Cheep! Cheep!

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

So, yesterday I’m sitting on the couch around lunch, having a snack and watching a little boob tube when I hear a sudden and unexpected chirping. “cheep! cheep!” — really quickly in succession, followed by a few second pause, then the chirping again.  While I do have parrots in the building behind me, it sounded more like some kind of computer alert than a parakeet, and it was coming in the general direction of my computer, so I ran over to find out what it was.  There were no alerts on either my desktop or my laptop, but I started hearing it again.

“cheep! cheep!”

I checked my tower, it wasn’t coming from there. I checked my monitor… not there either. I heard it again, this time fainter… then loud again. I turned off my computer speakers and it seemed to stop, for whatever reason.  Just as I walked away from my desk, I heard it again… behind me!

My TV was starting to chirp.  After systematically turning on and off each thing (DVR, DVD, TV, etc.) it seemed that again, turning off the speakers seemed to fix it.  And again, as I stood there pondering what it could have been, I heard it again!  This time from my laptop speakers.

“cheep! cheep!”

Where in the hell is this coming from? I wondered.  Finally, I turned on all the speakers again, after hearing the chirping again like it was traveling around my house, within a few moments, the sound had faded away.  The only explanation I could come up with is that I live right by the airport and there were some planes going overhead right around then.  I considered it was possible that I picked up some kind of transmission in my wiring, causing output through my speakers. It seems weird, but not totally unheard of…

I didn’t hear it again for the rest of the night, but this morning, while in the bedroom making my bed, I heard it in the living room. I had all my windows and front door open, so it almost sounded like it was coming from outside.  I ran in the other room to try to figure it out. I heard it by my TV, then in the kitchen, then finally… outside in the front yard. 

Sometimes, due to this vent over the stove in my kitchen, sounds, like conversation in the driveway next door or cheers from the neighborhood during a football game, get amplified and sent down this pipe.  When I first moved in, I couldn’t figure out where a man’s voice was coming from, then discovered the vent in the kitchen.  You can see why the Weekend Warrior is extra annoying.

Flinging open my screen door, I spotted a mockingbird up on a branch outside my window… a pair of them, doing some kind of mating thing.  And one of them was making a sound very similar, “cheep! cheep!” I think I found my culprit.  It doesn’t quite explain why it seemed to be actually in my house, but the way this apartment is laid out, sound does weird things. In my kitchen, you can’t hear a damn thing going on in the living room, but if you’re in the living room, you can hear everything in the kitchen as if it were happening in your lap, so maybe it was just one of those freak occurrences.

I hope those mockingbirds get it on soon, though.  I seriously thought I was losing my mind.

  • 1/17/08 11:55 Faith:

    Ugh. HATE mockingbirds*. Don’t promote their recreation efforts. Damned bastids…

    Wonder why it sounded like it was coming from different speakers, though. That is odd, and it would make me feel like I was going crazy too!

    *This hate is not limited to just mockingbirds, but most birds in general. Mockingbirds just drove me the most crazy when I was living in NoCal in 1998, so they have the distinction of being at the very tippy-top of my “Birds I Hate” list, is all.


  • 1/17/08 14:52 Raven:

    Not as bad as the pigeons gettin’ freaking on my roof!


  • 1/18/08 10:00 geeky:

    *cheep, cheep* Haha

    It’s actually not all that weird that you would pick up random sounds from your speakers. My husband can pick up AM radio bands with his guitar amps, and then there was the time a voice came out of my clock radio even though it was off. Scared the crap out of me. Electronics do weird things sometimes!


  • 1/18/08 11:26 Deltus:

    There’s this thing you can buy at ThinkGeek that emits a randomly-spaced, randomly-pitched beep.  Extremely small.  Designed to drive a person bonkers.  That’s what this reminded me of.


  • 1/20/08 1:15 Lily:

    I don’t know if this could be it, but when I lived in an apartment complex in Seattle, I heard cheep cheep and fluttering around—and finally located the noise to leetle birdies who had flown into the building through the louvered vents on the dryer exhaust.  B/c they were in there, the sound was carrying through the ventilation ducts.  It took forever to figure this out, b/c the dryer vent didn’t dump out in an obvious location (obvious to where the dryer was, inside the apartment)—but the louvered flap on the outside of the building had one or two flaps missing, and I guess in springtime, the leetle birdies found they could get inside.  The sound was really annoying even though the cause was probably cute.  The maintenance guys eventually fixed the dryer vent flap stuff and the leetle birdies were evicted.  Sound carried massively from where they were to where I was – and I actually heard it in the bathroom best of all—which seemed to be a direct connection from where the bathroom vents were, to where the dryer vent was, or whatever.  Hard to explain, sorry.  But it makes me wonder…


  • 1/22/08 19:45 Nina:

    That so reminds me of the mockingbird in Failure To Launch.


  • 7/19/08 10:11 Atlanta apartments:

    thats scary, if my tv started to chirp, i would offer it some bird feed.


  • Ha Ha,

    Things like this can be so annoying. I have experienced things like this that you cannot just figure out. Such as like where a light is coming from and the sort. Its a relief when you do find something like this.


  • 10/20/08 12:36 andrew:

    great story,

    that made me laugh out loud. thanks for sharing that with us


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