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15

Superb Lyrebird

(Menura novaehollandiae)
Alternate name(s): "Lyre-bird*", "Lyretail Menura", "Native Pheasant*"
Aboriginal name(s): "wiwieringgere", "buln-buln"

Size: male 80-95 cm; female 75-85 cm
Weight: 0.9-1.2 kg (male), 0.7-1.0 kg (female)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Superb Lyrebird at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "novaehollandiae"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird scratching through mud in a wet gully
[Scenic World, Blue Mountains, NSW, August 2015]

Near-dorsal view of a male Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Blue Mountains NP, NSW, March 2015]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Head of Cuttagee Road, Biamanga NP, NSW, 2008]

Near-frontal view of the same female Superb Lyrebird as shown above (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Head of Cuttagee Road, Biamanga NP, NSW, 2008]

Lateral view of a female Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Head of Cuttagee Road, Biamanga NP, NSW, 2008]

Lateral view of a female Superb Lyrebird foraging in wet undergrowth
[Dunn's Swamp, Wollemi NP, NSW, October 2016]

Race "victoriae"

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Near Omeo, East Gippsland, VIC, May 2014]

Closer lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird, with only the head and tail clearly visible (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree
[Near Omeo, East Gippsland, VIC, May 2014]

Near-dorsal view of a male Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree
[Near Omeo, East Gippsland, VIC, May 2014]

Race "edwardi"

ADULT

MALE

Near-lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[New England NP, NSW, September 2014]

Lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird foraging in litter (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[New England NP, NSW, September 2014]

Lateral view of a male Superb Lyrebird foraging in litter (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Wild Rivers NP, NSW, June 2017]

Dorsal view of a male Superb Lyrebird, with a clear view of the filamentary tail feathers (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Wild Rivers NP, NSW, June 2017]

FEMALE

Female Superb Lyrebird having a bath around sunset (the bird was too far away for the flash to fully illuminate it)
[Washpool NP, NSW, October 2007]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

In an attempt to impress females, male Superb Lyrebirds mimic many different other bird calls, other animals and sounds such as mobile phone ringtones. How does one tell a Lyrebird's mimic from the original call/sound? Our experience is that many Lyrebirds "overdo" things. Their call, which is designed to draw attention and impress, is often more voluminous, more virtuose and more elaborate than the original. Also, if one has the impression that there are 10 or more different bird species congregating in the same area in dark underbrush, the likelihood is high that none of those whose calls are heard is actually present...

Male Superb Lyrebirds have little mounds that they use as arenas for their displays
[Watagans NP, NSW, June 2009]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

suplyre_rp_20140511.mp3 victoriae
(VIC)
Mimicry (several species) © RP
 
suplyre_20161217_2.mp3 novaehollandiae
(Ctl NSW)
Male courting female? © MD
suplyre_20161006.mp3 novaehollandiae
(E NSW)
Q&A? (female +?) © MD
 
suplyre_20150328_2.mp3 edwardi
(N NSW)
Mimicry (Eastern Whipbird) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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