Behavioral Traits

brown llama

Humming, being their predominant vocalization, has the most subtle variations. Llamas are often thought to hum when they are happy and content, but it is really quite the opposite. Llamas hum when there is a disruption from their normal, relaxed, worry-free state. They will hum when they are tired, distraught, curious, hot, uncomfortable, worried and when mothers greet their new baby. The same hum is not used to express all these different states.

When they are hot, tired or uncomfortable, the hum sounds similar to a groan. The sound is softer, drawn out and not very forceful. The pitch may lower towards the end of the hum. It could also get a bit more forceful and drawn out as the llama gets more uncomfortable and becomes more insistent.

Clucking is another sound which llamas may make. It sounds similar to a person clicking their tongue from the roof of their mouth to the bottom of their mouth. The sound is less sharp and a little more resonant and nasal than clicking a tongue. Llamas do not make this sound often and are holding their ears back when they do. Some llamas will cluck quite often and others will never cluck. They seem to cluck when meeting new llamas or flirting with the opposite sex. Young female llamas who have not yet had a cria may cluck at the crias they come into contact with.

black and white llama

brown and white llama

 

Male llamas will orgle when aroused or while breeding a female. An orgle sounds similar to someone gargling. It is just a little more forceful and has a bit of a buzzing tone throughout. The male will make this sound while approaching a female for breeding and will continue until copulation is complete. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour. The males do not show any signs of discomfort during or after orgling for so long.

 

If llamas feel threatened or startled by something which concerns them, they will make an alarm call. It is a loud, higher pitched, rhythmic sound. It is difficult to describe, but it sounds like a cross between an engine trying to start and a turkey call (I know that is hard to imagine). The alarm call is startling and distinctive and you will recognize it if you hear it.

Information provided by Llamapeida
brown llama

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