San Diego Zoo Captures the Call of ‘Loudest Bird in Nature’ and It’s Fascinating

Shutterstock/Leonardo Mercon

Birds make some very unique sounds, and the screaming Piha is no exception. The San Diego Zoo shared a video on Wednesday, June 19th of what it sounds like, and you've got to hear it to believe. It's a really cool sound!

The video is only 8 seconds long and shows the pretty bird 'screaming', and it really does look like it's screaming! The zoo shares that it's one of the loudest calls in nature, and that its whistle can hit up to 116 decimals. They go on to say in the caption that that's about as loud as a rock concert. Make sure your sound is on!

This was really cool to hear and I'm going to Google more videos! San Diego Zoo commenters were as amazed as I was with the bird's call. @Casey Harris joked, "10/10 would pull to the side of the road if I heard this siren." and @toxypip added, ""Bird screaming in abject horror into the void" is now my wallpaper." @Kat got more than 21 thousand likes for her comment, "I’ve never wondered what a bird tongue looked like but here we are." and the zoo replied, "The more you know!"

Related: San Diego Zoo Shares a Kookaburra Call and It’s Music to Everyone’s Ears

More About the Screaming Pihas

Y'all if this bird continued to scream, it could literally damage your hearing. The decimal range from 115dB to 140dB is considered a serious injury range, "There is no safe amount of exposure to volumes in this range. Being near a sound above 115 dB for any length of time without protection can cause permanent hearing damage. At this level, you’ll also begin to feel the sounds in parts of your body other than your ears." Yikes!

Fortunately, the majority of us don't have to worry about encountering a Screaming Piha on our next walk. They are found in humid forests in the Amazon and in tropical parts of South America; it's a common bird found in Venezuela and the Andean foothills. Wikipedia explains that the bird prefers to fly solo, "The screaming piha is an elusive bird despite its distinctive voice, remaining still for long periods and blending in with tree branches. It is usually solitary but may sometimes join a mixed species foraging group." They eat mostly fruits, and the occasional insect.

Wikipedia also explains that there's only one bird louder than the Piha, the white bellbird, and that the male Pihas gather during mating season to attract females. And here's a fun fact: If the screaming Piha's call sounds familiar Wikpedia has the reason for that, "The sound is frequently used in movies as a sound typical of the Amazon rainforest." No wonder why I could've sworn I've heard that sound before!

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