The superb lyrebird is an Australian songbird, one of two species from the family Menuridae. It is one of the world's largest songbirds, is noted for its elaborate tail and excellent mimicry; the species is endemic to the south east of the country, has been introduced to Tasmania. According to David Attenborough the species displays the most sophisticated voice skills within the animal kingdom; the superb lyrebird is featured on the reverse side of the Australian 10 cent coin. An Australian endemic, the superb lyrebird can be found in the forests of south-eastern Australia, from southern Victoria to south-eastern Queensland, its diet consists of small invertebrates found on the forest floor or in rotting logs. In the 1930s a small number were introduced to Tasmania amongst ill-founded fears it was in danger of becoming extinct; the Tasmanian population is thriving. Now widespread and common throughout its large range, the superb lyrebird is evaluated as being of least concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The superb lyrebird is a pheasant-sized Australian songbird, with males measuring 100 cm long and females measuring 76 to 80 cm. Males weigh around 1.1 kg, females 890 g. Among all extant songbirds only the common and thick-billed ravens outweigh it and only the much more slender black sicklebill can rival its length; the plumage is brownish grey on upper body with a red-brown wash on the wings. The underparts are greyish-brown below; the wings are round and short, with a wingspan of 68 to 76 cm, they are only capable of weak flight. The legs and feet are long and strong, capable of running on the ground and digging for food; the ornate tail of the male is 55 to 70 cm long, has sixteen feathers, with the two outermost together forming the shape of a lyre. Next within are two guard plumes and twelve long, lace-like feathers, known as filamentaries. Seven years are required for the tail to develop. During courtship displays, the male inverts his tail over his head, fanning his feathers to form a silvery white canopy.
Young males and females have brown tail feathers. Superb lyrebirds are ground-living birds that live solitary lives. Adults live singly in territories, but young birds without territories may associate in small groups which can be single or mixed-sex; these groups may in turn travel for some time with territorial adults when they cross their territory. Superb lyrebirds breed in the depth of winter. Adult males start singing half an hour before sunrise from roosts high above the forest floor. Superb lyrebirds sing less at other times of year but a stroll through their habitat on a rainy or misty day will sometimes find them active. Superb lyrebirds have a promiscuous mating system. During the breeding season adult females and males defend separate territories and only females care for young. A female may visit several males; the female lays a single egg and builds a domed nest camouflaging it with ferns or moss. The chick spends about nine months with the female before becoming independent; the superb lyrebird has an extraordinary ability to mimic a huge variety of sounds.
Both male and female lyrebirds sing but males sing more often. In David Attenborough's Life of Birds, the lyrebird is described as able to imitate twenty bird species' calls, a male is shown mimicking a car alarm and various camera shutters. However, two of Attenborough's three lyrebirds were captive birds. A recording of a superb lyrebird mimicking sounds of an electronic shooting game and chainsaws was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry in 2013; the vocalizations of some superb lyrebirds in the New England area of New South Wales possess a flute-like timbre. Superb lyrebird are ecosystem engineers that are important for the overall health of the eucalyptus forests they live in, their foraging behaviour changes the structure of the forest floor, speeding up the decay of forest litter and reducing the amount of fuel for forest fires. The superb is one of the two lyrebirds in the family Menuridae, the other being the much rarer Albert's lyrebird; the scientific name has been given as Menura superba.
The bird was first illustrated and described scientifically as such by Major-General Thomas Davies on 4 November 1800 to the Linnean Society of London. His work shows the tail feathers displayed. Lyrebirds are ancient Australian animals; the Australian Museum has fossils of lyrebirds dating back to about 15 million years ago. The prehistoric Menura tyawanoides has been described from early Miocene fossils found at the famous Riversleigh site. John Gould's painting of a male and female pair of superb lyrebirds, painted from specimens at the British Museum, has the tail feathers of the male incorrectly displayed. A specimen of a male superb lyrebird, at the American Museum of Natural History has the tail feathers displayed incorrectly. BirdLife Species Factsheet Superb lyrebird - Museum Victoria Superb lyrebird - Dr. Ellen Rudolph Superb lyrebird photo and information - Sherbrooke Lyrebird Survey Group Superb lyrebird videos on the Internet Bird Collection
The rufous fantail is a small Passerine bird, most known as the black-breasted rufous-fantail or rufous-fronted fantail, which can be found in Australia, Micronesia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In these countries they inhabit wet forests, swamp woodlands and mangroves. Characteristic of species that have a large range, the rufous fantail has many subspecies; however the taxonomic treatment of its subspecies and other relatives is still debated. The rufous fantail is distinguished by their orange-reddish-brown back and base of tail, they have a white breast that grades into a white colour on the chin and throat. They are migratory, travelling to south-eastern Australia in the spring to breed, north in the autumn; the rufous fantail tends to feed on small insects in the lower parts of the canopy. They are active birds making short, frequent flights, they may hop between foliage or on the ground, during foraging. Although their population is thought to be declining, their large range and abundance make them a species of least concern according to the IUCN.
