Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Superb Lyrebird

While driving in to the cabin at Pebbly Beach the first time we were greeted with a Superb Lyrebird running across the road in front of us. This was an exciting moment. But, it got so much better.

The following morning as we headed out to explore the area, we saw another(?) bird in the same place. I got out of the truck and soon motioned for E to follow.

What we saw was a male in the bush, just off the road. This fellow decided it was time to attract a female and erected his lyre-like tail over his back and began to dance and hop up and down. All the while he was "singing". I put this in quotes since it is hard to call some of this a song. These birds are famous for their ability to mimic sounds of other birds as well as manmade and natural noises. Our friend here was making a sound that resembled the kind of click-whirr of a camera autowinder. But since on has had to move film though a SLR at high speed for more than a decade now, it wasn't this sound, but it was similar. There were also bird calls of some sort tossed in as well. It was an impressive display and special moment.

The bottom side of the tail feathers, now on top, are much lighter in color than the rest of the bird and make a striking contrast.

Try as he might, no females were forthcoming.

To add to the thrill of seeing this display, we saw more of these birds!

There were three or four out for a morning browse through the leaf litter for a treat.

I was hesitant to imagine that we'd actually see one of these reclusive and rare bird. I never hoped to see so many all at once and the thought of seeing one in a mating display was beyond the pale. In this magical place called Pebbly Beach, we saw it all.