March, 2018

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Singing Wardaman Country, one Gouldian Finch at a time.

, Mar 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.

Firehawks: avian pyromaniacs may have used fire before humans

, Jan 31, 2018

This has major ramifications for land use and conservation across Australia's northern savannahs and potentially beyond. Changed fire regimes by Europeans from those practiced for millennia by Aboriginal people wrought dramatic changes on the Australian landscape, a factor which imperilled (and continues to imperil) the existence of many native species. How do we account for birds as another potential fire vector?
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“Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract)

, Dec 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.
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The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

, Nov 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.
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“Birds in culture and context—Ethnoornithology in application and theory”—abstracts from an ethnoornithology symposium, 2007

, Nov 21, 2017

Following are the abstracts of papers and posters presented at the recent Ethnoornithology Symposium, entitled “Birds in culture and context – Ethnoornithology in application and theory“, held during the 30th Society of Ethnobiology conference at the University of  California, Berkeley from 28 to 31st March 2007. It was a great day, with a quantity and quality of papers […]
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Return of the Storm-bird – the Channel-billed Cuckoo comes south for the summer

, Nov 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.
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Word of the Day: Zosterops (Silver-eye)

, Nov 17, 2017

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

, Nov 03, 2017

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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.

Call for Papers: ‘Indigenous land and sea management in Australia and beyond’ session at CHAGS 12

, Nov 01, 2017

Themes for this session and discussion could include the importance of and development of cultural maintenance activities; issues related to sites and objects of sacred significance and knowledge; the protection, application and moderation of intercultural scientific knowledge; practical issues including funding and managing relationships between governments at local, state and federal levels; the benefits—or not—of working with NGOs and reflections on interactions between cultural practitioners from different local, regional and national areas.

Word of the week: kahmudngalalahminj (Dalabon)

, Oct 29, 2017

The ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language (CoEDL) is investigating language as a diverse, dynamic and evolving organism that interacts with our perceptual processes in ingenious ways.
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Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

, Oct 29, 2017

The workshop allowed for clarification of the rather confusing overlap of three bird names,  karrkkanj, ngalmirlangmirlang and wunwunbu. Karrkkanj, it turns out, is a term for the Black Kite but can also be applied to two other raptor species, the Peregrine Falcon and the Brown Falcon.
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Call For Papers: ‘Ethno-ornithology: advances in collaborative research’ session at CHAGS 12

, Oct 29, 2017

We welcome theoretical and speculative papers exploring the significance of bodies of emerging literature (e.g. honeyguides, fire-following raptors) as discussed and understood by groups of collaborators. We favor co-authorship with Indigenous researchers and participation of Indigenous collaborators in this session.
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Talking Birds and Fire at the Barrapunta Bird Workshop, Arnhem Land, May 2017

, Oct 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.
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Independence day for the Mimal Rangers of Arnhem Land!

, Oct 25, 2017

Wednesday October 25 marks a new era for Indigenous landowners and managers as Mimal Land Management Aboriginal Corporation celebrates its independence. Mimal has been on a long journey to independence since the inception of Mimal Rangers almost 20 years ago.
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Domestic Cat Monitoring in Alice Springs

, Aug 29, 2017

The domestic cats involved in this study roamed to neighbouring properties, road verges, adjacent bushland and some cats were observed to impact the local wildlife through predation. The results of the study show that even the domestic cats that do not leave their property boundary often, still have the capacity to negatively impact native wildlife. This suggests that the management of the domestic cats could do with improvement.
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Coming the “sweet prawn” in Palermo: Chips Mackinolty on food, fashion and Dolce & Gabbana

, Jul 06, 2017

Intanto alla Vucciria Chips Mackinolty, street artist australiano, realizza “Dolce & Gamberi”, il dipinto di un abito d’“alta moda” con stampa di cannoli e gamberoni. L’ennesimo omaggio ad una Palermo che, per un lungo weekend, sarà davvero internazionale.
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Probable Night Parrot detected in the Northern Territory

, May 23, 2017

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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."
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Why the chicken crossed the road. And how.

, Jan 07, 2017

On Chickens: Chickens have the capacity to reason and make logical inferences. For example, chickens are capable of simple forms of transitive inference, a capability that humans develop at approximately the age of seven
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Bird of the Week: Willy Wagtail – “where’s my dinner Mum?”

, Jan 02, 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.
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Bird Hide of the Week: The Buffalo Hide, Darwin

, Dec 22, 2016

Is it not too much to ask that if we are going to the effort of building something from which the public will gain great pleasure that such structures should not also be beautiful as well?