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The Kid Should See This

The Fanciest Bird in the World: Superb Lyrebird

Captured on video by Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Anastasia Dalziell and University of Western Sydney’s Justin Welbergen, this is a male Superb Lyrebird, an Australian songbird who is not only a fancy dancer, as shown, but can also skillfully mimic the sounds of the environment around it. From The Lab of Ornithology:

On a carefully cleared patch of the forest floor, he begins the courtship display by fanning elaborate tail plumes over his head and quivering them to achieve a shimmering effect. He then coordinates a precisely timed song-and-dance sequence, and finishes off with a rapid-fire recital of songs borrowed from other species. When the evolutionary pressure to impress mates is at its strongest, the results can look and sound downright bizarre.

…As bizarre as a bird that sounds like a chainsaw. You may know the Lyrebird from the famous BBC Earth clip with Sir David Attenborough. Listen to it mimic a camera shutter, a kookaburra, a car alarm, and more:

Related exploration: The Lab’s All About Fancy Males interactive feature.

Related videos: Bird Song Hero and The Birds of Paradise Project.

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