3 min read

'World's Loudest Bird' Doesn't Sound Like A Bird At All

You have to hear it to believe it!

The chirping of birds is often thought of as a comforting sound, soothing and almost songlike — but for the white bellbird, there’s nothing soothing about the deafening sounds coming out of their tiny bodies. 

The white bellbird, found in the Guianas, Brazil and Venezuela, is known as the world’s loudest bird, and the sounds they make can be quite a shock. Used as mating calls, their cries sound more like a fire alarm than the chirp of a bird, and can reach up to 125 decibels, the same level as a very loud concert.

Male white bellbirds typically use these extremely loud calls when females are perched right next to them. At that range, their calls are potentially deafening, so they drive the females away eventually. The females tolerate the loud calls in order to assess potential mates, but can’t stick around too long for fear of hearing damage — definitely not the ideal way to get a date. 

Scientists have spent quite a while studying these birds and how they’re able to make such loud calls, as at first, they were a bit baffled by the whole ordeal. 

“In white bellbirds we can see that just before singing birds gulp in air, thus inflating their throats, and open their beaks widely,” a study in Current Biology says

The birds’ calls are unlike any other sound out there. Imagine walking along and hearing a tiny bird who sounded like that — it’s definitely not a sound you expect! 

Congratulations on the “world’s loudest bird” title, white bellbirds. You’ve definitely earned it.