Cheeseburger Bird

Thursday, February 23, 2006

or downloads for your cat’s iPod?

Late one star-lit night, a friend told us a tale. We were gathered around a roaring fire, in the company of consumed beers, under a clear sky, and clutching our sides from laughing too much.

“Tell us again!” we begged, “what kind of bird?”
“It’s a cheeseburger bird!” he insisted.

?corraborating proof that he’s not bonkers. I guess we owe Steve an apology. Cheeseburger birds are real!

“Some of the Eastern Sierra songbirds and the music they play are The Hermit Thrush, though often more heard than seen, has clear flute-like notes are among the most beautiful of all songbirds. The Mountain Chickadee, also are more heard than seen, has a distinctive “chick-a-dee” call. They are also referred to as the “cheeseburger bird” due to their spring/summer call that sounds similar to “cheese-bur-ger”.”

birds often heard around frat parties, from

this is further proof that bird watchers are a curious lot (or just hungry and thirsty!).


posted February 24th, 2006 at 9:23 am

I grew up in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area and very much remember the beloved ?cheeseburger bird’. I now live in the pacific northwest and have only heard them here a few times, usually way up Lake Chelan or Tumwater Canyon.
I’m looking forward to listening for these other bird calls. Thanks for the link.

- janedoh
posted May 10th, 2006 at 7:56 am

I love the cheeseburger bird song. Only one problem, every time I hear its song I gain 2 pounds!

- drew morotti
posted June 16th, 2006 at 9:36 am

Thank you for answering the nagging question of my ages! I have wondered about this bird since I was a boy (1960?s) and would wake to these calls in Paradise in the western Sierra foothills.

Recectly determined to find the answer, I could not find anyone who knew this bird’s true name.

This morning again, I awoke to the Cheeseburger bird outside my window and thought-”Google!” Is there a bird that says that?

I can rest in peace.

- Jim Manion
posted July 13th, 2006 at 4:00 pm

Oh My gosh! Thank you so much!!! I have been wondering what bird has been teasing me with the cheeseburger song since I was a liitle girl. I live in South Lake Tahoe and we hear the Mountain Chickadee all the time.
My eternal thanks!

- Angie Corry
posted September 9th, 2006 at 6:21 pm

I grew up in Metaline, WA (100 miles north of Spokane, WA) and heard the cheeseburger bird quite often?.so often that now living in Deer Park, WA I rather miss hearing them. The sound of the bird has been replaced by coyotes as the most regularly heard animal sound?although I now hear pheasants & quail more often living here than in Metaline. It did help to live next to a large pond I think. I tell people about the bird and they more often laugh at me because they have never heard it. Im happy to now know which bird it really is. thanks

- Craig Baker
posted January 22nd, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Thanks for proving me right. I knew the cheeseburger bird exsisted!!

- Sherril
posted February 2nd, 2007 at 6:13 am

Thanks for the info. I always wondered what bird made the “cheeseburger” sound. Now waiting to hear, “fries with that”?.lol

- Leona Ringer
posted March 23rd, 2007 at 4:59 am

i lived in truckee for awile when i was a kid my dad and i would go hiking and i would follow saying cheeee burger. imatating the bird song i would hear. now i live in texas i wake up one morning and i hear cheeeeese burger again im happy they live here in texas too.

- dennis elrod
posted July 22nd, 2007 at 8:47 am

I would add a word from that immortal Saturday Night Live skit, “Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, chips!” I always here the “chips” at the end of the call.

- John Colatch
posted September 25th, 2007 at 7:13 am

Having worked at a kids camp in the Truckee/Soda Springs area, we heard a lot from the Mountain Chickadee?

The kids in our groups LOVED copying them. I think in any given morning, you could hear at least 50 random kids saying CHEEEEESE-buuurgerrr.

so fun.

- Lauren
posted October 15th, 2007 at 5:40 pm

yippee thanks for the help showing my hubby cheeseburger birds are real. i grew up in northlake tahoe and heard them all the time..

- kellie
posted February 8th, 2008 at 10:43 am

We have a cheeseburger bird here in Atlantic Canada. I’ve never seen one but have heard them many times. Along with my own observations, and what the other springtime forecasters have to say (various groundhogs) the cheeseburger bird is a sure sign of spring.

- Jim
posted April 4th, 2008 at 10:03 am

We have the ”cheeseburger,cheeseburger” bird here in Baltimore Maryland too.I’m surprised to hear that such a big word comes from such a little bird!!!

- Sharon Bowyer
posted April 8th, 2008 at 10:49 am

Thank you so much, what a relief. We actually called the Audubon Society to find out what bird this was, and they told us it was the Robin’s mating call!! We knew that couldn’t be right, so now we have the real answer. We live in Surrey, B.C. and hear them every morning, they are all over B.C.and we always know it’s spring when they sing.

- judy insall
posted May 4th, 2008 at 7:11 am

I am so grateful for Google! My daughter and I awoke to the sound of this bird calling for its lunchtime meal and after listening to it over and over(and over),I realized we HAD to know its proper name. Although Mountain Chickadee is not as fun as Cheeseburger Bird, we can now rest easy. (That is, whenever this bird stops the insanity!)

- Colleen Karcher/Lake Tahoe
posted May 18th, 2008 at 7:42 pm


- chris marlow
posted July 8th, 2008 at 11:18 am

I have heard the “cheeseburger” song but I have always lived near Binghamton, N.Y. Could never figure out what bird it was because it was always int the tree tops. I wonder if it is the same species you have on the west coast?

- Norris Mignery
posted July 11th, 2008 at 8:20 am

Thanks so much for this information! Even though I see the Black-capped Chickadee later in the day at the birdfeeder (here in mid-Michigan), it is never saying “cheeseburger” then, so I’ve been perplexed about which bird could be waking me up hungry for a cheeseburger. I’m so relieved to be able to tell my husband, Mr. Late Sleeper, that I’m not the only one waking up to “cheeseburger! cheeseburger!”

- Celeste Resh/ Michigan
posted May 7th, 2009 at 3:32 pm

The Cheeseburger birdy is real! I hear it all the time in Vancouver, British Columbia. Thanks to this website I know I am not going crazy!

- Kerry Bhangu
posted September 12th, 2009 at 4:32 pm

June 2009 My husband and I were camping at Lundy Lake, Ca, and at 6:00 am there was a distinct “cheesburger” call coming RELENTLESSLY from the trees. We never saw the bird, but his song got us laughing harder and harder every time he sang. We still whistle “cheesburger” to one another as our own memory of that camping trip.
Thank you for confirming that we aren’t crazy.

Bishop, CA

- Lavon
posted April 19th, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Thank you so much for comfirming which bird is the “cheeseburger” singer. I hear it all the time and have never figured out what bird it is. I live in Northern Alberta and we have a variety of birds and who knew the most common one is the cheeseburger culprit.

- Stacey
posted December 6th, 2010 at 12:57 am

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- power balance
posted July 1st, 2012 at 10:06 am

anyone know a bird that goes something like this : doo? do, do, do, do dododo? kinda hard to wxplain over a computer its killing me haha

- Michelle
posted December 4th, 2012 at 5:57 am

I too have heard the cheese burger bird. We live in Coventry, RI. At first I thought someones parrot escaped and was looking for food!!

- Virginia
posted April 26th, 2013 at 6:06 am

I used to live in north Lake Tahoe and I moved back to PA and have heard many cheese-burger calls this spring It reminded me so much of being in Tahoe. I did some
Research and the chick-a-dee’s here make that call in late spring early summer. How cool

- Erika

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