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LyrebirdLYREBIRD

Albert’s Lyrebird is a pheasant sized, long-tailed songbird found only in the mountainous sub tropical rainforest areas in a small range between north-east NSW and south-east Queensland in Australia. They have a very specialized habitat, and are an ancient Australian animal.

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Endangered status due to extensive deforestation the 19th century for forestry and agriculture, the introduction of weed species such as lantana which reduces the suitability of their habitat, periodic fires and the introduction of predators such as foxes and feral dogs and cats.

Albert’s lyrebird rarely fly, they spend most of their time foraging on the forest floor for insects and spiders.  When threatened the bird can jump onto branches and rocks and glide back down again. They are solitary and territorial birds.

There are two species of lyrebird, Albert’s lyrebird and the Superb Lyrebird. Both are known for their ability to mimic any sound that surrounds them especially the Superb Lyrebird.  The lyrebird is known to mimic the sounds of people, horns, trains, chainsaws, this is mixed in with their own calls and songs. They sing throughout the year and their mimicry helps them to vocally set out their territory.

The male birds when courting spreads out its long tail feathers forward over its body and head, and builds a display mound of trampled vegetation to attract a female.

The lyrebird is the emblem of the NSW national Parks and Wildlife Service. The Superb Lyrebird is featured on the reverse side of the Australian 10c coin.

There is no one organization saving this species.

Because the lyrebird is extremely shy and elusive, their habitat is rugged terrain and dense vegetation it has been impossible to census their population. They are not kept anywhere in captivity.

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