FW: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mimicry by Lyrebird

Subject: FW: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mimicry by Lyrebird
From: "Bob Dawson" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 12:07:39 +1000
The footage used in the David Attenborough show was actually of 3 separate birds I believe. One was a wild bird filmed at Kinglake. Another was a bird with the exotic name of "Chook" which was raised at Healesville Sanctuary and now resides at Adelaide Zoo. (If he is still alive) The third was a bird called Nova which still lives at Healesville Sanctuary. He is the one that does the camera shutter and he sometimes does it with and sometimes without motor drive! They also have recordings of Lyrebirds doing nail-guns, normal hammer on nails, hand and chainsaws, sirens, and human speech. Nova also does a very good representation of the local boy racers doing wheelies in their cars although his favorite call is that of the Bush-stone Curlew which he tends to overdo! Much of the David Attenborough footage was made to look as if it was in the wild by having staff run around with clumps of folage to screen anything that looked like a cage.

One other story I have heard but have no conirmation of is Lyrebirds in the Blue mountains still doing steam trains in an area where there have been no steam trains for 50 years or more. This would be an example if true of birds in the wild doing a mechanical sound and also passing it from generation to generation.



From: Carol Probets <>
To: Carl Clifford <>, 
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Mimicry by Lyrebird
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 10:03:45 +1000

Carl and others,

There was a thread about this some years ago which would be in the Birding-Aus archives. Apparently the David Attenborough lyrebird was a captive bird at Healesville Sanctuary and was raised in an environment where it heard these sounds frequently during its song-learning phase.



So, does that mean that the David Attenbourough footage of a Lyrebird imitating a camera shutter release. motor drive and a chain-saw was a fake ?
Carl Clifford

On 09/04/2007, at 12:24 AM, Syd Curtis wrote:

"May I repeat Norman's plea: If anyone has a recording of a lyrebird in the
wild, imitating mechanical sounds, I would be grateful to hear from them."



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