Menu lock
The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

The Muckaty trial – the curious titfer and the media circus

Bob Gosford November 21, 2017

During on-country hearings, Federal Court judge Tony North affects a curious titfer. For mine it looks part random collection of dead sticks that some aspirant bushie might have collected as kindling for the evening’s fire, part bizarre fascinator. When I asked about this curious millinery the judge tells me that the feathers are a souvenir […]

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

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

Bob Gosford November 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 […]

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

Bob Gosford 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)

Bob Gosford November 17, 2017

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)

Bob Gosford November 3, 2017 2 Comments

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.

Word of the week: kahmudngalalahminj (Dalabon)

Bob Gosford October 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.

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

Fire hawk stories feature at Barrapunta bird workshop

Bob Gosford October 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.

Call For Papers: ‘Ethno-ornithology: advances in collaborative research’ session at CHAGS 12

Call For Papers: ‘Ethno-ornithology: advances in collaborative research’ session at CHAGS 12

Bob Gosford October 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.

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

Bob Gosford 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.

Independence day for the Mimal Rangers of Arnhem Land!

Independence day for the Mimal Rangers of Arnhem Land!

Bob Gosford October 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.