The rufous fantail has complex evolutionary relationships and sometimes this results in conflicting taxonomy. This is not uncommon since taxonomies are hypotheses of a species' evolutionary status. Debate is still ongoing about the taxonomic treatment of the rufous fantail's subspecies and its related species; the rufous fantail was first described by Latham in his 1801 work, Index Ornithologicus as Muscicapa ruffifrons. It was reclassified into the genus Rhipidura by Vigors and Horsfield; the rufous fantail's scientific name is Rhipidura ruffifrons. Rhipidura is derived from Greek: ρϊπός, meaning fan-like and οὐρά, meaning tail. Ruffifrons comes from two Latin words: rufus meaning red and frons meaning the forehead; the rufous fantail is known by numerous other English names as well as several names in different languages. Some common English names include: rufous-fronted fantail, wood fantail, rufous-fronted flycatcher, wood flycatcher, red fantail, allied flycatcher, rufous flycatcher, rufous fan, red fan or redstart.
It is one of over 40 member species of the genus Rhipidura known as the fantails. Within the genus it belongs to a group of five related species: R. rufidorsa, R. brachyrhyncha, R. dahli, R. teysmanni and R. dryas. A molecular phylogeny study showed the Arafura fantail to be its closest relative, it forms a superspecies with R. dryas and R. semirubra, all three are considered conspecific. All are part of a larger species group that includes R. teysmanni, R. superflua, R. dedemi, R. opistherythra, R. lepida, R. rufidorsa, R. dahli, R. matthiae and R. malaitae. The current spatial distribution suggests an ancestry originating in the Papuan region, most New Guinea; the ancestral form may have had a white chin, white throat, a light grey breast as well as a greyish-brown head and back. Indirect evidence suggests that ancestral species undertook two periods of aggressive range expansions separated by a period of inactivity. During the former dispersal period, it is hypothesised by Mayr et al. that: Dispersal north and westwards formed the superflua on Buru, teijsmanni on Celebes, lepida on Palau.
Dispersal to Tenimber Islands in the Banda Sea formed the opistherythra. Dispersal to Northern New Guinea formed the rufidorsa. Dispersal to Bismarck Archipelago formed the dahli-antonii-matthiae series. Dispersal to Southeastern New Guinea and nearby islands evolved into the true rufifrons subspecies. During the latter dispersal period, the true rufifrons group underwent "explosive sub-speciation"; this is in stark contrast to the other members. The true rufifrons further evolved into eighteen subgroups; the rufous fantail is a superspecies comprising eighteen recognised subspecies. In alphabetical order, these are: Adults are medium-sized birds ranging from 14.5 cm - 18.5 cm in length, averaging at around 15 cm. They weigh 10 grams; the male and female of the species look identical. However, females are smaller than the males; the forehead is a richly reddish-brown colour across the eyes. The eyes have a white arc just below them; the top of the head, back of the neck and the upper back, transition from an olive to reddish-brown colour, which blends into a blackish-brown, fan-shaped tail.
This blackish-brown tail, contrasts with the base of the tail, tipped with a paler colour white. It has black ear-coverts; the throat is white, there is a black bar across the upper breast. Below this, the lower breast is off-white with black scale-like spots which transitions into an off-white colour towards the centre of the abdomen; the eyes and feet of the bird are all a brown colour. The aforementioned colours do not change during different seasons. However, compared to the adults, the juveniles have duller coloured backs and marginally browner tails and underparts. On the other hand, the base of the bill and their legs are a paler brown relative to an adult's. A physical description that may help distinguishing between the different subspecies can be found in the subspecies section of this article; the plumage in the immature birds is similar in both sexes. Adults moult annually prior to the breeding season, this basic plumage does not vary; these have been not been well characterised in the rufous fantail.
It has been observed to create several different types o
Australia the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area; the neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea and East Timor to the north. The population of 25 million is urbanised and concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, its largest city is Sydney; the country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century, it is documented. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day; the population grew in subsequent decades, by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established.
On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories. Being the oldest and driest inhabited continent, with the least fertile soils, Australia has a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres. A megadiverse country, its size gives it a wide variety of landscapes, with deserts in the centre, tropical rainforests in the north-east and mountain ranges in the south-east. A gold rush began in Australia in the early 1850s, its population density, 2.8 inhabitants per square kilometre, remains among the lowest in the world. Australia generates its income from various sources including mining-related exports, telecommunications and manufacturing. Indigenous Australian rock art is the oldest and richest in the world, dating as far back as 60,000 years and spread across hundreds of thousands of sites. Australia is a developed country, with the world's 14th-largest economy.
It has a high-income economy, with the world's tenth-highest per capita income. It is a regional power, has the world's 13th-highest military expenditure. Australia has the world's ninth-largest immigrant population, with immigrants accounting for 26% of the population. Having the third-highest human development index and the eighth-highest ranked democracy globally, the country ranks in quality of life, education, economic freedom, civil liberties and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Australia is a member of the United Nations, G20, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Pacific Islands Forum and the ASEAN Plus Six mechanism; the name Australia is derived from the Latin Terra Australis, a name used for a hypothetical continent in the Southern Hemisphere since ancient times. When Europeans first began visiting and mapping Australia in the 17th century, the name Terra Australis was applied to the new territories.
