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Gray-winged Trumpeter Psophia crepitans

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Psophiidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Arjun Brandreth Potter

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Trumpeters are very vocal and produce a wide variety of calls. The call for which they are named is quite loud (though not very trumpet-like), and consists of 3-5 notes introducing a resounding Oh-oh-oh-oh-ooooooooh! and seems to be used by all adult birds to assert territoriality.

Terrestrial predators elicit loud squawks, while snakes cause members of a group to produce a short, medium-pitched rapid hm-hm-hm-hm-hm call.

More work on vocalizations has been done on the related Pale-winged Trumpeter (Psophia leucoptera), but as these species are closely related, the Gray-winged Trumpeter's vocalizations likely are very similar. Sherman (1996) describes the following calls among Pale-winged Trumpeters:

-Birds also make a harsh antagonistic threat call that consists of a number of staccato cackling notes, often ascending.

-A high pitched twittering, which is often given by young chicks, is produced by subordinate birds while interacting with more dominant flock members.

-Chicks also produce a whistle-like, two noted begging call, with the second note higher than the first. This call is also given by adult birds while begging for food.

-Birds that are carrying food in their beak with the intention of feeding another bird will give a nasal enhh-enhh-enhh-enhh call.

-Aerial predators (hawks) elicit a low pitched call that is somewhere between a hum and a growl.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Potter, A. B. (2011). Gray-winged Trumpeter (Psophia crepitans), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.