California Gulls do not have true songs, but they are quite vocal; they cry and carry on even at night on their breeding colonies. Their calls consist of a scratchy, hoarse series of aow and uh-uh-uh notes. They have several types of calls with corresponding unique behaviors including the "long call," "choking call," "warning call," and "alarm call." The "long call" given during territorial defense starts with their heads lowered and as they raise their heads straight up they bellow out an aow. During the "choking call" they put their breast on the ground and jerk their head up and down as if they were choking while giving a huoh-houh-houh. They give the "choking call" most frequently before and during nest building. The "warning call" is a long ringing yeow, given in flight, especially when they flush from a breeding colony. The "alarm call" is a series of sharp ha ha ha ha notes that they give in flight, often when they detect a predator. Compared to Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, their calls are intermediate in pitch—Ring-billed Gulls are higher pitched and Herring Gulls are lower pitched.