Fun Superb Lyrebird Facts For Kids

Ritwik Bhuyan
Jan 10, 2023 By Ritwik Bhuyan
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Superb lyrebird facts: the male of the species has a distinctive lyre-shaped tail, which is used while dancing during mating season.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

The superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, is one of the species of the two different species from the family of Menuridae. These lyrebirds are the world's largest songbirds and are known mostly for their elaborate tail and the male's courtship display.

The birds are mostly found in southeastern Australia. The bird has the most sophisticated voice skills and makes beautiful sounds along with the most complex and elaborate sounds.

The scientific name of the superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, is common to both male and female species of the bird.

The lyrebirds are mostly known for their outstanding ability to mimic any sound. They are so good at mimicry that they can copy calls of most of the birds in the forest.

They are also able to mimic barking dogs, car alarms, and any other sound you can think of. The most notable mention of these birds is their feature on the Australian 10c coin.

The voice of the superb lyrebirds is so soothing that they can make any sound into a song.

Each song normally lasts up to 20 minutes. Lyre, which is an ancient Greek musical instrument, inspires the name of the superb lyrebirds due to their tail feathers.

The lyrebirds are also famous because of the male birds, who fan and shimmer their long tail feathers while prancing, strutting, and jumping about on a stage of leaf litter. This is done by the males in their courtship display to the females.

The superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, and Albert's lyrebird, Menura alberti, fall under the same genus but have some striking differences which we will read about in later categories. The lyrebird look usually like a large brown pheasant.

If you like this article, check out the European goldfinch and the red-tailed hawk.

Superb Lyrebird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a superb lyrebird?

The superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, is a type of songbird.

What class of animal does a superb lyrebird belong to?

The superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, falls under the class Aves of birds.

How many superb lyrebirds are there in the world?

There is no fixed population data on these birds but is estimated that the birds are on a decline in recent times.

Where does a superb lyrebird live?

The superb lyrebird is a ground-dwelling bird living in moist forests. The lyrebird roosts in trees at night in their natural habitat.

They rarely move large distances and make their nest in a 10 km radius for a lifetime. They prefer subtropical and tropical rainforests and wet and dry sclerophyll forests.

The birds native to moist forests and rainforests, as the forests are always related to an open ground layer of moist leaf litter shaded by vegetation. Related to the monsoon season, the range of the lyrebird is also extended into drier areas further from water sources.

What is a superb lyrebird's habitat?

This ground-dwelling lyrebird is ancient in Australia. The superb lyrebird is found in the forests of the south-eastern part of Australia, which range from southern Victoria to south-eastern Queensland. They are found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern New South Wales. It is also common in the Australian wildlife scenery of Sydney, as well as Tasmania.

Who do superb lyrebirds live with?

This bird usually lives a solitary life. Adult males and females live alone in territories.

Those birds without territories form groups and live together. As they cannot fly much and like to be stationary in the same place, they live their whole life in a single place. The territories of this bird are typically very small in the forest and nest alone in their native habitat.

How long does a superb lyrebird live?

The lyrebird is a long-lived bird and can easily live for up to 30 years. To obtain this many years, they need to ensure their proper diet fulfilled.

How do they reproduce?

The usual breeding season for the adult Superb Lyrebird is from June to October. A single male lyrebird mates with several females at the same time.

Their territories in the forest also overlap with several females' territories. The male makes courting gestures for the female by building one or two small mounds of dirt and use it as a podium.

They also use leaf litter for the stage. The male then throws his tail forward and sings the songs made up of sounds from the surroundings. With the songs, the males also dance for the female.

These sounds and calls are made by the males to attract the females and secure their territory. Mimicry of other birds' calls is also done by the males in their songs and they are quite famous for it.

The female lyrebird builds its nest either on the ground or on tree stumps. They use feathers, roots, and ferns to make the nests.

After the breeding is done, a single egg is laid there by the female lyrebird with a form of purple and brown coloration on it. It takes almost seven weeks of incubation for the egg to hatch and even after the chick is born, it needs parental care for few more months. Only the mother cares for the newborn.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status is of Least Concern at the moment. The superb lyrebird is not as rare as Albert's lyrebird.

Superb Lyrebird Fun Facts

What do superb lyrebirds look like?

The superb lyrebird has a unique tail with dark brown and silver patterned colors.

The superb lyrebirds have a sticking resemblance with the common large brown pheasant. Both the adults are similar in color with brown colored feathers on the upper body.

They have a light brown to red throat marking. The tail feathers of the superb lyrebirds are dark brown on top and silver-gray at the bottom.

The males have a larger tail than the females and the chicks, which both have a plain, smaller tail. The tail of the male bird resembles the musical instrument, the lyre, and has eight pairs of ornate feathers. Six of these are whitish in color and broad and curved at the tip.

There are two equally long, narrow, and slightly curved feathers in the middle. Their beaks, legs, and feet are all black.

The young male lyrebirds do not grow their lyre-like tails until they are three to four years old.

The Albert's lyrebird is similar in appearance to the superb lyrebird but is only found in the deep rainforests. They do not have the same tail features as the superb lyrebirds and are smaller and darker in color. The sounds and mimicry of Albert's lyrebird found in Australia are louder and as complex as the superb lyrebirds.

How cute are they?

They can be considered quite cute when the tails are erect.

How do they communicate?

The lyrebirds communicate by the use of songs and loud sounds.

How big is a superb lyrebird?

The length at an average ranges from 34 in-39 in (0.86 m-1 m).

The height of the lyrebird varies from 31.4 in-39.3 in (0.8-1 m).

How fast can a superb lyrebird fly?

Lyrebirds are not used to flying and are lazy flyers. They only fly if they are in imminent danger.

How much does a superb lyrebird weigh?

The weight of the superb lyrebirds ranges from 2 lb-2.4 lb (0.9 kg-1.1 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Also known by their species name, the superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, have no different names for the male and female sexes. Both the male and female are called superb lyrebirds.

What would you call a baby superb lyrebird?

They are commonly called juveniles or chicks.

What do they eat?

They feed on insects, spiders, worms, frogs, small invertebrates, and find these by scratching under leaf litter with their long and sharp claws. They usually find their prey alone or with their young.

Are they dangerous?

They are no danger to anyone.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are thriving in their natural habitat. In captivity, they won't get proper care, and also the owners won't be able to provide all kinds of insects that the birds normally would find themselves.

Did you know...

Lyrebirds are special for their ability to mimic everything and make beautiful songs out of it.

Are Lyrebirds and peacocks the same?

The two lyrebird species, superb lyrebirds and Albert's lyrebirds, are known as the peacock of Australia. Lyrebirds look a lot similar to peacocks with their lacy plumed tail that curves behind its body.

Can Lyrebirds mimic anything?

Lyrebirds are famous for their ability to mimic anything from natural and artificial sounds captured from their environment. Even when in danger from some predator, they mimic the sound of another predator to keep all threats away from their nests.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the mountain quail and the jackdaw.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our birds on barbed wire coloring pages.

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Written by Ritwik Bhuyan

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English

Ritwik Bhuyan picture

Ritwik BhuyanBachelor of Arts specializing in English

A skilled content writer, Ritwik holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. He has refined his writing abilities through his past experience at PenVelope and his current role at Kidadl. In addition to his proficiency in writing, Ritwik has pursued his passion for flying by achieving CPL training and becoming a licensed commercial pilot. This diverse skill set highlights his commitment to exploring multiple fields. Ritwik's experience in the aviation industry has provided him with a unique perspective and attention to detail, which he brings to his writing.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

Abdulqudus Mojeed picture

Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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