White bellbird’s call reaches same volume as pneumatic drill during courtship ritual
A bird in the Amazon has shattered the record for the loudest call to be recorded, reaching the same volume as a pneumatic drill.
The white bellbird, which lives in the mountains of the north-eastern Amazon, was recorded at 125 decibels (dB), three times louder than the next bird in the pecking order, the screaming piha.
Mario Cohn-Haft, an ornithologist at the National Institute of Amazonian Research and the author of a paper published in the journal Current Biology, captured a male white bellbird specimen in the Brazilian state of Roraima in 2017.
It was about 30cm (12in) long from beak to tail, said Cohn-Haft. He dissected it in the field, removing the skin and some organs to prepare it to be added to his collection. Something caught his eye under the bird’s pure white feathers: a muscular, sculpted chest. “It had a six pack,” he said, with tissue five times thicker than that of most birds its size.