David Attenborough watches as the superb lyrebird of southeastern Australia lures females by copying the sounds around him – including those of chainsaws and camera shutters!

What bird has the most elaborate, the most beautiful and the most complex song in the world? According to David Attenborough, in this archive clip from the 1998 BBC documentary series The Life of Birds, the superb lyrebird of southeastern Australia must be near the top of the list. To persuade females to come close, the male lyrebird sings the most complex song he can manage. And he does that by copying the sounds of all the other birds he hears around him – including the sounds of chainsaws and camera shutters! 

All week, BBC Travel is running archive BBC Earth clips to celebrate the long and illustrious career of Sir David Attenborough!  For more natural history exclusives, check out the BBC Earth YouTube channel or follow BBC Earth on Facebook or Twitter.