Incredible Bird Calls

In my current manuscript I make a reference to the call of a kookaburra. I assumed (incorrectly as it turns out) the kookaburra would be one of our Aussie animals that everyone knew, like kangaroos or koalas – because of its call. Uh uh. It’s a shame, because we have so many unique bird calls in Australia that I am sure aren’t replicated anywhere else. I thought I’d share five of my favourites:

1. This is a superb lyrebird. The clip is about 2ish minutes long but you need to watch to the end to see just how incredible this bird is!

2. Kookaburra (or laughing jackass). You would have heard the mimic in the above clip, but here is the actual call.

3. Bellbirds. These sound like little bells and are so pretty…for about the first 10 minutes. But they are *relentless* with their call and prolonged exposure drives you batty!

4. Whip bird. The call usually heard is actually two birds – the male makes the whip sound and the female responds instantly with a “tu tu”. The female response is so perfectly timed a lot of people think it is the one bird making the call.

5. Australian magpie. The magpie has a warble which I think is really pretty.

Do you have a favourite bird call?

6 comments on “Incredible Bird Calls

  1. Yes, I love the magpie call. Very pretty indeed. Of course, it’s the only one of these I’m likely to hear in the suburbs of Melbourne. But I’ve always been fascinated by that living tape recorder, the lyrebird! I vaguely recall reading somewhere that we might still be hearing sounds from a long time ago, if lyrebirds pass on sounds to each other.

    • Lyrebirds do pass their calls down generations, but they alter. According to the Audubon Society “lyrebirds actually pass down their impressions from one generation to the next. For several decades after lyrebirds were introduced to Tasmania in the 1930s, successive generations continued to mimic the call of the Eastern Whipbird, which lives only on the mainland. (The skill doesn’t carry on forever, though—by the 1980s, the lyrebird’s whipbird impression had become so altered as to be almost unrecognizable.)”

  2. These are gorgeous. What voices! I do search out animal sounds because much of my WIP is outside. Who knew the Lyrebird passed calls down through generations? Who thought that was even possible!

  3. I can’t listen to those right now (I’m at work), but I’m sure they’re really cool.

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