Most beautiful birds/bird sounds ever

There are some truly astounding birds on earth, so, all considered, what is the most beautiful bird/bird sound? There are four categories I would like:

  1. Most beautiful bird you saw
  2. Most beautiful bird ever
  3. Most beautiful bird song/call you heard
  4. Most beautiful bird song/call ever

My opinions are (a group means all members are beautiful):
The most beautiful birds I saw were:

  • Peafowl
  • Sunbirds
  • Orange-headed thrush
  • Hoopoes
  • Indian paradise-flycatcher

The most beautiful birds ever are:

  • Peafowl
  • Hummingbirds, especially Green-crowned woodnymph (Thalurania colombica fannyi)
  • Junglefowl, especially Sri Lankan junglefowl
  • Sunbirds
  • Many-coloured rush-tyrant
  • Black-and-orange flycatcher
  • Colourful tanagers
  • Fork-tailed kite
  • Northern cardinal
  • Bluethroat
  • And countless more…

The most beautiful bird songs/calls I ever heard are

  1. Asian brown flycatcher
  2. Oriental magpie-robin
  3. Common myna
  4. Common tailorbird
  5. Sunbirds
  6. Larks

The most beautiful bird songs/calls ever are:

  • Wood thrush
  • Tickell’s blue flycatcher
  • New world sparrows
  • Asian koel
  • Pallas’ grasshopper warbler
  • Wrens
  • and countless more…

Here to nominate the Musician Wren ( Cyphorhinus arada) for “The most beautiful bird song ever”

This amazonian bird might seem physically dull and even ugly, but its song is one of the most beautiful songs a birder would listen. What makes it even more beautiful is that the bird sings this melodic variation for 15-20 days in the year only.

Here’s a video my old dad did when he visited the amazon last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs6O9fYG4lI Listening it in real life and so close to the bird was something magical for him. It has no comparison to listening the recording.

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That wren is pretty cool.

Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) have great songs too - not many opbs on iNat with sound but you can search on youtube.

In terms of sound, the early morning call of Oropendolas in the Amazon is difficult to beat. It’s like a burbling mountain stream turned into the most joyous music you’ve ever heard. Part of the enjoyment of it is the setting though.

In terms of the most beautiful bird, I don’t think that’s possible to answer. There are so many extraordinarily beautiful birds, all very different from each other, some bold and almost garish, others sleek and subtle. There are ducks, warblers, hummingbirds, rollers, sunbirds, bee eaters, grouse, doves, etc that are astounding.

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  1. Inca tern
  2. Golden Pheasant
    3-4. Thrush nightingale (Luscinia luscinia):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyx3OP1yC9E

My vote for “Most beautiful bird song/call you heard” goes to Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). The Bobolink’s song is unique…the notes roll and ebb like waves on a beach. In late spring in the Rainy River Valley, male Bobolinks are easily found along fencelines in farming areas. It’s often possible to hear multiple males singing on territory at once. The link below has some great samples:

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Bobolink/sounds

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aka the BB-8 bird, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ahj8XiiNZY

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I like subtlety, so the best looking bird for me is the Black Capped Chickadee. The call I like best is that of the Western Meadowlark, because it reminds me of being a kid!

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From the bird songs I’ve listened to, the most beautiful are Winter Wren, Wood Thrush, and the Catharus thrushes (Veery, Hermit Thrush, etc.).
I also really like Common Loon.

And then there is the haunting last song of the Kauaʻi ʻōʻō: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDRY0CmcYNU

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I had a colleague who referred to bobolink as the R2D2 bird. I can never hear them now without thinking of Star Wars.

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I like the liquid knocking sound of the Common Raven the best, followed closely by the pair calls of the Common Loon. I think all birds are the most beautiful, but very few make me giggle like the Sri Lanka Frogmouth.

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Maybe too mainstream, but Thrush Nightingale is a symbol of the best bird song, they can learn a lot and old males have incredible songs. https://youtu.be/id6haZCocQM
I also like Bluethroat, Robin and any Orld World warbler, oh and I like Blackbird’s melancholic song. https://youtu.be/AXcp2_uu8y0
Most beautiful are gulls, terns, skuas, but to have something original I’d say Torrent Ducks and Silvery Grebes. Appreciation to authors of photos!


UPD. Common Lapwing’s calls are the most beautiful I’ve heard both irl and “on tape”.

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https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48629690

The Asian Koel has a pleasing call

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The birds of Paradise of New Guinea seem very beautiful (all are beautiful in some way) and also monals, trogopans and trogons. Verditer flycatcher also looks good.

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How about the bright red you see when a Scarlet Tanager is being lit up by the sun? Or the dazzling long tail feathers of a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in flight (a once in a lifetime event where I live)?

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We used to have a hardware store (out of business now) called Orchard Supply Hardware, and they played fake birdsong in their garden section. When I listened to a recording of this bird just now, I thought, hey, it’s the OSH bird!

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Yeah I checked it out when deciding my list, but I didn’t nominate it. But it is gorgeous!

Or eBird might have…

@melodi_19 they look WOW!
@robotpie SOOTHING! I am lucky to live somewhere that every April we hear it in-person! But out of breeding season, they can be quite annoying. That cackle is UUGHH

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I added tanagers because they are unnaturally colourful! Especially Blue-necked and Golden tanagers.