Beak of the Week: Superb Lyrebird

With the name “Superb Lyrebird,” it is difficult to expect anything but “extraordinary” from this feathered wonder. What this brown bird lacks in color, it makes up for in intricacy and showmanship! Keep reading to find out about this amazing bird…

Superb Lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae

Common Name: Superb Lyrebird

Latin Name: Menura novaehollandiae

Range:  Endemic to Australia (Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania)

Habitat: Ground dwelling forest bird. Mostly damp temperate and subtropical forest.

Diet: Invertebrates such as mollusks, insects, earthworms, and spiders.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Superb Facts about a Superb Bird….

  • The Superb Lyrebird has an incredible ability to imitate both natural and artificial sounds. Some examples of witnessed mimicry include, bird calls, car alarms, explosions, musical instruments, chainsaws and camera shutters.
If you don’t believe that these birds are capable of imitating just about anything, check out the video below!

The Superb Lyrebird imitating construction work at the Adelaide Zoo:

  • The species is commonly referred to as a “Superb Lyrebird” because the magnificent tail plumage is thought to resemble a lyre.

The tail plumage of a Superb Lyrebird

  • During courtship, males aim to attract females performing a “concert,” including dancing and singing.
A Courtship Display

Check out this amazing YouTube video by BBC Wildlife and Sir David Attenborough:

Happy Birding!

Danielle + Michelle




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