Tasmanian lyrebirds - RFI

To: Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Tasmanian lyrebirds - RFI
From: Merrilyn Serong <>
Date: Sat, 09 Mar 2002 19:58:23 +1100
Hi Syd
Superb Lyrebirds in Toolangi State Forest and Yarra Ranges National Park ~60 to
80 km NE of Melbourne definitely sing all year round.  I don't think I have
visited the area without seeing or hearing a lyrebird, no matter what time of
year.  They are certainly doing a lot of singing right now.  A few days ago I
was only a few metres from a beautiful (aren't they all) male that was going
through its repertoire of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, White-browed Scrubwren,
Pilotbird, Crimson Rosella, Grey Shrike-thrush, Golden Whistler, Eastern Yellow
Robin, Pied and Grey Currawong, Kookaburra, Whipbird, Grey Butcherbird, lots of
its own calls and to my amazement several times it miaowed clearly, just like a
cat.  I have seen cats often enough in the area, but I have never before heard a
lyrebird mimic one.
Back to the subject, I have no experience of lyrebirds in Tasmania, but as they
were introduced from the mainland, it's possible that they behave in a similar
way and may also sing all year. I wonder.

Syd Curtis wrote:

> Having more than a passing interest in lyrebirds, I took the opportunity
> when in Tasmania last week, to inquire about the Tasmanian introduced
> population.  The Ranger at the Hobart NP Inquiry counter, recommended the
> Hasting's River Caves population as the most accessible.  The Ranger at the
> Hasting's visitor centre advised that they were singing well near
> Chesterman's Road and that she wondered if they were already commencing
> their breeding season.
> As soon as we pulled up at Chesterman's road, my wife heard one calling.  I
> donned hearing-aids and likewise could hear him.  Within a few hundred
> metres of the road I saw two males and heard others.  The day was heavily
> overcast and I had no map or compass, so I declined the lyrebirds'
> enticement to venture ever further into the forest.  In my short walk I did
> see what appeared to be two mounds freshly scratched over.  The forest is
> excellent lyrebird habitat, with deep litter over rich soil, and very little
> ground cover.  (Contrast this latter with what I've heard is the situation
> in Sherbrooke Forest where wire-grass etc., is taking over in the absence of
> fire, and significantly reducing the area over which lyrebirds can forage.)
> The relatively open-floored nature of the forest did mean that I could have
> been mistaken in what I reckoned to be display mounds, but I don't think I
> was.
> I hope some time, not necessarily this year, to visit the Hasting's
> lyrebirds to tape record their breeding season song,  and it would be most
> frustrating indeed were I to go there in June or July - the normal lyrebird
> breeding season - and then find that they have changed their breeding season
> to March/April, and I've wasted my trip.
> Can anyone guide me in this?  (The Ranger at Hasting's River knew of no-one
> presently working on the lyrebirds there.)
> I recall Norman Robinson telling me of seeing occupied lyrebird nests in
> Tidbinbilla (near Canberra) covered in snow, so it seems unlikely that the
> Tasmanian lyrebirds would change their breeding season because of the colder
> winters.
> But on the other hand, Eastern Whipbirds nest in winter on Tamborine
> Mountain (southern Qld.) where I grew up, but I understand they are
> Spring/Summer breeders in the south.
> Syd Curtis

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU