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Blue Jay “mmm hm” sound?

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My husband and I frequently hear a bird sound we are trying to identify. He thinks it’s a blue jay, and I suspect that’s correct. But the other day I tried to find a recording of a similar sound from a blue jay, and I couldn’t find one. (Granted, I didn’t listen to every blue jay sound in the Macaulay Library...)

The sound is a low, two-part whistle. The second note is just slightly higher than the first, and slightly shorter. Each note is pretty “level” — neither rising nor falling. To us, it sounds like a skeptical “mmm hm” — the sort of sound my mom might have made when, as a kid, I claimed I was going to start cleaning my room “in a few minutes.” Mmm hm, sure you are.

We are in suburban Massachusetts. I’ve heard it along with other, more familiar blue jay sounds, which certainly lends support to our theory. I wouldn’t put money on it, but I think that I’ve been hearing the sound year-round, which also lends support to it being a blue jay. We hear it about as often as we would hear blue jays.

Anyone know for sure this is a blue jay? Better yet, can anyone point me to a recording?

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Posted (edited)

I'm guessing either Crash Test Dummies or Modern English.

Sorry.  I'll just go sit over in the corner.  Yeah, I understand, no milk and cookies; I know the drill.

Edited by Charlie Spencer

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Blue Jays and corvids in general have very variable vocalizations - they have large vocabularies - so sometimes they’ll make unexpected noises.

That being said - As @CoastieBirder mentions, your description sounds spot on for a Black-capped Chickadee song.

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