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Bundjalung names for local birds

April 04, 2020 3 Comments

Bundjalung names for local birds

I've had a request for some Bundjalung bird names to be shared on our website….so here they are.

All these words and others on our website come from a “Dictionary of Western Bundjaung”  compiled by Margaret Sharpe, and takes in these main dialects; Birihn ( Rapville), Gidhabal (Woodenbong), Wahlubal (Tabulan), Wehlubal (Baryulgil) and Wudjebal (tenterfield)

As we know, what we now take in as Bundjalung covers a much larger area with many more dialects.

I hope the sharing of some language on our website encourages people to use it and especially with children so we can help maintain the survival of it.

If anyone has words from other dialects within the Bundjalung they would like to share ….please feel free to contact us anytime :-)



Eagles and Hawks

gahrbayn – hawk, grey with black wingtips

mibayn – eagle/hawk

yahdh – nighthawk


Owls etc

bun-bun – phaesant coucal

mumbir mumbir – tawny frog mouth

junu junu or junru junur – Owl


Parrots and Cockatoo’s

bilin-bilin – parrot

gehr – sulphur crested cockatoo, white cockatoo

wayilahr – yellow tailed black cockatoo

wayilayn – glossy black cockatoo


Water Birds

gihyan – water hen, eastern swamp hen and white  faced heron

ginibi – black swan

guralnigahr – seagull

junar – straw-necked ibis

junahr – pelican

mahr-mar – duck

mulanyin – crane

wuhrbiyn.gayn – curlew


Other Birds

guhgagan – small dove

wululuyn – wonga pigeon , pigeon, dove

bihm-bim – noisy miner, yellow throated miner

budhahy – swift, swallow

bulin-bulihn – peewee

deber-debehr – or  juhrawarigal – plover

din-din  –  sacred kingfisher

diyun – grey shrike-thrush

duluhbir – quail

dum-dum – pardalote

gahgun – laughing kookaburra

galbuyn – lyrebird

galgularn – noisy friar bird, leatherhead

gagabi  or wagan- brush turkey

jalwahn – currawong

jingir-jingir or juhynjulam –  willie wagtail

jirguluhn – satin bowerbird

jugi jugi – chook, domestic fowl

julim julim – yellow robin

juynjulum or marahn  or wihn juhm or yirdiyn –  bird

juwim juwim – restless flycatcher

nuruyn – emu

wagahn – crow, raven

wudh wudh – pied butcher bird

wurguluhm – magpie

yalgan – regent honey eater

3 Responses


August 10, 2022


Thanks for the list of bird names. Do you know what the name is for the yellow-tailed black cockatoo in widjabul please?

Anna Schlusser
Anna Schlusser

August 10, 2022

Grateful for the Dictionary of Western Bundjaung. Loved how birds of country are formed, spelled. Now, I’d like to learn how the birds of country are pronounced in their own dialect.

Thank you very much,


August 10, 2022

Rainbow lorikeet?

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