When on earth, iNaturalist user or not, we will come across something UGLY at least once. So, regardless whether you have observed it or not, what do you think is the ugliest bird or bird sound?
For me, the worst are (not in order)
- Pallas’ gull calls
- Marabou stork
- Brown bookbook
- Large-billed crow calls
- Common potoo
- Sri Lanka frogmouth (and its calls)
- Wandering albatross beak vibration
- American bittern call
- White bellbird song
- New world vultures
and countless more.
I think potoos and frogmouths are cute.
The hissing screeches of barn owls have awakened me in the dead of night several times. Sometimes accompanied by beak snapping; I once woke up at about 2 AM to two owls arguing.
Snowy egrets make a surprisingly horrible noise for such an elegant bird (that’s one in my avatar).
Muscovy ducks have ugly faces but lovely iridescent feathers.
Baby birds of altricial species (e.g. songbirds, parrots) are incredibly ugly-cute. So are baby cormorants.
I once met a Victorian Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria) in a zoo. It was in an aviary and maybe a foot away. It makes a truly jarring sound if you’re not expecting it.
I like the call of Sri Lankan Frogmouth and have even recorded them. For me no call feels ugly.
Then go to eBird and hear the calls of Pallas’ gull. Those melancholy moans sound disturbingly human…
But when Potoos and Frogmouths open their eyes… CREEPY!!!
It feels beautiful in some way to me.
Boobook also feels good as it’s name says the call ‘boobook-boobook’
Looks creepy if you see them for the first time. Frogmouth is the most.
Yes, but I hate their staring eyes…
They all look beautiful to me and sound great, gulls are the best birds of all. But we can discuss weird calls, I think voting as are the weirdest and coolest birds in that, their calls are everything you don’t expect and just look at some of them. Both beauty and “ugliness”. Another family with uncommon calls is Icteridae.
Top one is hoatzin. Grey go-away bird is not nice either. And the general rule: the more impressive looks of the bird, the uglier its sound.
Yes, I agree with your third suggestion. In December 2019 I was walking on the beach in Sanibel Island, Florida and I suddenly heard a tremendously loud sound – mostly a roar with some yell or shout mixed in. Quite scary and it sounded as if for sure it had to have been made by a mammal. But when I turned around to see who made it, there was a snowy egret all puffed up at “maximum indignation”, feathers all sticking out every which way. I was amazed.
I heard another snowy egret “go off” this past December too, but sound was not nearly as extreme as the one I heard in 2019.
They are so pretty and refined-looking, it seems incongruent that they can make a noise like that.
I think this Great Egret colony vid shows similar, it’s both fun and full of dino sounds and crazy chicks. https://youtu.be/9l9xh5NI1OM
Maybe I should check it on eBird?
For me, I think the sound of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is just the worst. I have worked at a rehabilitation center with them and just Ugh, they make a really loud, throaty, wet call that is nowhere near what you would expect from such a magnificent creature. See you out there!
Adults are not too bad but juveniles…