VIDEO SHOWS: TWO CLIPS OF MALE WHITE BELLBIRD PRODUCING MATING CALL SHOWS: RORAIMA, AMAZON RAINFOREST, BRAZIL (FILE - FEBRUARY 2019) (HANDOUT - MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY 'ANSELMO D'AFFONSECA') 1.
MALE WHITE BELLBIRD PRODUCING 'TYPE 1' MATING CALL 2.
MALE WHITE BELLBIRD PRODUCING 'TYPE 2' MATING CALL STORY: Scientists have recorded what they believe is the loudest bird call ever documented.
The dove-sized male white bellbirds were recorded bellowing at levels as high as 125 decibels, which is higher than a pneumatic drill.
The team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Brazil, recorded the bird call in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest.
In research published in the journal Current Biology the scientists describe how the deafening sound was produced as part of the male birds mating rituals.
Curiously, they observed the males saving their loudest call for when a female was perched close to them, sometimes within four metres or less.
"Animals normally reserve loud calls for communication over long distances, and some species are known to vocalize more softly when receivers are nearby.
It is also unclear why female white bellbirds willingly stay so close to males as they sing," the researchers wrote in their paper entitled 'Extremely loud mating song at close range in white bellbirds'.
Future studies, they say, could reveal the physical and anatomical structures that allow bellbirds to produce such loud sounds without damaging their hearing.
Another Amazon bird species, the screaming piha, has now been demoted to the second loudest bird on record, the authors say.