Skip to main content

lyrebird

lyrebird, common name for Australian passerine birds named for the appearance of the tail plumage of the male superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, when displayed during courtship. There are only two species. The superb lyrebird, about the size of a rooster, is brown above and ash below. It has a long, pointed bill, a longish neck, and large, strong legs and feet with which it runs swiftly. The Albert's lyrebird is smaller. Lyrebirds are shy, solitary forest and scrubland dwellers. They seldom fly; at night they roost in trees. Their diet consists of insects, worms, and land crustaceans and mollusks. The frame of the lyre, which develops when the male is three years old, is formed by the two long (2 ft/60 cm), curved outer tail feathers; the "strings" between are lacy white quills. The lyre position of the tail is assumed only fleetingly during the courtship dance, which is performed on a mound of earth scraped together by the male. This dance is accompanied by elaborate vocalizing, the birds being excellent mimics as well as distinctive singers. The female lays her single egg in a bulky domed nest built on or near the ground. The lyrebird appears on the seals and stamps of Australia. Lyrebirds are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Menuridae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"lyrebird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"lyrebird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lyrebird

"lyrebird." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lyrebird

lyrebird

lyre·bird / ˈlīrˌbərd/ • n. a large Australian songbird (genus Menura, family Menuridae), the male of which has a long, lyre-shaped tail and is noted for his remarkable song and display.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"lyrebird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"lyrebird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/lyrebird-0

"lyrebird." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved May 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/lyrebird-0

lyrebird

lyrebird Either of two shy Australian songbirds; the superb lyrebird (Menura superba) and Albert's lyrebird (M. alberti). These large, perching birds have lyre-shaped tails displayed during courtship performances.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"lyrebird." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"lyrebird." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lyrebird

"lyrebird." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved May 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lyrebird

lyrebird

lyrebirdabsurd, bird, Byrd, curd, engird, gird, Heard, herd, Kurd, misheard, nerd, overheard, reheard, third, turd, undergird, undeterred, unheard, unstirred, word •blackbird • yardbird • cage bird •jailbird • seabird • ladybird •dickybird • mockingbird • whirlybird •hummingbird • nightbird • songbird •shorebird • bluebird • lovebird •lyrebird • bowerbird • thunderbird •waterbird • weaverbird • Sigurd •swineherd • cowherd • goatherd •potsherd • catchword • password •headword • swear word • keyword •byword • watchword • crossword •foreword • loanword • buzzword •afterword

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"lyrebird." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"lyrebird." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/lyrebird

"lyrebird." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved May 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/lyrebird