Saturday, March 12, 2011


This is clip from one of David Attenborough's tv programmes. I knew the Australian lyrebird mimicked other birds and I had heard that they also mimic digital camera shutters. I did not know they mimicked chainsaws, kookaburras, motor drive cameras and more. I almost thought this was faked. What a bird.


  1. THAT is delightful! I think I have seen it before - maybe in his show.

  2. I was thrilled to actually see a male lyrebird on Mt.Beauty in February.
    He dashed under scrub as our car slowed, then when we moved off (slowly) thinking it was all a fail, he just flounced straight back out onto the roadside. bogan!
    He did not, however, mimic us shreiking "It's a lyrebird!"

  3. We once had a cockatoo that did a perfect imitation of my mum screeching at the kids to come and clean their rooms, wash the dishes etc.

    I've never seen a lyrebird.In real life I mean, I've seen them on TV.

  4. You didn't see the ep of QI where each buzzer was the sound of a Lyre bird imitating something?
    They imitate a digital camera so well one is suckered into thinking one has successfully captured the little blighter on fill-um until one hears it randomly clicking off into the distance....

  5. Scariest bird imitation I ever heard was a barking owl - not barking, it sounded like a shrieking woman having her throat cut (not that I've heard THAT for real)!

  6. This bird is something else - I have never seen one in the wild - have you?

  7. What a coincidence, I was having a conversation about lyrebird mimicry last night over dinner (as you do). The footage, from memory, was taken near Canberra. I've had lots of friends/colleagues involved in nature documentaries with both the ABC and BBC. Learning about the tricks they sometimes use to capture footage takes away some of the magic but it's still pretty terrific stuff. Attenborough documentaries were a huge influence on me becoming a biologist.

  8. I live lyrebirds, I always wanted to hear one in the wild but never have. They can do some awesome mimicry.
    Magpies are pretty good mimicers too, our local ones growing up used to bark like dogs and imitate all sorts of other birds, it was quite funny hearing the noise and seeing that it came out of the black and white bird!

  9. I possibly have too Julie.

    Special to see Mod.

    Haha River. I wonder if lyre birds can do voice imitation?

    Jayne, I missed that QI. They are just amazing.

    I have a bird call description like that Red but no one knew what the bird was.

    I haven't seen one MC but a friend told me yesterday about he used to take photos of them in the hills with his Box Brownie.

    Ad Rad, I recently heard about some DA's scenes being staged. A bit disappointing but my hasn't he delivered the goods over decades. I couldn't get into the latest series. Trilobites are just not sexy.

    Fen, I didn't know maggies can mimic? Your dad would have seen a lyre bird where he lives wouldn't he?

  10. My Mia is fascinated by the lyrebird. As too am I.

  11. Did you show her the clip Cazzie?