As demonstrated by a fairly ear-splitting new video, a seven-year-old male lyrebird at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo has mastered his impression of a wailing human infant. Echo, as the name suggests, can be heard imitating the sounds of a frightened human child in the film.
Camera shutters and chainsaws are among the most fascinating reported cases of captive lyrebirds basing their cries on human noises. After watching the construction of a new panda habitat at Adelaide Zoo, a famous lyrebird named Chook is claimed to have evolved an astonishing assortment of power tool noises.
Bet you weren't expecting this wake-up call! You're not hearing things, our resident lyrebird Echo has the AMAZING ability to replicate a variety of calls – including a baby's cry!
— Taronga Zoo (@tarongazoo) August 30, 2021
Echo began imitating a baby’s scream last year, according to Leanne Golebiowski, the unit supervisor for birds at Taronga Zoo. “It would be difficult for these birds not to replicate some of the sounds they would hear in a zoo setting,” she added, citing the quantity of sounds they would hear.
“I can only presume he got it from one of our visitors.”
Echo often imitates the sound of a power drill and the zoo’s fire alarm, in addition to the scream of a newborn. Golebiowski remarks, “He even gets the ‘evacuate immediately’ statement down perfect.”