Superb lyrebird

Superb lyrebird
Menura novaehollandia

Common name:
Order Passeriformes
Family Menuridae
These birds are native of south-eastern Australia, being found from southern Victoria to south-eastern Queensland. They were introduced to southern Tasmania.

The superb lyrebird is 80-100 cm long and weighs 975 g.

They are found in moist forests, spending most of their time on the ground, but roosting in the trees at night.


Superb lyrebirds feed on insects, spiders, worms and, occasionally, seeds. They find their food by scratching with their feet through the leaf-litter.


These birds breed in April-October. The male secures a territory, attracting potential mates by singing and dancing on one of several mounds within it, throwing the tail forward over the body and shaking it in display. The male will mate with several females. Each female builds the nest alone, a large domed structure with a side entrance, built of sticks with moss sealing the interstices, often camouflaged with ferns or mosses. There she lays 1 large and grey egg with light speckles, which she incubates alone for 40-45 days. The chick is taken care by the female alone, fledging 6 weeks after hatching, but staying with the female for 9 months before becoming independent.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is reported to be common where their favoured habitat remains. The superb lyrebird is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss and degradation, and predation by introduced mammals, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

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