What is a Lyrebird?

The lyrebird can usually be found in areas of the rainforest in Victoria, New South Wales, and south-east Queensland, Australia, and it was also introduced to Tasmania in the 19th century.

The lyrebird’s name derives from the fact that the male bird has an extraordinary tail and has 16 highly varying size feathers.

These consist of two long slender lyrates in the middle of the plume, surrounded by two broader medians on the edges and finished off with twelve filamentaries positioned between them.

It is thought to resemble the shape of the lyre, a Greek musical string instrument.

A lyrebird is most known for its superb ability to imitate natural and artificial sounds from around their environment.

The lyrebirds sings mostly during the winter when it’s breeding season.

Like most songbirds, male lyrebirds learn their songs and even mimic other sounds, from older males rather than directly from their mimicked models.

The lyrebird can accurately mimic the sounds of the surrounding forests. With most lyrebird mimicry of other bird species such as songs, wing beats etc.

It is also known that the Lyrebird can mimic other items, like camera clicks, chain saws and even car horns, to name but a few.

The extremely striking beauty of the male bird’s large tail feathers is spectacularly fanned out during a courtship display.

Lyrebirds have unique plumes of natural coloured feathers and are one of Australia’s best-known native birds.

The female’s tails reaches 75-85 centimetres in length, compared to the impressive males tail which reaches 80-98cm in length.

Also, unlike the Emu, the lyrebird can fly, but it rarely does. Choosing instead to run quickly to avoid most dangerous encounters.

Lyrebirds like living in forests as they feed mainly on ground-dwelling insects, like spiders, frogs, and other small invertebrates.

This is the reason they have powerful legs with long claws, making it perfect for raking through the large amounts of foliage, leaves and soil.

Although Lyrebirds live on the ground they actually spend their nights sleeping high up in trees.

You can also find the Lyrebird’s picture on the side of Australia’s ten cent coin.