Dawn Chorus Dandenong Ranges 1st May 2023 - Laurent Labourmene
Mid-morning Dandenong Ranges 1st May 2023 - Laurent Labourmene
Eastern Highlands, Victoria, Australia
My avian collaborators and I are broadcasting from a wet sclerophyll forest in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, Victoria, Australia, approximately 40km from Naarm (Melbourne’s) CBD.
A major feature of this location are the remnant Mountain Ash trees which are among the world's tallest flowering plants growing over 100 metres and living up to 500 years. The area is also home to many birds including one of the planet's largest and most iconic songbirds, the Superb Lyrebird (menura novaehollandiae). This is one of two species from the family of Menuridae, the other being the lesser known and more timid Albert's Lyrebird (menura alberti). The Albert's Lyrebird is found in a very small area on the state border of NSW and Queensland where I've been field recording over the last 4 years.
BirdLife Australia estimates that about 40 per cent of the Superb Lyrebird’s habitat was destroyed in the 2019-20 Australian megafires, throwing the conservation status of the species into question. With Dr Alex Maisey from LaTrobe University as my guide, I was taken to a forest in the Dandenong Ranges which is home to multiple Superb Lyrebirds. Dr Maisey’s doctoral research revealed how one of the planet's great songbirds is also one the planet's great ecosystem engineers, changing the environment in ways that impact other species. This amazing being of the Earth can move more soil than any other land animal. According to Alex, "In just one year, we calculated that each lyrebird...moved a load equivalent to that carried by 11 standard dump trucks".
As we move closer to the Superb Lyrebird’s mating season (June-October), they may make their presence heard to us with their impressive mimicry and medley of other local avian life: Whip Birds, Currawongs, Kookaburras, Grey Butcherbirds, King Parrots, Red Wattlebirds and many more. This small pocket of the Dandenong Ranges National Park is located between a number of roads and has become a popular weekend destination for cyclists, bushwalkers and tourists. During my recent field trips here, sirens, cars, motorbikes, planes and the voices of people were often heard echoing throughout the forest alongside the voices of birds.
Update 6th May 2023
As we've been experiencing some technical issues with one of the servers, and in lieu of a live broadcast from this location, I'm including some field recordings on my stream page made here earlier this week. The first recording is from dawn and is about 17 minutes in duration and the second is from mid-morning the same day and is just over an 1 hour in duration. While Superb Lyrebirds can be heard in both field recordings, for the last recording they came especially close to the mics for about 7minutes.
** Please be careful with your ears and adjust the volume accordingly with this latter recording between 10-17minutes **
This broadcast and these field recordings were created on Wurundjeri Woiwurrung country. As a migrant settler here, I extend deep-respect to the traditional custodians of these lands and waters, and their millenia-long, multi-generational, ongoing practices of culture, storytelling, science and care for Country.
This stream is stewarded by Laurent Labourmène ( www.laurentsl.com ) and is gratefully supported by Soundcamp.