In Part A of this blog (Howling, mewing and snorting), we looked at words for the various sounds made by dogs, cats and horses. This week we’re widening our scope and considering words for the sounds made by farm animals and wild animals.
Starting with farm animals, sheep and goats are said to baa or to bleat and when cows make a long, deep sound, they moo. (A literary way of saying ‘moo’ is the verb low.) If a cow makes a louder sound, especially one that sounds distressed, it is said to bellow:
I woke at six o’clock to the sound of sheep baaing / bleating in the fields.
There was the distant sound of cows mooing.
In the valley below, the cattle lowed plaintively.
A cow bellows as she’s separated from her calf.
I could hear pigs grunting in the barn.
The pigs were squealing as they were being loaded onto the truck.
Moving on to wild animals, there are a lot of words for the noises that birds make. Most are positive (or at least, neutral) for example the words tweet, chirp and cheep for the short, high sounds that they make:
I love to hear the birds tweeting in the morning.
All I could hear was running water and the sound of the birds chirping.
Also positive is the word warble for a longer sound, with rapidly changing notes:
In the spring, the meadows are alive with the sounds of birds warbling.
Gulls screech overhead as we make our way to the harbour.
The chickens were squawking in alarm.
Somewhere in the forest, an owl hooted.
The chickens clucked contentedly as they scratched around in the yard.
Ducks were quacking on the lake.
Why do geese honk when they fly?
Crows cawed from the beech trees.
We would wake to the sound of wood pigeons cooing.
We’ll finish with a range of very different animal noises. When frogs make their characteristic deep, rough sound, they croak:
She could hear the frogs croaking in the pond.
Snakes that make a long s sound hiss:
The snake hissed, ready to strike.
Small rodents that make repeated short, high sounds squeak:
The guinea pigs squeak when they’re hungry.
Finally, insects that make a continuous, low sound are said to buzz:
There are so many bees on the lavender, you can hear them buzzing.
That concludes my animal sounds post. I hope you found it interesting.