To test the assumption that high levels of aircraft noise impede bird reproduction, noise analyzers were placed for 1 week in the nesting territory of each of 39 California gnatcatcher pairs on Naval Air Station Miramar. The 1‐week average sound levels (7DL) recorded in those nesting territories were then related to the number of nest attempts; number of eggs laid; number of chicks hatched; number of chicks fledged; and number of eggs, chicks, and fledglings per nest attempt. Nest attempts and eggs laid have weak negative correlations (p=0.14 and 0.28) with 7DL. That is, the birds may tend to build fewer nests and lay fewer eggs in noisier areas, which is consistent with the common observation that bird nesting is more easily disturbed before eggs are laid than after. None of the other indicators is correlated with sound levels. Once a nest is established, with eggs in it, military aircraft noise has no detectable influence on reproductive performance. Gnatcatchers reproduced in places where 1 HL exceeds 80 dB for several hours every day. If fixed‐wing aircraft noise impedes California gnatcatcher reproduction, it is overwhelmed by such factors as disturbance, predation, weather, edge effects, and differences in quality of habitat.