Imagine walking through the Australian brush and suddenly hearing the sound of a camera shutter. You reel around to catch a glimpse of the stranger who is taking secret pictures of an unsuspecting passerby. But when you look down, you only see a strange-looking brown bird with peacock-like feathers.
As it turns out, it was actually a lyrebird that made the sound and not an actual camera. That is because this amazing creature can mimic nearly any sound it hears in the wild, including sounds that are man-made.
The bird uses its specially-trained voice box to mimic incredibly complex sounds, ranging from other bird calls all the way to gun shots.
But the real reason for the massive range of songs? To attract a mate.
During mating season the male lyrebird can sing for hours at a time when he is looking for a female. Their songs are typically a mixture of its own song, along with other mimicked sounds it has found to be particularly unique. They can even learn new songs from other lyrebirds.
Lyrebirds have been known to imitate the incredibly complex song of the Kookaburra so well that it actually attracts other Kookaburras.
So the next time you hear someone shooting at you, or using a chainsaw during your visit to Australia, it could very well be a lyrebird just trying to attract a female.Whizzco