Bower bird mimicry

To: "'Charmian Lawson'" <>, "'COG'" <>
Subject: Bower bird mimicry
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2010 15:52:07 +1100
Hello Charmian,
I am not sure from this if you are aware of it, that the Bowerbirds are known to be very skilled vocal mimics (or copiers to be more precise). And so your observation is an example of this.
-----Original Message-----
From: Charmian Lawson [
Sent: Monday, 4 January 2010 1:49 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Bower bird mimicry

Having listened to the cuckoo calls on (thanks very much to Nick Payne for this link), I am almost certain that the male satin bower bird often in our garden has been copying the call of the fan-tailed cuckoo. I had been trying for some time to track down what I thought was a cuckoo in the tree over the road, but was frustrated when a bower bird apparently also in the tree flew away and I couldn't see the cuckoo. Just before Christmas I heard it in our back yard, but when I went out to see it, I found the call came from the bower bird up on the power line.
This morning I again heard the bower bird that imitates a kookaburra, producing a very soft but unmistakeable laugh. Rod Mackay who also lives in Holder had heard this bower bird before so presumably it's been around for a while.
Charmian Lawson
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