Lyrebird

Lyrebird is the mimic of the bush, copying the calls of the other birds and bush sounds.  It is the male who carries the beautiful tail feathers shaped like a lyre.  During mating season, he builds a mound out of forest debris that serves as a platform from which he …

Magpie

Magpies warble and chortle a cheerful chorus at dawn and during the day – and sometimes in the middle of the night! They make a lovely sound, however someone who chatters a lot might be called a magpie! Magpies are a very common Australian bird, familiar in town and country.  …

Mopoke

Another name for this shy yet common owl is Boobook. Mopoke is another interpretation of its call, which sounds very mournful and forlorn. Aboriginal Dreaming lore attributes the Owl’s call to a bad tempered, selfish man who refused to share his ample possessions with the Great Spirit who was walking …

Owl

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Nocturnal birds of prey, owls universally symbolise the powers of night, mystery, and wisdom.  In Aboriginal culture, owls were often a kobong (similar in concept to totemism) for women as a whole. One Dreaming accounts for Owl’s distinctive large eyes. Owl and Cyclone were two men who shared a camp …

Pee Wee

The beautiful Mud Lark or PeeWee, handsomely dressed up for a formal dinner, is a smaller, slightly different version to his cousin the Magpie. These birds will vigorously defend their mud-constructed nests, which are prone to collapse during heavy wet weather when the young may fall out.  Pee Wees will …

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Bursts of vibrant colour, these gloriously coloured birds are a delight to watch as they screech and chatter, hanging off branches and eating nectar.  Rainbow Lorikeets (and all lorikeets) have a brush-like tongue especially adapted for extracting the sweet things in life! Social, nomadic birds, they often fly in large …

Rosella

These techni-colour parrots are well known in Australia, their vivid hues enriching tree, garden, park or soup tins! The name Rosella is said to be derived from ‘rosehill parrots’; Rose Hill, Sydney, being where they were first seen by white people. A Dreaming about Rosella is one of tragedy which …

Sandpiper

Sandpipers are found almost worldwide. Our ‘Aussie’ sandpipers hail from the icy winters of Asia or the northern hemisphere where food is plenty, then back here for a feast. One of the most common, the curlew sandpiper comes from arctic Siberia. In a Dreaming from north-eastern New South Wales (and …

Seagull

Seagull in Flight

Familiar coastal birds (although a single one or group might appear and settle in surprisingly inland locations); seagulls are a noisy addition to the beautiful beaches and inland waterways of Australia. Scavengers at heart, “Silver Gulls” will eat virtually anything, profiting greatly from Western society.  Very bold, they will grab …

Top-knot Pigeon

These birds are very elegant with their feathered crests on their heads. A popular staple during the early years of Western invasion, these birds were killed in great numbers. They are not threatened, although the clear felling of the bush has decreased their food sources. They are nomadic, following the …