Until the early 19th century, Australia was best known as "New Holland", a name first applied by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644 and subsequently anglicised. Terra Australis still saw occasional usage, such as in scientific texts; the name Australia was popularised by the explorer Matthew Flinders, who said it was "more agreeable to the ear, an assimilation to the names of the other great portions of the earth". The first time that Australia appears to have been used was in April 1817, when Governor Lachlan Macquarie acknowledged the receipt of Flinders' charts of Australia from Lord Bathurst. In December 1817, Macquarie recommended to the Colonial Office. In 1824, the Admiralty agreed that the continent should be known by that name; the first official published use of the new name came with the publication in 1830 of The Australia Directory by the Hydrographic Office. Colloquial names for Australia include "Oz" and "the Land Down Under". Other epithets include "the Great Southern Land", "the Lucky Country", "the Sunburnt Country", "the Wide Brown Land".
The latter two both derive from Dorothea Mackellar's 1908 poem "My Country". Human habitation of the Australian continent is estimated to have begun around 65,000 to 70,000 years ago, with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia; these first inhabitants were the ancestors of modern Indigenous Australians. Aboriginal Australian culture is one of the oldest continual civilisations on earth. At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies. Recent archaeological finds suggest. Indigenous Australians have an oral culture with spiritual values based on reverence for the land and a belief in the Dreamtime; the Torres Strait Islanders, ethnically Melanesian, obtained their livelihood from seasonal horticulture and the resources of their reefs and seas. The northern coasts and waters of Australia were visited s
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
The fan-tailed cuckoo is a species of cuckoo in the family Cuculidae. It is found in Australia, Indonesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu; the fan-tailed cuckoo has a slate-grey head and wings, rufous underparts and barred black and white tail. Its eye is surrounded by a yellow orbital eye ring which helps to distinguish it from the smaller and paler brush cuckoo and the smaller chestnut-breasted cuckoo, its natural habitats are temperate forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, paddocks and gardens. The Australian range is from Cape York in Queensland following the coast south to Shark Bay in Western Australia. Along the west coast, its range extends no more than 1000 km inland. In South Australia the range is along the coast except in the south-east corner around Mount Gambier and the Eyre Peninsula, it inhabits Tasmania. In Australia the species breeds from July to January, they only lay one mauve white with red and/or brown spotted egg in the nest of other birds like fairywrens or thornbills.
The nest preferred is domed in shape. Its voice is similar to descending trill with a grasshopper-like chirrip; the species in Australia eats a variety of insect and their larvae and vegetables, small reptiles and birds bird chicks. It perches in an exposed position to locate its prey and pounces, catching it in the air or on the ground; the fan-tailed cuckoo is listed by the IUCN as being of "Least Concern". No particular threats have been identified and the bird has a wide range and presumed large population and is common in much of its range. If the population trend is downward, this is not at such a rate as to justify putting the bird in a more threatened category. Field guide to the birds of Australia Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight, Angus & Robertson 1997, 3rd edition 2000. ISBN 0-207-19714-8 ABID Images On the HBW Internet Bird Collection
The grey goshawk the white morph of, known as the white goshawk, is a built, medium-sized bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. The grey morph has a pale grey head and back, dark wingtips, barred grey breast and tail, white underparts; the white morph is the only bird of prey in the world to be white. Grey goshawks are about 40–55 cm long, with wingspans of 70–110 cm. Females are much larger than males, weighing about 680 g. Males average 350 g; the grey goshawk is found along the coasts of northern and south-eastern Australia and Western Australia. The variable goshawk was considered a subspecies, their preferred habitats are forests, tall woodlands, timbered watercourses. Goshawks prey on mammals such as rabbits and bats, they may eat birds, small reptiles, insects. Females, due to their size, can catch larger prey than males. Hunting is done by stealth, but grey goshawks are willing to pursue their prey before catching it with their talons. Grey and white goshawks interbreed freely, they partner for life, breeding from July to December.
They nest in tall trees on a platform of sticks and twigs with a central depression lined with green leaves. The female lays a clutch containing 3 eggs, which are incubated for about 35 days. Chicks fledge 35–40 days after hatching; the female is responsible for incubating the eggs and feeding the young. The male does most of the hunting. State of Victoria The grey goshawk is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Under this Act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not been prepared. On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, this species is listed as vulnerable. Marchant, S.. J... Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Vol,2: Raptors to Lapwings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1 Rainforest-Australia.com: grey goshawk Grey goshawk - Lamington National Park
The Bassian thrush known as the olive-tailed thrush, is a medium-sized insectivorous thrush found predominantly in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. The thrushes range from 27 to 29 cm in length and average 100 g, it is estimated that the rangewide population is large, though no official count has been established. The Bassian thrush lives in shrubland and rainforests, it is non-migratory. Though affected by human destruction of its natural habitats, its range is so large that the impact is negligible; the thrush ranges in color from brown to an olive color, with a white ring around its eyes and black bars on its back and head. Its underbody is paler, with dark scalloping, its wings have a dark bar running the length of the underside. Bassian thrush are known to dislodge their prey out of pile of leaves by directing their farts at them