The superb lyrebird has garnered worldwide recognition as nature’s greatest voice impersonator. Researchers have found that besides imitating other species’ songs and artificial sounds from the environment, it is capable of mimicking the sounds of an entire multispecies flock. This vocal mimicry is used by males during mating sessions and is believed to increase their reproductive success. Image of a superb lyrebird by Alex Maisey. Masters of imitation The superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae) is a large ground-dwelling songbird endemic to southeastern Australia. It’s best-known for its extraordinary ability to imitate complex artificial sounds from the environment, even chainsaws, camera shutters, squeaking trees, and car alarms. A study published Feb. 25 in Current Biology adds one more astonishing feat to its repertoire: male lyrebirds can mimic the panicked alarm calls and wingbeat noises of many bird species all at once. This illusion of creating a complex ecological scene has never before been seen in birds. “In the past, biologists have specified that mimicry involves three protagonists: a mimic, a signal receiver, and a model. But here we have an example of one individual — a male lyrebird — mimicking an entire ecological scene comprising multiple individuals and multiple species calling simultaneously,” Anastasia Dalziell, a behavioral ecologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and lead author of the paper, says in a statement. https://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2021/03/04231252/This-audio-clip-is-a-segment-of-a-real-mixed-species-mobbing-flock-experimentally-induced-in-Sherbrooke-Forest-CREDIT-Dalziell-et-al.wav This audio clip is a segment of a real mixed-species mobbing flock experimentally induced in Sherbrooke Forest. Audio courtesy of Dalziell et al. https://imgs.mongabay.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2021/03/04231256/This-audio-clip-is-an-example-of-a-male-lyrebird-imitating-a-mobbing-flock-during-copulation-2-CREDIT-Dalziell-et-al-1.wav This audio clip is an…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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