Mimicry by Superb Lyrebirds

To: "" <>
Subject: Mimicry by Superb Lyrebirds
From: Scouler <>
Date: Sat, 02 Aug 2003 17:51:51 +1100
Hello birders,

On an early morning wlk along the northern end of Lady Carrington Drive
in Royal National Park (on the southern outskirts of Sydney) last week,
we saw and heard several Superb Lyrebirds. The males were singing loudly
and indulging in mimicry, in display and otherwise, sometimes quite
spontaneously while foraging. Most of the mimicry took the familiar form
of the "medley", a continuous stream of brief "quotations" from the
songs of other species of birds without a pause in between. But from
time to time we heard the call of a single species isolated from other
calls. We were unable to determine whether or not these emanated from
the lyrebirds. They were of species (Pilotbird, Pied Currawong, Grey
Shrike-thrush) which occur in the area. If they were imitations, they
sounded identical to the originals, at least to our inexpert ears.

My question is this:  when mimicking, do Superb Lyrebirds only give the
calls of other species in the form of the "medley", or do they sometimes
imitate the call of a single species in isolation?

Colin Scouler.

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