Sounds & Calls

Eastern Grey Kangaroo joey
Eastern Grey Kangaroo joey in pouch

Of the 50 or so species of macropod found in Australia, most are very quiet. However both the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) & Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) have been documented making a range of sounds. These two species are distributed widely across the continent and are abundant in many areas.

Males of both of these species make loud ‘coughing’ growls or barking calls, often when fighting over females. You can hear some samples of these sounds below. Also, male Eastern Grey Kangaroos have been documented emitting soft clucking sounds when interacting with a female. Mothers make a similar sound when communicating with their joeys.

Perhaps the most commonly heard noise made by a kangaroo is the sound of it’s feet thumping the ground as it bounds away! Listen to an example of this in the third sample below.

Listen to Kangaroo Sounds

The following video contains a visualization of some of the audio recordings published below.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo – Coughing Growls

EGK01 This audio recording features the typical loud coughing call of a male Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). Recorded in Capertee National Park, New South Wales.


Western Grey Kangaroo – Coughing Growls

WGK01 This is a series of similar calls from two male Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) which were fighting. Recorded at Dryandra woodland, Western Australia.


Western Grey Kangaroo – Bouncing!

WGK02 The thumping sound and breathing of a Western Grey Kangaroo as it bounces past the microphones. Recorded in Wyperfeld National Park, Victoria.

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Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus)
Two young male Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) mock fighting. Large alpha male kangaroos often defend their territory aggressively and make the coughing growl calls when they are tussling with a rival male.
Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus)
Western Grey Kangaroo at sunset in Wyperfeld National Park, Victoria

Listen to Koala Sounds

The following video contains a spectrogram visualization of some of the audio recordings published below.


Koala Deep Bellowing

 SD584a This next audio recording is an example of the deep bellowing, grunting call of a male Koala. Recorded in Benarkin State Forest, Queensland. In the background of this recording you can hear the sound of a Squirrel Glider.


Koala Grunting Variation

 SD584b A variation of the grunting call of a male, this one sounds like deep belching or burping! In the background you can hear Squirrel Glider and Common Brushtail Possum. Recorded in Benarkin State Forest, Queensland.


Koala Wailing & Screaming

 SD585a A different call type – this is the wailing, screaming call, also called the distress call. Koalas often make this sound when bickering with another koala or disturbed or alarmed by another species. Recorded at Benarkin State Forest, Queensland.

The following recording of a distant male Koala bellowing was made around 1am in the rainforest of Nightcap National Park, NSW.