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Quick Primer on Victoria, Australia and the Superb LyrebirdSuperb Lyrebird

April 3, 2012

Saw a PBS Nature special a few weeks back, a re-air of the original that aired April 5, 2011, “Survivors of the Firestorm”, about the tragic, yet resilient conflagration of factors that combined and became the massive Februrary, 2009 fire that swept through the state of Victoria, Australia. A quick primer on the state, let’s go to the videotape — errr — almanac — errr — wikipedia, lol! Victoria is the smallest of all the five inland states, as the sixth, final state of Tasmania, is an island, just southeast of Victoria off it’s southern coast. Two of Australia’s geographical areas, both inland, are specifically called ‘Territories’, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (the ACT being the only land entity, state or territory completely subsumed by land, without an oceanic coast). The state of Victoria is approximated at 91,749 sq miles (), roughly the size of Minnesota, being 86,943 sq miles. It happens to be the most densely populated states of the country, at roughly 63.2 people per sq mile. Conversely, the most densely populated states in the U.S. is good ole’ New Jersey, the Garden state, at 1,189 people packed per square mile. How i-r-onic — Victoria is known as the Garden State, too! Oh geography: always got something so silly up it’s sleeve (unless it’s a sleeveless-Santorum-sweater day — you never know with that crazy-hip stylin’ geography! what?!? lol, sorry). Crazy that their densest is nearly 20 times less dense than ours. We’re dense, yo.
Back to the main reason for the post, the ‘superb lyrebird.’ Now, when I originally watched the rerun of the PBS Nature, and I heard the Aussies say the two words that make up this bird’s name, I thought they said ‘super liarbird.’ I figured the name, or the silly humans that penned the name, was symbolic of something relating to a superly full of shit bird, in some way, right. And, the way my mind works (haha for the peanut gallery saying that my mind ‘working’ is an oxymoron, pun intended, so funny), I saw — errr — ‘made’ an unconsciousness connection that made sense using the wrong name. It made sense because the front bookend, first 15 minutes of the special, was a tutorial of the beautiful forests before the fire (now known as ‘Black Saturday,’ for the day they started), largely made up of showing, and discussing the superb lyrebird doing it’s damn thang, lol. And does it ever deserve the airtime, seriously. This bird is dope, man (meaning cool, hip, fresh, etc.). They show the male (shocker, isn’t it always), trying to attract a female mate by employing a few different strategies, one in which he ‘sings’ a bunch of sounds, some of which are amazing imitations and mimics of what he is hearing from other birds, and somehow thinks will get his woman. After mishearing the correct term (because we all use a/o come across the word/term ‘lyre’ SOOO many times every day, I can’t keep count of how many times I come across it, lol: not), AND through the accent of an Australian, I figured, especially because of the name, these amazing sounds, many of which imitations, or unoriginal remixes/mash-ups, meant he WAS a liar. Made perfect sense, right. Just like a man, right, lol, geeesh. Little did I know a ‘lyre’ is an old Greek mythological originated, ‘U’ shaped stringed-instrument, similar to a harp. So, ‘lyre’ makes perfect sense, too: because the bird can sing real good (sic, ‘good’ fits my play on the word usage, yes, incorrect technically). Perhaps it’s a pun of sort, playing off liar/lyre, hardy-har-har. Anyways, it’s somewhat similar to another previously writ/posted about bird as seen on the great PBS (or was it BBC?) special on the bower bird — mostly just in function as opposed to appearance, or style. They both have these outlandish, showy mating behaviors: a collection of noises/calls, movements/dances/jigs, and building/creating a certain ‘architecture’ of forest products, what have you. Talk about swag. Now THAT’S true swag. Can’t just pull out the plastic and buy this swag — they earn that shit. I’ll post some vids of it. Enjoy.

http://www.pbs.org/lifeofbirds/songs/index.html

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