Wp/nys/Wardong (Crow)

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Wardong or Waardong is called a Crow, Raven or Rook in english. The wangkin wardong makes is 'Jaaarnnitt'.[1]

For the Wp/nys/Wardungs/Adelaide Crows see Wp/nys/Footy.

Dumbart djerap in Nyungar boodjar which are kaartdijin wardong. They are yennar mort of the same scientific genus Corvus in the wardong family Corvidae, wer yennar look very similar:

The wardong family is considered the most intelligent of the birds, wer among the most intelligent of yennar animals,[2] having demonstrated self-awareness in mirror tests (Eurasian magpies) wer tool-making ability (crows, rooks[3])—skills until recently regarded as solely the province of humans wer a few other higher mammals. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of great apes wer cetaceans, wer only slightly lower than in humans.[4]

A very noticeable wangkininy of the Torresian wardong wer Australian Raven is 'arrk' or 'aark', sometimes repeated.

All of these birds are common and their conservation status is classified as of 'Least Concern'.


Torresian wardong range
Little wardong range
Australian wardong range

The little wardong is found in arid or semi-arid zones wer outback towns, often forming larger flocks than the Australian wardong wer Torresian wardong. Little wardongs are often called rooks by non-Noongar.



Waardong baal moornawoorliny.

Waardong baal boorn-ak yirra nyinniny.

Waardong yoorl koorliny ngallak Noongar nyinniny.

Waardong biirdiya boorang.[1]

Nongar moiety


Within the Noongar nation, two primary moiety divisions exist: Manichmat or ‘fair people of the white cockatoo’ wer Wordungmat or ‘dark people of the wardong’, which was the basis of marriage between a further four class subdivisions (Bates, 1985) (see also the NoongarPedia pages Kattidj Jerda wer Boodjar wer Kinjarling - Albany). In an interview,[5] Noel Nannup said:

When you are born into the Noongar way, you’ll be born under the sign of either Wardong, or Manach the white cockatoo. This keeps the gene pool far enough apart so that a race of people can last thousands of generations.

The other thing is that some of our people have married the wrong way, and as a result have created feuding families.

Wardong Waarnk - Stories about the wardong


Nidja is a story as told by Dr Richard Walley.[1]

Wardong and the Kulbardi were brothers and they had white feathers and, as they’d fly through the bush, the emus used to be jealous of them. All the other animals used to be quite impressed with the white feathers flying, apart from old Weitj, who got jealous ’cause his feathers were sort of the greeny, brown type of grey colours and he wasn’t too impressed with his feathers. So what he did one day when the brothers were flying past was, he called old Kulbardi across and said, ‘Hey, Kulbardi, come here, when you’re flying through the bush next time, have a look at old Wardong. He’s jealous of you ’cause your feathers are whiter.’ Old Kulbardi said, ‘I didn’t know my feathers were whiter.’ ‘Yeah, yeah,’ Weitj he said, ‘yours are whiter, the next time you look, and he’ll be looking at your feathers.’ Kulbardi said, ‘I’ll check that out,’ and flew off. Then old Weitj saw Wardong looking for Kulbardi and called him over, ‘Hey, Wardong,’ he said, ‘next time you’re flying around, have a look at how Kulbardi looks at you. He’ll look at you sideways and when he’s looking at you sideways, he’s jealous of your feathers ’cause they’re whiter than his.’ ‘What?’ said Wardong, ‘Kulbardi reckons my feathers aren’t whiter than his? They are whiter,’ he said, ‘and he’s jealous of that? I’ll check it out,’ and off he went. When they were flying together, Kulbardi looked at Wardong and Wardong, he looked at Kulbardi and they knew they both were looking at each other. So Wardong said, ‘I know what you’re looking at, you’re jealous.’ Kulbardi reckon, ‘No, no, no, you’re jealous of me,’ and they started to fight. They were fighting in the air as they were flying, and as they were fighting, they started falling. They became tangled yira in each other and started falling, down and down, and they hit this part on the ground where the fire went through. Wardong, he was underneath and he went straight through all the black burnt wood and he got through the ash and came out and shook himself. Kulbardi, he was on top, so when he jumped up, he found that all his front was black and only a little bit of white survived on his feathers, on the back at the top of his head. But Wardong, he was underneath. He was black all over. It just shows you that if you got something, appreciate what you’ve got because someone else is always jealous and they’ll try to trick you into losing it. Never be worried about what someone else has, always be concerned for what you’ve got. ... Also you find that the Kulbardi, he walks better than the Wardong, cause old Wardong was underneath and that’s how he hurt his legs. He broke his legs the same time, so he hops a little bit. Yeah, so there are a lot of morals to that particular story and I was brought yira with, as I say, many, many stories in that area.

Nidja is a story about how the maali's feathers were originally white but became black.[6] Back in the Nyitting (Dreaming or Cold Time), maali were white with grey beaks until they made the mistake of boasting about how beautiful they were in front of the Waalitj, who punished their pride by pulling out their feathers wer leaving them to die in the desert. Wardong found the plucked birds wer took pity il them, covering the maali with their own black feathers so that the waalitj could no longer recognise wer attack them. But the maali still has a few white feathers left at the end of its wings to remind it of what it once looked like, wer its beak has been forever stained red from the bloody attack by the waalitj.

Ngiyan waarnk - References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Leonard M. Collard. "Djidi Djidi, Wardong, Kulbardi, Walitj And Weitj: Nyungar Dream Time Messengers". Westerly 54:2. Nov 2009. pp 7 - 26. Publisher: Westerly Centre UWA. ISBN: 978-09804371-4-0. Retrieved 6 March 2017
  2. Helmut Prior, Ariane Schwarz, Onur Güntürkün, ed Frans De Waal. "Mirror-Induced Behavior in the Magpie (Pica pica): Evidence of Self-Recognition". PLoS Biology. doi 10.1371/journal.pbio.0060202. Pubmed ID 18715117. PubMed Central 2517622. Vol 6. Issue 8. 2008. pp e202
  3. Rebecca Morelle. "Rooks reveal remarkable tool-use". BBC News 26 May 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2017
  4. Birding in India and South Asia: Corvidae. Retrieved 9 March 2017
  5. Serge DeSilva-Ranasinghe. "From the Dreaming to Modernity: The Story of the Noongar People of Western Australia". Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Govt. of WA. 22 march 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2017
  6. Peter Hancock. "Ancient tales of Perth's fascinating birds: Proud Maali's fall". Sydney Morning Herald. Published 5 April 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2017