Re: both lyrebird species together?

To: "Syd Curtis" <>, "bird" <>
Subject: Re: both lyrebird species together?
From: "Greg & Val Clancy" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Jul 2010 18:38:09 +1000
Hi Syd,

I am probably in a good position to comment on this as I knew the late Roland (Roley) Paine and have a vast amount of experience in the Washpool and Gibraltar Range National Parks, as well as an interest in lyrebird taxonomy.

Roley was the first Trust Ranger at Gibraltar Range and spent many years living in the Park's residence as a National Parks & Wildlife Service Ranger when the Service took over control of the Park. He spent much time photographing wildlife and he and his then partner, Margaret Hodgson, collaborated on a number of books on Australian flora. He and Margy were later employed in Grafton doing interpretative work - photography, brochures, publicity etc..

Roley told me that he had both species of lyrebirds in the Washpool and he also claimed to have seen Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies and Eastern Quolls. None of these species have been confirmed for the Park and the Rock-wallaby would be well out of its known range and preferred habitat.

I wondered whether the confusion with the lyrebird was due to that fact that the Gibraltar Range was considered to be the southern limit of the Edward's race of the Superb Lyrebird and the names 'Edward' and 'Albert' became confused. The Edward's race of the Superb Lyrebird was considered to be the granite country lyrebird. Schodde and Mason (1999) in the Directory of Australian Birds, Passerines, now give the Hunter River as the southern limit of race edwardi. The rufous throat of the juvenile and immature Superb Lyrebird may have also added to the confusion.

The question about whether both species occur together is interesting as when I saw my first Albert's Lyrebirds running across the road in the Border Ranges in the 1970s I thought that they must have been Superb Lyrebirds, as the Albert's was considered to be an almost mythical inhabitant of the densest rainforest gullies which was never to be seen by mortal humans. I thought that both must have occurred together but in different habitats. Even the two Birds Australia Atlases show the two species in the same 1 degree grid but one (Superb) occurs in the far west of the grid and the other (Albert's) in the far east. The eastern most grid shown for the Superb is most likely an error.

I was asked by someone (I think it was Walter Boles of the Australian Museum) what species of lyrebird is found along the Casino Road between Grafton and Casino as he heard what he believed to be a lyrebird there. Superb Lyrebirds are absent from the large Clarence River floodplain. I would suspect that this bird, if indeed it was a lyrebird, would have been a Superb Lyrebird (race edwardi) at the eastern edge of its range.

Greg Clancy
Ecologist and Birding Guide
Coutts Crossing
NSW Australia

<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