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Birds of Country

Noongar people have a deep respect for Djirda (birds) and the role they play within their spirit and physical world and environment. 

Djirda are often messengers in Noongar boodjar (country). The Noongar names for birds often come from their calls. Next time when you hear a bird call, think about their name in Noongar.

Karrakin (Forest red-tailed black cockatoo) acquired its red tail markings on its tail from Ngolak (Carnaby's or White-tailed black cockatoo).

Ngolak was trying to defend a Dwert (Dingo) which was attacking Djitti Djitti (Willie Wagtail).

Mulal (or Kwirlman) the swamp hen was feeding at the time on a sedge, the roots of which ooze red sap.

He cut a reed and struck Ngolak across his back. When Ngolak spread his tail to protect his back, Mulal threw lumps of red sap at his tail. Ngolak became so hoarse from screaming that he could only vocalise "karrak" instead of the Carnaby's/White-tailed black cockatoo call of "wola".

A pelican

Boodalung (Pelican)

A pelican

Karrakin (Red Tailed Black Cockatoo)

A swamphen

Mulal (also known as Kwirlman) (Swamphen)

A black swan

Maali (Black Swan)

A magpie

Koolbardi (Magpie)

A crow

Wardong (Crow)

A willie wagtail

Djitti Djitti (Willie Wagtail)

An Australian Ringneck

Darlmoorluk (Australian Ringneck)

A Western Corella

Manitj (Western Corella)

A Galah

Djakal Ngalkal (Galah)

A Red Wattlebird

Djangkang (Red Wattlebird)

Audio spoken by Ingrid Cumming. 

Images courtesy of Elaine Vesperman, Etienne Brits and Creative Commons. Content gathered from Incubator Wikimedia.

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