If that’s not it I’m going with arboreal chupacabra. :smiley:

Nope - that’s not it. I’d better start locking up the goats!

Could it have been the sound of a distressed or pissed off chipmunk or squirrel?

Thx. I have tons of both around my house and am pretty familiar with their sounds. This was a very unvarying sound - not like any squirrel/chipmunk I’ve heard.


Tons of turkey up in the area. Don’t sound like that. And I’m a lousy birder, but not so lousy that I couldn’t see a freaking turkey in a tree right in front of me! ;).

Think if you wound up a toy or something, and it clicked as it spun/unwound and stopped. Almost sounded mechanical. Each time was essentially the same: general tone/pattern did not vary, length may have.

I’d say some species of tree frog.

Hen turkeys make a lot of sounds, and can be actually hard to see in sufficiently branchy trees.

But maybe some type of grouse? Here’s sharp-tailed grouse depending on how high the tree is. Here’s spruce grouse, you’re maybe a little out of the range but the last sound sounds like it could match your description.

BirdNET app is pretty cool run by Cornell U. Record some sound, select the snippet, and it will ID.

Thx. I’ll listen to the grouse. There are grouse up there, but I’ve never seen them in this area, high in trees right in front of the house. I was sitting on the front deck reading and playing banjo, w/ binos around my neck and Peterson’s next to me. Saw a ton of orioles, scarlet tanager, rose breast grosbeak, red bellies, and hummers. Woulda been tough to miss something the size of a grouse! :wink:

I thought about recording, but it was somewhat sporadic. I suppose I should’ve just let my phone record continuously, but didn’t think of it.

Listening to recordings of insects - no luck. Weird, as it was very noticeable and distinctive.

I’ve definitely heard that exact sound myself. It sounds so familiar. My guess is some kind of bird’s mating call.

Not sure what the sound is, but this is the first time I’ve ever heard an area NE of Muskegon described as SW Michigan. :slight_smile:

Probably one of those darn Yoopers.

That’s the tree’s low battery notification.

I guess I shoulda said, “It’s like a mitten…” :wink:

Possibly because we drive thru SW Mich to get there from Chicago.

What would you call it? It is definitely west, and well south of the N-S midline…

I mean, to state the obvious, is cicada a possibility? That certainly sounds like it how they sound.

Apologies for shortcomings in my description, but it sounds nothing like any cicada I’ve heard living in the Midwest for 60 yrs.

That’s typically just “West Michigan,” although now that I look at a map and look at where Muskegon County falls, I can’t fault you for calling it SW Michigan. I live just south of Muskegon, and I definitely don’t consider this to be SW Michigan (that would be Kalamazoo on down, imo).

Whereabouts? Grand Haven?

We’re N of Twin Lake, betw Whitehall and Holton.

I guess I add the S b/c it seems the W coast goes on and on up past Traverse Bay and Petoskey.

Went up to Big Rapids. The gypsy moth caterpillars were horrendous!