Albert's Lyrebird - profile

Indicative distribution


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Key:
known
predicted
The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Menura alberti
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2012

Description

Albert’s Lyrebird is a large, long-tailed, mostly ground-dwelling bird with rich chestnut brown plumage, which is slightly paler and greyer below. The male has a long and beautiful tail combining ribbon-like plumes, filamentary feathers, and broad 'lyrates'. The female has a shorter and more simply structured tail which appears more pointed. Albert’s Lyrebird can be distinguished from the more common and widespread Superb Lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae by its richer brown plumage and, in males, less elaborate lyrate feathers of the tail. Albert's Lyrebirds are much more often heard than seen; they are shy and wary and difficult to approach. They typically occur singly or in pairs. Their loud, penetrating call is often interspersed with mimicry of other species. In display, the male spreads its tail forward over its head and body and shivers it, while calling loudly.

Distribution

Albert's Lyrebird is restricted to a small area of far south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern NSW. In NSW, it is mainly found in the McPherson and Tweed Ranges, but occurs west to the Acacia Plateau in the Border Ranges and south to the Koonyum and Nightcap Ranges, and with an isolated population at the species' eastern and southern limit in the Blackwall Range, between Alstonville and Bagotville.

Habitat and ecology

  • Mainly occur in the wettest rainforests or wet sclerophyll forests with a wet understorey, often of rainforest plants. Higher densities of Albert's Lyrebirds occur in association with a canopy of eucalypts compared with rainforest lacking eucalypts (for equivalent climate), and in wet sclerophyll forest with greater weights of litter and logs and slower rates of litter decomposition.
  • In optimum habitat, forage up to major ridges whereas in mid-quality habitat tend to forage only on lower slopes and in gullies, and do not forage in dry sclerophyll forest.
  • Feed on the ground, usually where there is a deep, moist layer of leaf-litter, and fallen logs. In NSW, usually forage in rather open areas without a dense layer but with a well-developed taller strata.
  • Eat invertebrates that live in soil and leaf-litter, particularly insects and their larvae, but, fairly surprisingly, they have not yet been observed to eat earthworms.
  • Albert's Lyrebirds are solitary birds, and at least the males are territorial and it is likely that the females are too. Occasionally two or three birds may be seen close together.
  • Breed over winter, with clutches found between late May and mid-August. The nest is built on a rocky ledge, in fissures in rocks, between rocks, or occasionally in caves on steep rock faces or cliffs.
  • Females lay a single egg, and do all the parental care, with the male taking no role.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Threats

Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

CMA CMA sub-region Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Northern RiversClarence Lowlands Known north of Evans Head
Northern RiversMurwillumbah (Qld - Southeast Hills and Ranges) Known None
Northern RiversRichmond - Tweed (Qld - Scenic Rim) (Part A) Known None
Northern RiversRichmond - Tweed (Qld - Scenic Rim) (Part B) Known None
Northern RiversWoodenbong Known None