Superb Lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae
Male Superb Lyrebird, Tarra Bulga NP, Victoria, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image Victoria, Australia
April 2006

The Superb Lyrebird is distributed in south-east Australia from the extreme south-east of Queensland to just east of Melbourne. It is found in damp, dark gullies in wet eucalypt forest where it feeds on insects and small animals which it scratches from under the leaf litter of the forest floor.

Female and immature Superb Lyrebird, Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image The male, seen here in photo 1, is brown above with coppery wings and grey below. Its most significant feature is the long tail shaped much like a lyre with two principal feathers coloured black and rufous. The tail is normally held horizontal as here but when the male is making his nuptial display it is held cocked over its head. The display is often made on a display mound and the male will attract and mate with several females.
Female or immature Superb Lyrebird, Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia, April 2006 - click for larger image The female, seen here in photo 2 has a much shorter tail compared to the male and it is usually held horizontally or drooping.

The male Superb Lyrebird uses a fantastic variety of song including imitations of other birds and other forest sounds as it displays and attracts females. There is a fascinating clip by David Attenborough showing the diversity of the song.

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