As Carol mentioned, the most frequent Lyrebird 'pilot' I've noted are
scrubwrens as well. Sightings referred to are from the Blue Mountains although
further north in the hunter Region e.g. Barrington Tops and the Watagan
Mountains, or only Lyrebird pilots can be scrubwrens.
Funny thing though, is that the very first Pilot bird I ever saw (1985) was at
Evan's Lookout in the Blue Mountains and it was on top of the ridge next to the
path leading to the lookout (Carol you will know how relatively open the
under-storey is there) and it was following a Lyrebird in a manner that was the
definition of its name.
It's taken a long time to realise though that that is exception and not the
rule in our neck of the woods, as I've never seen it repeated.
I wonder if the number of Pilotbird/Lyrebird interactions observed has anything
to do with how confiding both these bird species are in some areas of Victoria?
I was birding in Sherbrooke Forest in 2000 with Andrew Wegener and a pair of
Pilotbirds came out onto the very wide and open path not more than 2m from our
feet, acting much like human habituated scrubwrens. They were very confiding.
Apart from that first Pilotbird encounter and the Sherbrooke birds, my
experiences have always been of skulking Pilotbird individuals in our end of
On 27/04/2011, at 9:33 AM, Carol Probets wrote:
> Hello all,
> In his post "Good Friday in Sydney's Royal National Park", Tom Wilson wrote:
> "A Superb Lyrebird by the river - but the accompanying small birds were not
> Pilotbird but 2 yellow Throated Scrubwren"
> Here in the Blue Mountains NSW, it is most often the scrubwrens that
> accompany lyrebirds in the pursuit of morsels uncovered by the larger bird's
> feet. I've also seen Eastern Yellow Robins do this.
> Last winter I spent quite a bit of time working with the Superb Lyrebirds at
> Scenic World near Katoomba. There, the foraging lyrebirds were nearly always
> attended by small groups of White-browed and Yellow-throated Scrubwrens, not
> only darting around the feet of the lyrebirds, but also descending on freshly
> scratched areas immediately after the lyrebird had moved on.
> First thing each morning, well before the tourists arrived, there would be
> literally dozens of scrubwrens on and around the boardwalk. It occurred to me
> that the feeding opportunities created by the high concentration of lyrebirds
> in that area almost certainly enables a larger population of scrubwrens to
> exist at that location than would otherwise be possible.
> I gather that Pilotbirds are much more likely to be seen accompanying
> lyrebirds in the forests of Victoria than up here in the Sydney region. Here
> I rarely see Pilotbirds following lyrebirds as they are renowned to do, and
> in fact I most often see them in places where the understorey is too dense
> for lyrebirds.
> Carol Probets
> Blue Mountains NSW
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