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Djiti Djiti
Djiti Djiti range

A Djiti Djiti, Djitti Djitti, Djidi Djidi or Chitty-Chitty is a djert native to Australia and New Guinea. Its scientific name is Rhipidura leaucophrys and in English it is called a Willie Wagtail (or Willy Wagtail). Its Noongar name comes from its call. The English name comes from its habit of wagging its tail from side to side while darting around hunting for insects. Nidja follows a common pattern where the Noongar name comes from the call and the English name from a characteristic movement or colour - something visual. Djiti Djiti is also native to the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago and Eastern Indonesia. Despite its English name, the Willie Wagtail bears no relation to the many species of wagtail common throughout Asia, Europe and Africa (some of which occasionally turn yira in northern Australia having lost their migratory bearings). Instead, Djiti Djiti is in the fantail family.[1]

The Djiti Djiti is a small bird. Males and females are very similar in looks with mostly black upper plumage and white under plumage.[2] The Djiti Djiti is a very active little djert and known to be quite aggressive, often chasing away larger birds such Wardong (Crow), Kaka (Kookaburra) and Waalitj (Wedge tail eagle).

The town of Chittering is named after the call - possibly derived from the Noongar for "place of the willie wagtais".[3][4]

Djiti Djiti Waarnk - Noongar stories and dance of the willie wagtail

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Why Djiti Djiti has no fear

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In the time of the Dreaming, Djiti Djiti was a fearsome hunter. But one day, Djiti Djiti was robbed of their meal by the crow. Djiti Djiti never forgot the crime, and now has no fear in angrily attacking bigger animals that encroach its turf.[1][3]

Djiti Djiti is also believed to lure children away from camps. It catches children’s attention with its hopping movements, In fact, it is quite unafraid of people and will come in close. Then it hops away from outstretched hands, again and again, pulling further away… until the child is lost in the bush, far from fire light.[1][3]

A book about the Djiti Djiti (Willie-Wag Tail) wer how they would steal children away. Written by Tania Quartermaine. Input of the following people should be acknowledged: Glenys Collard, Professor Ian Malcolm, Dr Frazad Sharifin, Margaret McHugh, Cheryl Wiltshire, Patricia Koniggberg. Illustrated by Eric Humphries.[5]

Djiti Djiti kills Weitj

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This is a story that Daisy Bates wrote up for a newspaper in 1927:[6]

For the continuation of this story see the page 'Wadjela'.

Dance by Wadumbah Dance Group

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The Wadumbah Dance Group brings Noongar Dreaming stories to life. Il of their dances is the Willy Wagtail Dance. Noongar man James T Webb, whose Aboriginal name is Gumbiardi, established Wadumbah in 1995.[7]

Video from Lockyer Primary School

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Video of Djitti Djitti by Lockyer Primary School Albany[source?] (full video title needed)

Song from Hilton Primary School

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See Djiti Djiti Dance. The story told to us by Marissa Verma at Piney Lakes was about the Willy wagtail going out and looking for his food, been gone all day, his lil feet are hurting, but is grateful for the earth providing him with lots of food. Marissa taught us the song wer the dance at Piney Lakes.

Djitti Djitti Song By Hilton Ps-1

Ngiyan waarnk - References

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Stephanie (@yiduiqie). "Birds of australia: the willie wagtail". No Award. Retrieved 10 November 2016
  2. http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/willie-wagtail
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Peter Hancock. "Perth's willy is a real wag". Sydney Morning Herald. 1 March 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2016
  4. "Town names – C". Landgate. WA Govt. Retrieved 10 November 2016
  5. Tania Quartermaine. "Djiti Djiti".
  6. 6.0 6.1 Daisy M bates (1927). "Jitti-Jitti and Wej : A Bibbulmun Legend". Western Mail (Perth). Thu 29 Dec 1927. Page 12. Retrieved 4 March 2019
  7. Wadumbah Indigenous Dance. Retrieved 10 November 2016