Superb Lyrebird in Adelaide Zoo

Superb Lyrebird in an aviary of the Adelaide Zoo

Many times here on my birding site I have written about the Adelaide Zoo in South Australia. This is my home zoo and I have been a Life Member for about a decade now. I fully support the wonderful conservation work in which they are so successful.

One the features of this zoo is the excellent collection of birds, both Australian and non-Australian. Several walk-through aviaries allow the visitor to get up close to many otherwise shy or elusive species. The Superb Lyrebird is one such species. I’ve only managed to see this species in its natural habitat on a handful of occasions, so to see and photograph one from a distance of a metre or two is a real delight.

The Superb Lyrebird is widespread in the eastern parts of Australia but it is not all that common. In its natural environment it can sometimes be quite elusive. I remember fondly the first time I saw one. One morning before breakfast I walked in the rainforest in northern NSW for about three hours, only to get a three second glimpse of a solitary bird as it scuttled off into the undergrowth. I told the park ranger about my experience later. His reply: “Your sighting is about two seconds longer than most people.”

Superb Lyrebird in an aviary of the Adelaide Zoo


Rainforest: the secret of life

I thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s nature programme called “Rainforest: the secret of life” on ABC1 television here in Australia.

It was particularly pleasing to see so many of our birds featured on the programme. I enjoyed the long sequences showing the Albert’s Lyrebird and his extensive repertoire of calls and songs. Another feature was the Brush Turkey dispatching the carpet python from stealing eggs from the nesting mound by violently flicking leaves and sticks at the hapless snake.

The only criticism I can level at this lovely documentary was at the commentary. Whoever wrote the script needs a lesson in basic nature writing. It was far too lighthearted and anthropomorphic for the seriousness of the subject matter. The final few minutes highlighted the global importance of rainforests. They are being destroyed at an alarming rate. This is great cause for concern, but I fear the message was lost after the humourous sections earlier in the documentary.

Despite my criticism, this is a worthwhile show to watch. It’s not available from the ABC Shop Online as I write this, but will probably be available in the next few days.

UPDATE: the DVD of this programme is now available – click here.