Posted on

BOTTOM LINE: The male Superb Lyrebird has the fanciest mating ritual in the animal kingdom.

According to researchers at Cornell University, “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.”

You can watch him shake a tail feather at

The superb lyrebird is a pheasant-sized Australian songbird, measuring approximately over three feet long and weighing over two pounds, with major brown upper body plumage, greyish-brown below. His body has rounded wings and strong legs. He is a skilled mimic who can imitate sounds from both the animal kingdom as well as man-made noise, including chain saws, camera shutters, and automobiles.

For more information:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.