Dead Programmer's Cafe

Alarming Songs

A few weeks ago I walked around Brooklyn and heard a loud bird singing in a tree. Something seemed peculiar about the song pattern, and it took me a couple of minutes of listening to it to understand what. The bird went “cheeerp – cheeuuuu, cheeeerp – cheeuuuu, chirp – chirp -chirp – chirp” – emulating the complicated sounds of those “Cheap-ass go off every ten minutes car alarmsTM” that emit tones of 4 or 5 different sirens. I really wish I had a voice recorder of some kind there with me.

Apparently it’s nothing new – apparently starlings and mocking birds are known to imitate just about anything, car alarms included. Some Brooklyn “artist” even created a car alarm that emits bird songs instead of sirens, thus completing the circle of mimicry.