When it comes to choose a partner, white Bellbirds females are not satisfied with just any type; they want a male who sings louder than any other bird in the world.
In a recent study, researchers measured the volume of mating songs of white bellbirds and found that males were the strongest at 125 decibels. It’s almost the volume of the first row of a rock concert and more than 9 decibels louder than the loudest call of the previous record holder, the howling piha, report the researchers in Current Biology.
Male bellbirds have probably developed their piercing calls to attract and impress females in the Amazon rainforest, where they live. The men alternate between two calls, as shown in the video above. The softer of the two always reaches 117 decibels, stronger than most jackhammers.
The male singers were hardly bothered by their performance: when the females perched next to them, they switched to the loudest sound of their two piercing songs and turned to them, the researchers reported. The noise caused the females to retreat slightly, but they remained only a few metres away, enough for their future friends to be examined closely, the researchers speculated. The researchers then consider how men can make such loud sounds without affecting their hearing and that of admiring women.
In addition to the screams, the bellbirds have another strange feature that researchers suggest they have evolved as a lure for females: long pendulum nose ornaments called wattles, which give the impression that males always finish a lizard meal. Just as women seem to like the songs, they can also enjoy the kitten – showing that beauty is really in the eyes (and ears) of the viewer.
Sources: www.sciencemag.org; Plants and Animals, Youtube Video