The World’s Loudest Bird and Its Deafening Mating Call
Wed, April 21, 2021

The World’s Loudest Bird and Its Deafening Mating Call

 

In 2017, researcher Mario Cohn-Haft was on a trip to northeast Brazil’s Serra do Apiaú peak. The trip had been peaceful for some time until he heard a bird singing. But this bird was different from the rest – its singing sounded like “several blacksmiths trying to compete.”

The following year, Cohn-Haft and his team decided to study the animal more closely. They discovered that it was a white bellbird or Procnias albus, which uses a deafening sound for their potential mates. All That’s Interesting, a site for curious people who want to know more about what they see on the news or read in history books, reported that the bird produces a song as loud as 125.4 decibels, far beyond the safety level for humans (85 decibels). This makes them the world’s loudest bird.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

Researchers from a recent study published in the journal Current Biology reported that the noise produced by the white bellbird is louder than a rock concert and chainsaw, and as loud as a police siren. “While watching white bellbirds, we were lucky enough to see females join males on their display perches. In these cases, we saw that the males sing only their loudest songs. Not only that, they swivel dramatically during these songs, so as to blast the song’s final note directly at the females,” biologist Jeff Podos from the University of Massachusetts said. 

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

However, the researchers still find it mysterious how female white bellbirds can stand the screaming. Podos suggests that maybe they are assessing the males closely, despite the risk of damaging their hearing systems. Also, the researchers recorded two varying vocalizations from the birds using sound level meters and laser range-finders. They monitored their songs and measured where and how far away those songs came from.

 

Photo Credit: All That's Interesting

 

The first one was a longer, more complex tune while the other one was shorter. Gonçalo Cardoso, a researcher at the University of Porto, stated that the shorter call was the louder one at about 125 decibels. 

 

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