How loud are howler monkeys?

I often Tweet at 5 am that I’m wide awake because of the howler monkeys that live in my neighborhood. In reply, people from all over the world want to know how the heck these cuddly-looking guys sound — and if they could really wake the whole neighborhood! My friend Maren found out the hard way that yes, they can, and they can even sound wild and dangerous when echoing in your ears for the first time. For the rest of you, I finally got one of the suckers on video. How would you describe the sound?

Howler Monkeys from Abby Tegnelia on Vimeo.


My neighbor Lisa, has had so much experience with the howlers that she can actually talk to them — and they talk back! Watch Lisa egging them on here (she’s the first to grunt). “He follows my lead,” she says, “until he gets his machismo going and wants a howl-off. Then, I fail terribly.” When he really gets riled up at the end, you can start to imagine what it’s like when several of them are going off in the trees hanging over your bedroom!

How to communicate with howler monkeys from Abby Tegnelia on Vimeo.