World's loudest bird has a truly deafening call
October 22, 2019 | 7 comments
The white bellbird can make one heck of a din. Image Credit: Anselmo d'Affonseca
This incredible species of bird from the Amazon can belt out a call so loud that it can damage your eardrums.
Known as the white bellbird, this tree-dwelling rainforest species has been officially recognized by scientists as the world's loudest bird with a call that peaks at an average of 125 decibels.
That puts it on par with a jackhammer, a clap of thunder or a balloon popping.
Its ear-splitting call is used by the males to attract females in conjunction with their distinctive snow-white plumage and the peculiar long, black, worm-like ornament that hangs from their upper beak.
Despite the intense volume of the call, the elaborate courting ritual happens in close proximity to the female bird. The male begins by calling out with his back to her, before suddenly turning around.
"It's really dramatic," said lead study author Jeffrey Podos from the University of Massachusetts.
"You see this bird spinning around, and he's got his beak wide open. And he blasts the second note right in the place female would have been had she not been smart enough to back off."
Exactly why the birds engage in such a potentially dangerous display remains unclear.
You can listen to the white bellbird's call in the video below (headphones are not recommended!)
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