Wildfacts: Superb Lyrebird


Superb Lyrebird - Male
Superb Lyrebird – Male

The superb lyrebird menura novaehollandiae is a pheasant-sized songbird found mainly in forest areas from southern Victoria to south-eastern Queensland. It has a large lacy tail that, when on display, the male’s tail resembles that of the ancient Grecian lyre.

During mating season, in the middle of winter, the male will secure a territory and begin a song and dance routine on a mound in order to attract a mate. The songs he sings imitate the sounds of the forest such as other birds, or mechanical noises like chainsaws or camera shutters. The male will mate with several females. The female alone builds the dome-shaped nest on the ground, in the fork of a tree or on the edge of a rock. She will lay a single purple-brown egg and incubate for approximately 45 days.


Superb Lyrebird
Scientific Name Menura novaehollandiae
Diet Insects, spiders and worms amongst the leaf litter; occasionally seeds.
Appearance 80-100cm including tail
Natural Threats Large aerial predators.
Human Threats
  • Cats
  • Foxes
  • Deforestation
Habitat Moist forests. Mainly found on the ground, will escape to the trees or in burrows when threatened. Maintains a home range of up to 10km.
Male Superb Lyrebird grooming
Male Superb Lyrebird grooming

Female Superb Lyrebird scratching for food

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