When, Where and How to shoot Superb Lyrebird (also known as Peacock Wrens OR Australian Birds of Paradise)

Superb Lyrebird (also known as peacock-wrens OR Australian birds-of-paradise) is one of the native ancient bird of Australia which is not found anywhere else and its history dates back to 15 million years ago.

I wanted to see lyrebird for a while in wild but did not know how to find it… That’s the same question I face every time when I go outing in search of birds and/or wildlife and answer remain always same…  I need to know them (bird/animal) very well…

In the case of lyrebirds, they make lots of sounds when they are in breeding season to attract female and also to declare their territory. Otherwise, in another season they are not that active and it’s extremely hard to find them in dense forest.

In Victoria, Melbourne lyrebird’s breeding season happens to be June-July, so if you visit the nearby park during these months then there are high chances of seeing this bird in wild.

Now watching this bird is one thing and photographing is another challenge, reason being, most of the forests are covered with tall trees and not enough light comes to the ground, so camera struggles to focus and capture the photo even though it’s very well visible for human eyes.

The solution is to increase ISO and set your f-number low. However to get the maximum bird in focus you will require enough depth of field, for me, it was around f7.1, and I tried to achieve shutter speed to be same or more than my focal length.

So on this particular day, I had to increase ISO to 3200, with f7.1 and I got the shutter speed of 1/160 for the focal length of 232mm with image stabiliser ON and I was able to get this shot.

Superb Lyrebird (also known as peacock-wrens OR Australian birds-of-paradise)

Superb Lyrebird (also known as peacock-wrens OR Australian birds-of-paradise)

However, with so much bush and shrubs around the bird, I was not getting any clear view so I paused for a second, and thought, how can make this scene work for me?  After careful thinking, I did visualise the shot in my head, an abstract of lyrebird’s tail, which came as below and for me, it’s so beautiful and giving the different perspective and view.

Abstract of Superb Lyrebird Feather

Abstract of Superb Lyrebird Feather


When - Visit during Mid Jun Till end of July

Where - Grants Picnic Ground Shelter. 70 Monbulk Rd Kallista (Near Puffing Billy Railway)

Thanks to BirdLife Melbourne Photography Group who organised the Birdwatching Walk.

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