Friday, 22 July 2011

It is winter, the time he is loudest in his call for a mate.  And so though he hides, being shy, twice in a row we have heard his array of fine impersonations on our walks to the falls.  His range of bird mimicry is top-notch, one imitation after another to such a high standard that you'd think there were 10 different varieties of birds all hanging around in a hidden clearing beyond the ferns.

And although it's funny and impressive, it's his kookaburra impersonation that ultimately makes you know it's a lyrebird you're having the privilege of hearing.  Not being a speaker of kookaburrian myself, I nevertheless can spot something a little off-key about the call - it ends differently, a little too soon, like a kookaburra with Alzheimer's.  It's as if someone comes reciting an impressive paragraph of prose to you, with a fine command of the intricacies of the language, only to furrow their brow when you ask them what their name is :)

The lyrebird's native call is a hard-to-describe sound, a sort of downward ewwwwww followed by an upward sort of something which sounds the way a whip made of cool mint would, hitting the air.  Sometimes it rings out so clear, the sound lingers for a second or two, like a singing bowl in the air.

I have posted this before on my blog but it's worth a repeat.


  1. a kookaburra with alzheimers
    now THAT made ME laugh :-)))

  2. Hehe, it would be a sight to ... well, hear, wouldn't it :)


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