General Description

The Superb Lyrebird is dark grey with coppery brown wings, back and throat. The feet, legs and bill are black. Males have a long tail with grey-white feathers and two wide, S-shaped decorative feathers used in courtship displays. Females and young males have long, brown feathers, but no decorative feathers. The bill to tail length is up to 1 m in males and 60 cm in females.


Superb Lyrebirds are excellent mimickers, with 80 percent of their songs consisting of mimicked sounds including other birds, dogs barking and some human-made sounds. Male Superb Lyrebirds invert their tail feathers over their head forming a lyre shape and mimic other birds' calls during courtship dances. These displays take place on low mounds of leaf litter that the male creates around his territory. Males and females defend separate breeding territories. Females lay a single egg in a dome-shaped nest camouflaged with moss and ferns. The chick will stay with its mother for around nine months. Males take six to eight years to develop a full adult tail. Lyrebirds forage by raking the leaf litter to find worms, spiders and insects and sometimes seeds. At night, they roost in trees. Lyrebirds tend to be sedentary, staying within a 10 km radius. They were introduced to Tasmania in the 1930s.


South-eastern mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Wet woodlands, rainforests and eucalypt forests in mountain and hilly areas.

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