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A silly question. A few days ago I observed a very vocal bird with impressive vocal variety. It was rapidly switching from one tune to the next. After sometime I realized that the bird might be mimicking the 6-8 tone car alarm (the one that rapidly changes). Is this my imagination, or are birds really know to mimic/compete with car alarms?

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You would be amazed at the vocal abilities of the lyrebird. A car alarm is easy for them; they can mimic much more complicated sounds.

Here's a snippet from a David Attenborough BBC documentary on YouTube (which includes the car alarm example, among others). They are so skilled, it's hard not to think this video is fake.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that bird does imitate car alarm, but I was really surprised at the chainsaw sound $\endgroup$ – Alex Stone Jun 10 '13 at 10:00

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