VIDEO: Bird Mimics The Ear-Splitting Wail Of A Crying Baby

From car horns to jackhammers to chainsaws, the Lyrebird is famous for its ability to mimic a variety of sounds.

Credit: Taronga Zoo

“Do you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?”

– Lloyd Christmas

Let us introduce you to Echo, the resident Lyrebird at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. Zookeepers, staff members, and visitors have has captured the wonky bird mimicking a crying baby — complete with ear-splitting, tonsil rattling, screams.

The seven-year-old male bird’s impression might not be the most pleasant sound to listen to, but hey, it’s quite impressive. Check it out.

The unit supervisor of birds at Taronga Zoo, Leanne Golebiowski, said that Echo started trying out short attempts of the crying about a year ago.

“I can only assume that he picked it up from our guests. Obviously he has been working on his craft during lockdown. But this concerns me, as I thought the zoo was a happy place for families to visit!” said Golebiowski. “There are two other sounds that he makes at the moment which he has newly learned. One is the sound of a power drill which is scarily accurate – the second is our fire alarm. He even has the ‘evacuate now’ announcement down pat.”

Dr. Alex Maisey of La Trobe University said wild Lyrebirds mimic a wide array of sounds as part of their “courtship display.”

“They must have incredible memory to be able to reproduce so many sounds,” said Maisey. “They also have their own particular songs that go with dance moves. If you’re a strong male lyrebird who gets lots of food in your territory, then, in theory, you’d be able to put lots of time into practicing [calls] and attract more mates.”

Oh, so aside from being an annoying little baby, they’re romantics, too.

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Matt Sterner

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