What's the real name of the "bomb-drop bird"?

It makes a loud whistling noise descending in pitch; sounds exactly like a bomb dropping. It ends this noise with a short warble or with nothing at all. I’ve been googling it ever since I heard it a week ago, here in Austria. Can’t find the real name. Never heard it before. On YouTube there are two really good videos showing the bird (bomb-drop bird or dropping-bomb bird), but the video posters don’t know the real name either! It’s large (like a fowl), black with some white under-markings, with a red or yellow stumpy beak. Does anyone know its real name? Cheers, Pip.

How about a youtube link so we can listen?

I’ll sign on to hear this.

This thread offers some suggestions you can look up:


BwanaBob – in YouTube just type “bomb drop bird” or “dropping bomb bird” in the search bar to find the two Videos.

Sailboat – that BirdsInBackyards site doesn’t help. I had already checked it out. It names birds; I listened to them on YouTube; none of them sound right.

I’ve been told it’s the WATTLED CURASSOW (thanks to Hanson032 for this info). The only thing puzzling me now is how I got to hear this bird in Austria. It’s not native to this region. Maybe it was someone’s exotic pet bird that escaped.

I recently read the book Raptor by Gary Jennings. In one chapter, the characters are in what is present-day Austria, near Hallstatt, and there is a description of a bird that was a lot like yours. In the book, it was called “auths-hana” (translated to wilderness cock), and describes a “bellowing and horrifically loud cry.”

I poked around a little and could not find any link for that term to anything today. However, I did identify one bird that could be the one you are searching for: Western Capercaillie.

The book (fiction) refers to the bird eating bilberries, as does the link, and the Wikipedia page. The Wiki page also contains this:

Western capercaillies are not elegant fliers due to their body weight and short, rounded wings. While taking off they produce a sudden thundering noise that deters predators. Because of their body size and wing span they avoid young and dense forests when flying. While flying they rest in short gliding phases. Their feathers produce a whistling sound.

Could it be the one you are looking for?

That call doesn’t sound very distinctive at all to me. Many other birds have similar calls. I’m not sure what bird would have been making such a call in Austria. Since Wattled Currassows are considered Endangered it would not be legal to keep as a pet in Austria, and it wouldn’t survive very long on its own anyway.

It’s certainly not a Capercaillie, which has a totally different call.

Not that I expect PipFlory to ever come back, but this is good advice for everyone:

Google changes search results per person. What’s at the top of your results might not be at the top of anyone else’s results, and what’s on your first page of results might be buried for someone else.

The closest match to the OP:s description I can think of is therough-legged buzzard; although the location seems wrong for the season (it should be much further to the north in the summer). Here’s video (and audio): https://www.hbw.com/sites/default/files/ibc/v/converted/620726/Buteo_l_lagopus26nor2014_JH_mp4_sd_1488182365.mp4