Monday, July 9, 2018

What Raptors Really Sound Like!

Today I'm going to discuss a topic that is a pet peeve of mine and I'm sure it's something that many of you can relate to. Have you ever been watching a movie and they show a Bald Eagle soaring overhead and suddenly "KIEERRRER"!! The mighty Bald Eagle shouts it's vicious battle cry... or they show a scene from the desert with Turkey Vultures ( a mainly silent species ) soaring overhead, waiting to dine on some hapless soul, then suddenly "KIEERRRER"!!

Why does Hollywood feel it's necessary to make all Raptors sound like Red-tailed Hawks? Are the natural sounds of most Raptors just not 'cool' sounding enough? It's like they had some secret meeting of Hollywood insiders and decide that the Red-tailed Hawk had the most bad ass sounding call and figured they would just dub that in for every raptor in every movie ever made.
Bald Eagle calling
Photo by Justin Magalona

For those of you who made not be familiar with these calls, I'll provide you with some links.

Bald Eagle Calls

I guess it was decided that this series of high pitched whistling and piping notes was not befitting of such an awe-inspiring specimen!

Turkey Vulture on post calling
Photo by Jeff Dyck
Next lets, have a listen to the call notes of Turkey Vulture. Turkey Vultures are a primarily silent species of bird. However, I guess they just aren't edgy enough for today's movie goers, so producers feel it necessary to up their cool factor by giving them a cool sounding, intimidating call. I mean we are talking about a bird that lives on decaying flesh and urinates on it's own legs to stay cool- personally, I think that's edgy enough. Here is what a Turkey Vulture really sounds like. Turkey Vulture call.

No, you didn't miss it, that hiss at the end of the recording is it! I guess that just wouldn't have the same effect.

Red-tailed Hawk in flight call
Photo: All About Birds

Next time you are watching a movie, commercial etc and they shoe a Raptor, note the call. Invariably, it will sound like this Red-tailed Hawk.

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