Not a long post today but something I thought was interesting.
Meet the Lyrebird. Lyrebirds are native to Australia and until about 30 minutes ago, I had never heard of them. I have always been fascinated by birds' ability to mimic non-natural (i.e. human made) sounds though and - after watching way too many sloth videos - the Lyrebird happened to pop up on my YouTube suggestions. Specifically, this video from Nat Geo Wild:
Pretty cool, right? Not only does this bird look cool, with its' Peacock-esque tail, it is able to mimic almost every sound it hears. That's pretty impressive. In fact, during mating season (from June to August) a Lyrebird might sing for up to 4 hours a day. No wonder he's mimicking a camera shutter. He has to dig deep for material to cover 4 hours!
Lyrebirds aren't like Parrots, don't get that idea. You probably aren't going to hear a Lyrebird say "Polly want a cracker" any time soon - though Lyrebirds in zoos have been known to copy human speech. But their lack of human mimicking is a good thing, I think. The only reason that Parrots talk is because they're raised in captivity. And while I don't necessarily disagree with owning pets (I have two dogs who wouldn't last 5 minutes out on their own and we're all very happy here, thanks) I don't think the Lyrebird qualifies as the type of animal you'd want in a cage next to your bed.
In fact, it makes me a little sad to think that Lyrebirds even hear these sounds to begin with. Like the one above mimicking a chainsaw. The reason he knows that sound is because they have been cutting down trees in his habitat. I think we can all agree that's a bit sad.
Here's another impressive video of a Lyrebird:
So there you go, your science lesson for the day. Lyrebirds are pretty cool and not just your average bird. Hope you learned something new.