Albert's Lyrebirds on Tamborine Mountain

To: Lloyd Nielsen <>, <>
Subject: Albert's Lyrebirds on Tamborine Mountain
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Wed, 03 Nov 2010 11:57:03 +1000
Lloyd Nielsen wrote, 03 Nov 2010:

> My impression from following them for those years was that the Tamborine
> Albert's were an ancient population - they would have been isolated from
> the main population on the MacPhersons and the Main Range for many
> thousands of years from the lay of the country.

Their vocalisations support this.  Tamborine Albert's have just a single
rather simple territorial song.  Those in Lamington N P (geographically the
closest) have three versions of terr. song, all quite different from the
Tamborine song.

As well as terr. songs and mimicry cycles, Albert's display-song sometimes
includes a strange sequence which has been dubbed the "gronking" song
because it includes loud "gronk gronk" notes.  It includes phrases of rather
soft notes with marked rhythm.  Two slightly different notes are repeated to
form the rhythm.  All the Lamington Albert's use 'waltz' time: AbbAbbAbb ...
But on Tamborine, the second note is just repeated 10 or 12 times:

In various other localities I have found 2, 4, 5, and 6 'beats to the bar'.
But strangely the only other population with a gronking song similar to
Tamborine's is the one in Toonumbar N P, which is on the southern side of
the Richmond Valley, south from Mt Lindsay.

Incidentally, O'Reilly's Guesthouse in Lamington N P sell an Albert's
Lyrebird DVD.  It includes a gronking sequence and you can see the bird pick
up one of the vines of his display platform and tap it on the one below to
make a soft tapping sound in perfect time with his voice.  If you can accept
rhythm-sticks as a 'musical instrument',then we have a wild bird
accompanying his song on a musical instrument.




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