Mimicry by Lyrebird

To: Carol Probets <>,
Subject: Mimicry by Lyrebird
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2007 17:28:48 +1000
I well remember seeing that sequence of David Attenborough's camera-imitating Lyrebird - and for half a second I also recognized a glimpse of part of the aviary structure (I know that aviary very well). A much earlier Lyrebird in that aviary was a hand-reared bird, whose repertoire included a muttered "Hullo Chook" (that was his name). He was of course useless in a breeding program being imprinted on humans. All the same it was a marvellous moment when he flew onto my arm and looked me in the face for a moment! He was softly singing his assorted subsong repertoire at the time - including Magpies and Black Cockatoos.

Given the appalling difficulties of making a nature film series for TV and the small time allowed to do so, I don't begrudge David Attenborough the use of captive fauna at times. At least the BBC does its best to be accurate, and it opens our eyes to the wonderful things we are unlikely to see for ourselves.
Anthea Fleming

Carol Probets wrote:

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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