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Sunday, July 14, 2024

This Bird’s Mating Song Sounds Like a Combination of Cow Moos and Chainsaw Noise

The capuchinbird, an exotic bird found in the jungles of South America, is famous for having one of the most bizarre-sounding mating songs in the entire animal kingdom.

Capuchinbirds have a rather peculiar look. They have light brown plumage that becomes bright orange on the belly, and a bald vulture-like head covered in blue skin. The contrast between its rich plumage and its bare head is striking and makes for an unusual appearance, but you’ll forget all about its weird look when you hear its mating song. Calling the sounds coming out of this bird’s beak during mating season a ‘song’ seems like a bit of a stretch, because it sounds nothing like the melodious chirping of a nightingale or a mockingbird.

Photo: Greg Hume/Wikimedia Commons

Describing the mating songs of the male capuchinbird is very tough, as it has a very unique sound, but some have compared it to the coarse mooing of a cow followed by the rattling of a chainsaw. That really doesn’t do it justice, but I also can’t think of anything better to compare it to. The song’s similarity to bovine mooing has earned the capuchinbird the nickname ‘calfbird’.


During mating season, male capuchinbirds gather in large groups and try to attract potential mates with their ‘majestic’ singing. They produce their unique melodies by inhaling air and storing it in air sacks located on either side of the neck. When the sacks are full, they lean back and produce their bizarre song.


The mating song of the capuchinbird is regarded as one of the most incredible and odd vocalizations in the avian world.

For more unusual bird sounds, check out the world’s loudest bird. Just make sure to turn the volume down when watching the videos…

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