Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Wild Bird Wednesday 307 - Superb Lyrebird

Last weekend we spent a couple of days away from Melbourne, just outside a small town called Warburton.  The area around Warburton, and the garden of the house we stayed in, is naturally covered in dampish forest - tall gum trees and thick under brush.

This is pretty much perfect habitat for the Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae).  At about 1m long for the males, they are one of the worlds largest songbirds.  They have a remarkable ability to mimic other bird song, and also sounds from their environment.  A bird in an Australian zoo used to be famous for making the noise of a camera and a motor drive!  Unfortunately, many of these birds can now mimic car alarms, mobile phone tones and chain saw as well.

Due to the season this bird - as I think all the pictures are of the same bird - was silent all weekend.  I think this bird is a female, as it seems to lack the flamboyant tail of the male.

I always think of this bird as being a bit of a combination between a chicken and the Road Runner (Unfortunately, I can only base my knowledge of the road-runner on the cartoon!)

I have found this bird hard to photograph in the past, as it tends to like deep undergrowth and dense tree cover.  This bird was feeding in the garden of the house we were in, and as a result I was able to get some images.









As ever, to join in with WBW click on the blue button.    Cheers, SM.

24 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Bravo Stewart... I never did manage to capture a Lyre in the lens - although was once within touching distance. Just no camera at the time!!! YAM xx

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

I have seen videos with examples of this bird's vocal abilities. Nice variety of poses but would love to see the male with tail expanded.

Chris Rohrer said...

This bird reminds me of a cross between a chachalaca and roadrunner!

NatureFootstep said...

to my dissappointment I only got a glimpse of this beauty. But you can´t have it all, can you?
You got great shots.

Marie Smith said...

I think your description is spot on from what I can see. Fascinating creature!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Interesting bird, especially the vocalizing part. It does remind me of the roadrunners I see in my S CA desert, especially through the tail. Great photos!

Linda W. said...

That bird really blends in with its surroundings!

David Gascoigne said...

I saw this bird just once when I last visited Australia and that was a fairly fleeting glimpse as the bird crossed the road. I hope for a better experience this time.

Rhodesia said...

Superb photos of a lovely bird. Well done. Have a good week Diane

Brian King said...

I've never seen this one. Love the tail feathers! I can see where it would be difficult to photograph.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Interesting-looking critter.

Nora said...

Yes those long tail feathers are wonderful. You always find the most unusual birds Stewart. I bet it was shy and difficult to get those shots.

Frank Boxell said...

Well done Stewart, just a pity the colourful didn't turn up for you.

Missy George said...

Except for it's head , it looks similar to our Pheasant..albeit a skinny one..pretty tail feathers..Thanks for hosting..

Lady Fi said...

Oopo - lovely!

A Colorful World said...

The mimicry is amazing! And what a beautiful unusual songbird!

italiafinlandia said...

The fantastic Lyrebird!

photodoug said...

Stewart, what a great capture of the Superb Lyrebird. Thanks for sharing.

Margaret Adamson said...

Yes very unusual to see it so close and able to get these wonderul photographs of the Lyrebird. Thanks for linking me in last week stewart. I had a great holiday. Hope you are having a good week.

Betty Crow said...

I'm not familiar with this bird. Very interesting post and wonderful series of shots.

Dave Lewis said...

Oh...I need to visit Australia! I've seen those on David Attenbouroughs program...their voices are amazing.

Linda said...

Sweet-looking bird but I don't think I'd want him making all those noises!

Beth said...

Interesting how many birds are good mimics.

Jenn Jilks said...

I enjoy seeing birds from across the pond!