Superb: funds to find why female lyrebirds mimic predators

Male superb lyrebirds are renowned for their celebrated vocal mimicry, but researchers have recently found that female lyrebirds are spectacular mimics, too. New research is investigating why female superb lyrebirds mimic other species, and why some are better at it than others. 

‘While male lyrebirds use vocal mimicry to attract a mate, females use it in other ways and mimic different species to those mimicked by males,’ said Ms Victoria Austin, from the Western Sydney University. ‘They tend to mimic more predator calls when foraging, yet while defending nests they use vocalisations of harmless species. This suggests there are different functions for their mimetic vocalisations.’

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