2022 Catalina Film Festival

The Message of the Lyrebird

Available in 01d 21h 23m 21s
Available September 30, 2022 7:00 AM UTC
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The Message of the Lyrebird

Lyrebirds hold the history of the forest in their song… but are they now singing the sad story of human encroachment?

Come on a magical journey through Australia’s native forests to understand the sophistication and complex artistry of the lyrebird, leading humanity to a deeper understanding of our natural world.

In 1998, wildlife cinematographer Nick Hayward filmed the famous lyrebird sequence for ‘‘The Life of Birds’’, in which Australia’s most creative songbird perfectly mimics the sound of a chainsaw chopping down a tree.

The bird was filmed in captivity and ever since then, Nick and the world of birding enthusiasts have wondered, do lyrebirds imitate sounds of human origin in the wild? This question begins a journey deep into the native forests of Australia, where a cast of characters who love lyrebirds help us to understand not only the lyrebird’s sophisticated artwork, but what its message may be for humanity.

Nick tracks down a scientist, a lyrebird sound recordist, a study group, a lyrebird keeper, an activist, and a Knowledge-Holder descended from the People of the Lyrebird within the D’harawal nation. Along the way, Nick captures spectacular footage of the bird’s behaviour in the wild valleys and mountains of their homes. These homes still exist – but as lyrebirds pick up human sounds from their environment, are they singing the sad story of human encroachment?

This is a film about the relationship between people and birds, set in a natural wonderland where an exquisite forest faery has been performing his astonishing song and dance routines for millions of years. It is a timeless journey of self-reflection and connection, and a call to remember to live without destroying the things we love.

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  • Director
    Mark B Pearce
  • Screenwriter
    Mark B Pearce
  • Producer
    Mark B Pearce
  • Cast
    Dr Anastasia Dalziell, Cam Walker, Frances Bodkin, Carol Probets, Kevin Mason, Alex Maisey, Nick Hayward