recordings of bird calls

To: "'Greg and Val Clancy'" <>, "'Mark Young'" <>, <>
Subject: recordings of bird calls
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2013 17:42:57 +1000
Yes of course Lyrebirds mimic but you will rarely hear the call of just one
(other) species coming from a Lyrebird. If the sound is from Lyrebirds you
will normally hear a whole string of sounds in rapid progression,
interspersed with their own song (commonly all at the same volume). So not
only is the mimicry usually slightly different from the model, the context
is normally very different. So in truth you will usually know when the sound
is coming from a Lyrebird. The same is to widely varying extents true of
most other bird mimics (or vocal copiers - as they are mostly not true
mimics, see the article: David S Dobkin 1979 'Functional and evolutionary
relationships of vocal copying phenomena in birds', Zeitschrift fur
Tierpsychologie 50, 348-363. This is the best ever discussion of why birds
mimic or at least a model on which to analyse it.  I only know of the Regent
Honeyeater to mimic just one other species at a time in a way that is in a
context consistent with the model. But when they mimic Wattlebirds, the
sound is slightly different (the same notes and sounds but not as loud or


-----Original Message-----From: 
 On Behalf Of Greg and Val
Sent: Wednesday, 11 September 2013 2:21 PM      To: Mark Young;
 Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] recordings of
bird calls

Hi Mark,

Often males and females of the one species have slightly different calls, 
such as with the Powerful Owl and Pheasant Coucal.  You can tell the sex by 
the call.  Regional variation or the age of the bird can also lead to slight




Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Birding-wildlife Guide
| PO Box 63 Coutts Crossing NSW 2460
| 02 6649 3153  | 0429 601 960

-----Original Message----- From: Mark Young     Sent: Wednesday, September
11, 2013 1:54 PM
To:      Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus]
recordings of bird calls


Yesterday I visited Buderroo NP early in the morning. I heard a bird call
that I then checked against the calls I had on my phone. The  call exactly
matched the call of a Wonga pigeon in terms of notes sung and duration of
the call ( the call I listened to was from a cd by Dave Stewart). I noted at
the time that the call that that the recording of the pigeon seemed to be a
bit higher than the call of the bird, which seemed a bit lower. At the time
I put this down to the recording, but I wonder if I did hear the Wonga
pigeon, or another bird mimicking it? They were plenty of lyrebirds in the
area at the time, which may have also made that call. When a lyrebird mimics
another birds call, is it exactly the same, or slightly different? Is there
anyway to tell if the call you hear was made by the species that should make
it, or it's being mimicked?


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