The Albert’s Lyrebird (Menura alberti) is a large passerine songbird in the Menuridae family. It is a ground-dwelling bird.
The Albert’s Lyrebird looks like a partridge or pheasant, with a plumpish body, slender neck, and a long tail. It has short, rounded wings, which makes them poor fliers.
When the tail is fanned out, the male’s large tail looks like a lyre musical instrument. His tail has 16 modified feathers. Two of the tail feathers, called medians, are broad, brown curved feathers with dark tips. There are also two thin dark feathers, called lyrates. The rest of the 12 tail feathers are white filamentaries.
It measures about 84-90 centimetres (30-35 inches) long.
It is native to south-eastern Australia. It prefers rain forests and bushland.
The Albert’s Lyrebird mimics other birds and sounds, such as car engines, car alarms, camera shutters, and dogs barking.
It feeds on the ground. It scratches the ground and leaf litter, looking for insects, such as cockroaches and beetles. It also eats centipedes, spiders, and earthworms.
The female lays one egg in a pile of twigs on the ground. She sits on the egg until it hatches. The egg hatches in about 50 days. The chick is born altricial—featherless and blind. Only the mother raises the chick.
The Albert’s Lyrebird lives for about 30 years.
[Location of photographs: Adelaide Zoo, Australia]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM