100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#4 ….. “Lyrebird”

02 Aug

The audio recording of the lyrebird was recorded on my mobile phone. The artwork is from a friend.


The evocative lilt of the lyrebird rippled its way across the valley. His song mimicked the sounds he had known since hatching. There were the sounds of the raven, the call of the currawong, the screech of the parrot. Some were even heard to mimic the bark of a dog or the music of the flute.

Across the valley, the female gave scant attention as she tended to her brood. She had no need for her mate. His work was done. She alone would care for her egg. If nothing untoward happened, her egg would hatch after seven weeks. Perhaps it too would sing.



23 responses to “100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#4 ….. “Lyrebird”

  1. Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)

    August 2, 2011 at 12:22

    I really like this for all the elements. The information, the art, the story and the character of the lyrebird. Lovely.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 2, 2011 at 14:44

      Thank you for the comment. The artwork is that of a local artist who writes children’s books. I’ve produced a DVD of her reading her stories. She sells the DVDs as an extra fund raiser for her animal sanctuary.

  2. Pablo Demarchi

    August 2, 2011 at 13:17

    Very interesting! I didn’t knew lyrebirds mimic sounds. Where I live, there’s a bird (not as beautiful as lyrebirds) which do the same. Even tries to mimic dog barks, but is not good at it.

    Your text is very vivid, even without the audio recording you can imagine the song. Anyway, adding it was a good idea. First time in my life I can hear a lyrebird singing.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 2, 2011 at 14:45

      The recording took some time to get. The lyrebirds are shy. I have often recorded more distant birds but this one hadn’t seen me as I stood quietly behind a bush recording his song. Remarkable birds.

  3. Lynda Dixon

    August 2, 2011 at 16:15

    I love it! It was so good to have the recording and the picture to go with it too. Poignant too – his work was done – poor daddy lyrebird.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 6, 2011 at 07:37

      🙂 The male lyrebird is only concerned with the song and mating. The female does the caring while he sings on.

  4. Emma Collins

    August 2, 2011 at 18:51

    A brilliant piece of descriptive/story writing. I learnt a lot reading your piece and I really enjoyed the way you interpreted the challenge.

    And what a strong single mum the lyrebird is! Fantastic.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 2, 2011 at 22:05

      Some interesting birds in Australia. The lyrebird female tends to the young whereas the opposite is true for emus where the female lays eggs in a nest and leaves the male to incubate them. Males continue to care for the chicks, sometimes in a creche with one male and an assortment of chicks. All are interesting to watch in the wild.

  5. Cherise Duxbury

    August 2, 2011 at 19:20

    Well Ross, I loved reading this and love the opportunity to comment on something you have done (a small token of appreciation, for the many wonderful comments on our class blogs). Reading the words whilst hearing the lyrebird’s beautiful song, with the stunning artwork, made the words even more powerful and transported me to a place far away from the dreary grey skies of Bolton.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Ross Mannell

      August 6, 2011 at 07:39

      Commenting on children’s work has become a pleasure. It seems to have taken up quite a bit of time but is great to see what they write. Receiving comments is a nice change to the routine. 🙂

  6. Simon

    August 2, 2011 at 22:34

    This is a great insight into how other species differ from ours, yet this isn’t always something we notice on a day-to-day basis. I enjoyed reading this.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 2, 2011 at 23:00

      Thanks for the comment. Australia’s geographical/biological isolation has left us with some unusual animals and plants. I often explore the bushland around the town. Come across many birds and reptiles as well as the expected wombats, wallabies and kangaroos.

  7. gsussex

    August 2, 2011 at 23:15

    I echo Lisa’s comment. What a great ‘combination’ post! Really enjoyed it. Thanks Ross

    • Ross Mannell

      August 2, 2011 at 23:31

      Thanks for the comment. It’s just one of those things… the prompt words seemed to fit the idea of posting an audio file I had.

  8. Sally-Jayne

    August 3, 2011 at 21:04

    Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already. It’s informative as well as beautifully written, and the recording is a lovely extra touch.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 3, 2011 at 22:43

      Thanks for the positive comment. 🙂 The Response has been great. 🙂

  9. Julia

    August 5, 2011 at 03:08

    Thank you for joining this week’s 100WCGU Ross. Before commenting I’m going to slap your legs! Fancy adding a ‘d’ to ripple! Tut, tut!

    Really liked the nature is this piece. It has a wonderful sense of purpose and wholeness. See you next week!

    • Ross Mannell

      August 6, 2011 at 07:36

      🙂 I was a little naughty adding the ‘d’ but I claim poetic licence. I always had the ability to test the limits when I was a student. LOL

  10. sparksinshadow

    August 6, 2011 at 09:25

    This is lovely, and I like this view of a part of the natural world that I’ve never heard of before.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 7, 2011 at 19:51

      For me, the song of lyrebirds are a part of almost every day when I have the chance to go on a favourite 10+km walk. My regular track passes through the territories of seven singing males.
      Thanks for leaving a comment. 🙂

  11. angelfeet

    August 7, 2011 at 18:53

    Listening to that recording this Sunday morning, with the sun shining through the curtains (for a change) made the words so much more vivid.

    • Ross Mannell

      August 7, 2011 at 19:56

      It took a number of attempts to get the recording at a good sound level. Lyrebirds are very shy but the wind was in the right direction, a bush was hiding me from his view, and I stood quietly with phone in hand and recording.
      Love the sounds of the Australian bush around my town. There are three national parks and a nature reserve surrounding us. I know many tracks, some rarely trodden.
      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  12. Susan Mann

    August 8, 2011 at 08:23

    This is fantastically written. I love the lyrebird. An excellent collaboration.


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