STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Now let's meet another man who breaks out and heads for the wilderness. His name is David Stewart; he records the sounds of wildlife, which is a treasure for our series Sounds Wild. In Australia, Mr. Stewart recorded the lyrebird, which can imitate the sounds of a dozen other birds.
(Soundbite of the lyrebird)
Mr. DAVID STEWART (Sound Recorder, Wildlife): A male lyrebird has this incredible tail. If you see a picture of the bird - you see these two long, beautiful feathers, they look like a lyre - l-y-r-e - it's a musical instrument.
He makes this song on a mound in the forest, he stands on his mound and sings, and he's trying to attract a female into his mound. But at the same time, he's also letting other lyrebirds in the area know this is his territory.
If I could just tell you the story about how I got this sound recording. I was listening to the sound of the lyrebird that I recorded through my headphones when this lyrebird must have heard this sound through my headphones, jumped out in the track in front of me at about 2 meters, looked at me, cocked its head and started to sing, and it actually sung for 20 minutes. And it almost looked at me to say, I heard that sound, and I can do better.
INSKEEP: This series is called It Sounds Wild, and the sounds in it come from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, where NPR science correspondent Christopher Joyce tracked them down. You can see photos of the lyrebird, and find out more about all the animals in our series, at npr.org.