Flute Lyrebirds of the Werrikimbe Wilderness - Album Cover

Flute Lyrebirds
of the Werrikimbe Wilderness

The unique melodic songs of lyrebirds in the misty forests of Werrikimbe.

Recording Location: Werrikimbe region, NSW, Australia
Habitat: Antarctic beech forest & upland temperate rainforest
Duration: 95 minutes (1 track)
Year of Release: 2021 © All rights reserved
Download Formats: mp3 & FLAC (48kHZ/24bit)

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Flute Lyrebirds of the Werrikimbe Wilderness - Album Cover

Album Background

In the cool, damp forests of the Werrikimbe region in New South Wales, the local Superb Lyrebirds have an extraordinary accent and are sometimes referred to as ‘flute lyrebirds’. The whistle song of birds in parts of this region is a complex, melodic phrase which sounds like a scale played on a flute. In winter when male lyrebirds are in full song, these unique melodies float through the cool misty air of the high altitude rainforests of Werrikimbe creating a magical atmosphere.

An interesting story is connected with the ‘flute lyrebirds’ – it suggests these unique songs are actually a result of a captive bird in the 1920’s learning to mimic the sounds of the household’s flute player. A team of researchers (Vicki Powys, Hollis Taylor & Carol Probets) has extensively investigated the story and the songs of ‘flute lyrebirds’ in the region and you can read their conclusions in this paper. It seems the jury is still out on whether these songs are a remarkable local accent, or the result of mimicry as explained in the flute lyrebird story.

Recording Location

Map - Halmahera, Indonesia

Listen to a Sample

Track Notes

1. Flute Lyrebirds of the Werrikimbe Wilderness (95:23)

Published as a single 95 minute track, this album consists of a selection of 10 recordings captured over the period of a day in the Werrikimbe region. Each recording overlaps briefly with the next to create a seamless long track.

The album begins with the first flute lyrebird song of the day in the cool, dark predawn. After about 4 minutes a number of other species join the dawn chorus including Bassian Thrush & Eastern Yellow Robin. The birdsong is vibrant until about 16:00, after which the lyrebirds move a little further from the microphones. The next hour ebbs and flows with bouts of lyrebird song and sections of quieter forest ambience.

From around 78:00 a late afternoon breeze blows through the treetops and as the wind drops at dusk at around 85:00 a few lyrebirds can be heard singing in the distance in the fading light.

Bird species heard on this album include:

Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Crimson Rosella, Australian King Parrot, Superb Lyrebird, White-throated Treecreeper, Red-browed Treecreeper, White-naped Honeyeater, New Holland Honeyeater, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, White-browed Scrubwren, Variegated Fairywren, Striated Thornbill, Brown Thornbill, Grey Shrikethrush, Eastern Whipbird, Pied Currawong, Satin Bowervird, Forest Raven, Australian Raven, Eastern Yellow Robin and Bassian Thrush.

Album Photos