Lyrebirds imitating machines

To: "'martin butterfield'" <>, "'COG List'" <>
Subject: Lyrebirds imitating machines
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 22:06:11 +1000
Oh this old story again. I did have a quick look. That it is a collection of information from unreliable sources is shown that it refers to the film in Attenborough's series as being a wild bird. It was not. It was a captive bird at Healesville sanctuary. That article is a rehash of old stories, although the bit of film is quite nice and clearly convincing of a lyrebird copying many machine sounds. This has been discussed at length on birding-aus (see their archives).
The point is that yes tales of WILD lyrebirds imitating chainsaws etc are rural myths. The supposed chain saw sound is part of their normal calls. Captive birds that grow up unusual places and probably without older male lyrebirds to learn their mimicry from, do copy other bits, and this may include man made noises. That is what is the case in the bird shown on that video, not a wild bird.
-----Original Message-----
From: martin butterfield [
Sent: Tuesday, 3 May 2011 6:23 AM
To: COG List
Subject: [canberrabirds] Lyrebirds imitating machines

Many years back I recall a talk at a COG Meeting where it was explained that tales of lyrebirds imitating chainsws etc were rural myths.  This post appears to disprove that



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