Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

March 15, 2018

This is a re-post of an article first published in the February 2018 edition of Land Rights News (Northern Edition) by the Northern Land Council. Birds are closely connected to Wardaman culture. Many Wardaman dances have been adapted from bird movements and much Wardaman rock art depicts birds.

First pics – Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

First pics – Qantas VH-ZND Emily Kame Kngwarreye lands at Alice Springs.

March 2, 2018

I like pretty planes … and this is one of the prettiest I’ve seen in a long while … Here are the first pictures on the new Qantas Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landing just before dawn at Alice Springs airport after a direct flight from the Boeing base in Seattle, USA. Following text is from the Qantas […]

“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract)

“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract)

December 20, 2017

In a broader sense, better understanding of avian fire-spreading, both in Australia and, potentially, elsewhere, can contribute to theories about the evolution of tropical savannas and the origins of human fire use.

The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

November 21, 2017

"Oh," I remark and after identifying Emu, Bustard and Black Kite feathers I remark that maybe he needs some colour and should be on the look out for some Red-tailed Black Cockatoo feathers.

Return of the Storm-bird – the Channel-billed Cuckoo comes south for the summer

Return of the Storm-bird – the Channel-billed Cuckoo comes south for the summer

November 19, 2017

I've been very interested in cuckoos generally—and Channel-billed Cuckoos in particular—for a few years, especially in relation to the knowledge that Aboriginal language groups here in the Northern Territory and beyond have about them. I'd love to hear any information that groups outside of the areas discussed in the post may have—feel free to drop me a line or post a comment.

Word of the Day: Zosterops (Silver-eye)

Word of the Day: Zosterops (Silver-eye)

November 17, 2017 1

Zosterops (ZOS-ter-ops). Girdle eye, from the Greek zoster, girdle, and ops, eye. Their common name of white-eye or speirops (Greek spiera, circle, and ops) aptly describes the birds of this genus, with their wide ring of feathers around the eyes. There are 98 species of Zosterops, one of the largest genera in the bird world.

Word of the week: aherlkelh-ilem: “make the sun come up” (Anmatyerr)

Word of the week: aherlkelh-ilem: “make the sun come up” (Anmatyerr)

November 3, 2017 2

The nyarew cuckoo [Horsefield's Bronze-cuckoo] sings out from hollow trees, or maybe from a forked branch. The nyarew sings out all night, and makes the daylight come.

Talking Birds and Fire at the Barrapunta Bird Workshop, Arnhem Land, May 2017

Talking Birds and Fire at the Barrapunta Bird Workshop, Arnhem Land, May 2017

October 25, 2017

Karrkkanj is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon, Professor Evans explains. The Peregrine Falcon can also be known more specifically as ngalmirlangmirlang and the Brown Falcon as wunwunbu; these are said to be husband and wife. Karrkkanj is also ritually significant as the one who founded the Lorrkkon mortuary cycle.

Probable Night Parrot detected in the Northern Territory

Probable Night Parrot detected in the Northern Territory

May 23, 2017 1

Mark Carter and Chris Watson: "We were able to compare our recorded call to other examples of Night Parrot whistle calls from WA. While there is not an exact match, the calls from WA Night Parrot and the bird recorded in the NT are very similar."

Bird of the Week: Willy Wagtail – “where’s my dinner Mum?”

Bird of the Week: Willy Wagtail – “where’s my dinner Mum?”

January 2, 2017

The local pair of Willy Wagtails have taken advantage of the great season we are having in the centre this year and so far have raised two clutches, and I'll expect that, as prime examples of avian opportunism in the desert, they may raise another couple yet in this season.