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Topic: Jawoyn
The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

The trouble with shit-hawks – the firespreading raptors of northern Australia

A post that looks at our research into firespreading raptors in the Top End of Australia ... and beyond.

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

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.

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

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.

Locum nullius: what’s in a name?

Locum nullius: what’s in a name?

This is a guest post by Chips Mackinolty, an artist and journalist based in Palermo and Darwin.  On 9 August 1974, eight years almost to the day after the famous Wave Hill Walk Off, a group of largely Mangarrayi speaking families walked off Elsey Station. Yes, the place of the colonialist pastoral fantasy of We […]

‘Troublemakers for fire’ – Raptors spreading fire in Australian savanna woodlands

‘Troublemakers for fire’ – Raptors spreading fire in Australian savanna woodlands

Fire provides the opportunity for pyrophilic behaviour by some birds. Brown Falcons perch at the fire-front waiting for grasshoppers, frogs, snakes, lizards and small mammals. Whistling Kites and particularly Black Kites, Milvus migrans, spectacularly hawk around the curtain of flame, preying on grasshopper, cockroaches and other small fleeing animals. Local Aboriginal people believe that Brown Falcons and Black Kites set fires by carrying burning sticks to new locations and drop them into dry grass on unburnt grounds.

Barunga Festival day 1. The Chief Minister is starving and the Roma Bar needs soy milk!

Barunga Festival day 1. The Chief Minister is starving and the Roma Bar needs soy milk!

Great fun, music, sport and culture under northern skies at the Northern Territory's annual Barunga Festival. My report from day one.