BIRD — SUPERB LYREBIRD — PLANET EARTH FLOWERS group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

Superb Lyrebird Might Be the Fanciest Bird in the World

The male Superb Lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) puts the many ways to be fancy together in dazzling fashion. On a carefully cleared patch of forest floor, he begins by fanning elaborate tail plumes over his head, then coordinates a precisely timed song-and-dance sequence.

He finishes off with a rapid-fire recital of borrowed songs. This makes him one of the few birds in the world that combine elaborate plumes, mimicked song, and formalized dance steps in courtship displays. Because the display is complex and takes a lot of practice to perfect, only the most accomplished males are chosen as mates. Lyrebirds are native to eastern Australia.

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