How did the screech of the red tailed hawk become the sound used for the bald eagles?

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I get that the actual sounds of bald eagles don’t sound cool enough or something, I’m just more interested in when did this happen

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Movie director: “Man that eagle really sounds pathetic.”

Sound guy: “I can make it sound powerful.”

[cue hawk sounds]

Anonymous 0 Comments

Film and TV, particularly in the early black-and-white days where sound effects were still being pioneered.

They wanted something distinctive and memorable in order to key in the minds of the viewer what an eagle was. Red-tailed hawks have a very distinctive cry, that doesn’t sound silly or chirpy, but rather pretty clearly like a predatory bird. They’re also a very common bird, and it was easy to get a good recording of a red-tailed hawk cry, so it was cheap and easy to use. [Actual bald eagles sound like seagulls. Here’s a comparison.](

Stock sound effects can easily become entrenched like this. TVTropes has a page about it, “reality is unrealistic,” where they talk about the places that film and television (and other things) have entrenched in audience minds that certain things look or sound a certain way even though they don’t. E.g., when you draw a sword from a scabbard, it should NOT make an audible “shink!” noise, that’s *bad,* that happens when metal is scraping against metal and you don’t want that with a sword. Drawing a sword should sound like shifting around wood or leather, as that’s what most scabbards are made of. It’s really quite an uninteresting sound in most cases, nowhere near as *cool* as the noise used in movies.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Movie, T.V., and video game productions hire “foley artists” to create many of the sounds you hear. They often don’t use the actual sound something makes in the production for a variety of reasons but usually its like the eagle where the actual call sounds pretty lackluster, but a red tailed hawk has that iconic screech. Another example is the sound of ice falling into a glass, and the hiss of a carbonated bottle/can opening. Sometimes its easier to add sound in post than it is to mic up a can or a glass in scene. As funny as it is, Monty Python is probably not the only production to use coconuts for horse hooves clopping.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s all about the drama, man. The bald eagle’s actual call is like a high-pitched giggle, which, let’s be real, isn’t exactly awe-inspiring. Hollywood needed something that sounds fierce and majestic, so they borrowed the red-tailed hawk’s scream. It’s like putting a lion’s roar over a domestic cat meow in a movie to make it more epic.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Hollywood decided that the bald eagle’s actual call wasn’t ‘majestic’ enough for their America-loving ears, so they borrowed the red-tailed hawk’s way cooler screech. It’s all about the drama!