Chauna – South America screamers

These talented birds can produce the sound of a trumpet as well as a drum

Screamers have goose-like characteristics with the ability to walk and swim. The Screamer is noted for its robust legs and vestigial webbing between its lengthy toes, hinting at its evolutionary aquatic adaptations. The detailed description of the adult screamer’s plumage portrays it as having a grey color scheme, with grey upper parts, dark grey wings, and a dark grey tail, which is aesthetically accented with buffy-white edging on the wing coverts that give it a scaled appearance.

These birds are famous for their loud calls, which have been likened to trumpets and can be heard over great distances, up to 3 kilometers (2 miles) away. This impressive auditory range underscores the bird’s name and place as a communicator and presence in its natural habitat. The description emphasizes that screamers vocalize throughout the year, indicating that their calls serve various functions, such as territory defense, mating, and signaling danger.

Such vocal abilities likely play a critical role in the bird’s social structure and breeding behaviors. Screamers are typically found in South American wetlands, where they use their powerful calls to communicate over large distances due to the open landscape and to maintain contact with their mates and chicks. Additionally, their ability to swim and walk efficiently allows them to exploit various food resources in their habitat, from aquatic plants to grasses on land.