Lyrebirds and Bird Culture

A few weeks ago an alarm was sounded at Taronga Zoo; the lions had escaped! Once they were safely back in their enclosure it seemed that everything was back to normal. Until visitors heard the alarm again.

Was this another animal escape? No, it was actually Echo the Lyrebird performing a perfect mimicry of the sound of the alarm. Lyrebirds are notorious for being amazing mimics; they can replicate the sound of other animals and even human machines like a chainsaw or a ringing mobile phone. 

So how exactly do Lyrebirds do this? And is the mimicry of sound an indication of bird’s having a culture? 

 Dr. Alex Maisey, a Postdoctoral research fellow at the Research Centre for Future Landscapes at La Trobe University joined 2SER to explain everything about Lyrebirds. 


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