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Geography Guy
1009665.  Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:55 am Reply with quote

The lyrebird is a large Australian songbird with a unique talent in mimicry. Its yearly mating call has been known to mimic sounds of Australian birdlife (such as kookaburras and blackbirds) as well as the grunts and howls of koalas and dingos, and even droplets of rainwater.
The lyrebird's ability to recreate human noises, however, really stand out. The list of sounds reproduced by a lyrebird include that of power drills, chainsaws and handsaws, car engines, reversing trucks, gun shots, camera flashes, even crying babies, human conversation, and more.

As you can see below, this quickly became something of a YouTube phenomenon, with David Attenborough and the Adelaide Zoo alone generating well over 13 million views.

It should be noted that not all lyrebirds are this adept at mimicry. Some have proven themselves to be more talented than others. Regardless, Australia is proud enough of its copycat bird to display the lyrebird on its 10 cent coin.
1308552.  Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:34 pm Reply with quote

But note this titbit I recently found.

What David Attenborough didn't say was that lyrebirds who mimic man-made sounds are not typical of the species. The one that appears in the below video was a specimen held in captivity in Adelaide Zoo that acquired these sounds when the zoo's panda enclosure was constructed.

There is no known recording of a lyrebird in the wild imitating man-made mechanical sounds.

1308578.  Sun Dec 30, 2018 4:40 pm Reply with quote

That's a relief. Less doom-laden than thinking they are so familiar with the sounds that they are learning them in their natural habitat.


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