Sunday, 27 January 2008

Lyrebird

The Lyrebird is an iconic ground dwelling Australian bird, so named after the tail of the male, which is said to form the shape of a "lyre". However, this bird is also known as a "liar" because of its extraordinary ability to mimic the calls of other birds and the sounds of machines and other noises from the built environment nearby the forests where they live.

Photo: Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae), Katoomba

I took this photograph a year ago but held off posting it because I hoped to get a better one. That didn't happen, despite Lyrebirds being quite common in the mountains.

Words to walk with:
From Lyrebird by Les Murray
"Liar made of leaf-litter, quivering ribby in shim,
hen-sized under froufrou, chinks in a quiff display him
or her, dancing in mating time, or out. And in any order.
Tailed mimic aeon-sent to intrigue the next recorder.
I mew catbird, I saw crosscut, I howl she-dingo, I kink
forest hush distinct with bellbirds, warble magpie garble, link
cattlebell with kettle-boil"

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