Friday, July 5, 2013

Tidbinbilla Lyrebird Song

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve abounds with Lyrebirds. They breed in the deep of winter. The males display their distinctive feathered tails and sing for mates. The Lyrebird is a ground dwelling bird with a unique call and ability to mimic other birds in its environment. In fact this amazing mimicking ability can extend to other domestic noises. I have heard recordings with lawnmower and chainsaw starter pulls from a bird in a south coast wildlife park.

Tidbinbilla of course lives up to its name as a nature reserve. The area I have been recording in the past few months consists of a natural gap between two hills about 6 km above the Rock Valley Homestead. The gap sits above an unnamed gully which in wet weather would be a tributary of the Tidbinbilla River. This is the scene. I have always liked the name of this gap probably named in the 19th century, ‘Devil’s Gap’. 

I set a camera and 2 recorders’ last Monday and left them there until today. As luck would have it all the necessary ingredients for a decent wildlife recording were present mid morning on Wednesday. No wind or foliage noise… no aircraft droning and a bird in full extended chorus prepared to virtually perform into the microphone…

This is a 5 minute recording of a Tidbinbilla Lyrebird in full song.

Just as an historical curiosity to perhaps read while listening the lyrebird was also considered a table bird and were hunted like pheasant. This old article is about hunting the Lyrebird and I suspect it was set just east of Queanbeyan. Its a gripping tale...

Queanbeyan Age and General Advertiser (NSW : 1864 - 1867), Thursday 8 September 1864

National Library of Australia

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