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Bird Art

Bird Dreaming Paintings

Birds feature in many Aboriginal artworks and sculptures. They represent birds from all parts of Australia, from the desert, from rivers and coastline and from urban areas.

Bird Artworks


Birds feature in many Aboriginal artworks and sculptures. They represent birds from all parts of Australia, from the desert, from rivers and coastline and from urban areas. Unlike many other animals, birds are not generally part of the bush food resource sought by Aboriginal people. There are exceptions like magpie geese, bush turkey and emu which are highly prized for their meat. Eggs are valued and are collected from nests of larger birds.

In the inland regions parrots and cockatoos, budgerigars, hawks, eagles and kingfishers are all found in large numbers. Many of these birds are part of the Dreamtime Creation stories of the region and become part of the totemic system that links certain animal species to Indigenous people.

In the Tiwi Islands north of Darwin bird carvings are part of the ceremonial life on the islands. Birds are viewed as messengers or bringers of knowledge from the spirit world to the human world. These bird carvings include owls, sea hawks, pelicans, brolgas, cranes and many other forms of waterbirds. The carvings were often part of Pukumani ceremonial poles which were used on the Islands as part of funeral rituals to honour the dead.

In the Kimberley region the owl is seen as part of the totemic spirits that created the people and the lands. The owl appears in connection with Wandjina spirits that rejuvenate the country each year with the seasonal monsoons. On Cape York artists depict birds as the spirits of their people being freed from the earth. Urban Aboriginal artists have shown birdlife including magpies and kookaburras. Birds remain part of the Aboriginal worldview for both their physical and spiritual associations.

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Titjikala by Doris Thomas

Doris Thomas  |  Titjikala

Jap 007270  |  acrylic on canvas  |  90 x 30 cm

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Three Birds by Peggy Jones

Peggy Jones  |  Three Birds

Jap 007170  |  acrylic on canvas  |  71 x 60 cm

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One Green Bird and One Yellow Bird by Peggy Jones

Peggy Jones  |  One Green Bird and One Yellow Bird

Jap 007173  |  acrylic on canvas  |  59 x 38 cm

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Two Cocky and Bush tucker by Peggy Jones

Peggy Jones  |  Two Cocky and Bush tucker

Jap 007171  |  acrylic on canvas  |  63 x 41 cm

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Small Lake near Tiich by Rebecca Wolmby

Rebecca Wolmby  |  Small Lake near Tiich

Jap 007041  |  acrylic on canvas  |  144 x 59 cm

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Happy Camp by the Spring Creek by Mary McLean

Mary McLean  |  Happy Camp by the Spring Creek

Jap 008781  |  acrylic on canvas  |  90 x 60 cm

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Birds and Fish by Jimmy Wululu

Jimmy Wululu  |  Birds and Fish

Jap 012148  |  lithograph  |  51 x 38 cm

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Flying Over by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Flying Over

Jap 012435  |  acrylic on canvas  |  110 x 86 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 013182  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 34 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 013183  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 32 cm

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Bird Carving – black by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Bird Carving – black

Jap 013191  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 86 cm

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Eagle by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Eagle

Jap 013430  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 91 cm

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Bird and Snake by Billy Namundja

Billy Namundja  |  Bird and Snake

Jap 010649  |  ochre on paper  |  29 x 21 cm

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Magpie Geese by Jimmy Djelminy

Jimmy Djelminy  |  Magpie Geese

Jap 000294  |  ochre on Arches paper  |  77x 57 cm

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Brolga Dance by Kirsty Burgu

Kirsty Burgu  |  Brolga Dance

Jap 007477  |  ochre on canvas  |  140 x 70 cm

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Tjulpu – Bird by Kumana Goodwin

Kumana Goodwin  |  Tjulpu – Bird

Jap 009193  |  Western Myall & Salmon gum

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Two Parrots by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Two Parrots

Jap 011394  |  acrylic on board, framed  |  61 x 46 cm

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Black Cockatoos by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Black Cockatoos

Jap 011395  |  acrylic on board, framed  |  61 x 46 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010537  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 43 cm

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Waterbird, Fish, Stingray by Simon Lobo Badari

Simon Lobo Badari  |  Waterbird, Fish, Stingray

Jap 010639  |  ochre on paper  |  153 x 102 cm

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Magpies by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Magpies

Jap 011396  |  acrylic on linen  |  116 x 62 cm

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Hawk by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Hawk

Jap 011397  |  acrylic on linen  |  99 x 75 cm

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Out to Sea – Family Day by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Out to Sea – Family Day

Jap 013697  |  acrylic on canvas  |  220 x 103 cm

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Water Bird by John Tipungwuti

John Tipungwuti  |  Water Bird

Jap 010556  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 70 cm

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Kingfisher by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Kingfisher

Jap 012447  |  acrylic on linen  |  155 x 108 cm

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Namarali & 4 Sisters by Donny Woolagoodja

Donny Woolagoodja  |  Namarali & 4 Sisters

Jap 007468  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 55 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 010550  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 68 cm

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Sea Eagles by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Sea Eagles

Jap 012532  |  acrylic on linen  |  121 x 91 cm

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Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 013363  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 46 cm

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Journey Out by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Journey Out

Jap 013701  |  acrylic on canvas  |  109 x 104 cm

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Box with carved birds by Timor Carving

Timor Carving  |  Box with carved birds

Jap 009872  |  local wood  |  length 27 cm

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Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 013361  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 46 cm

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Tiwi Masked Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Tiwi Masked Owl

Jap 010558  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 54 cm

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Warranunj – Eagle Dreaming by June Peters

June Peters  |  Warranunj – Eagle Dreaming

Jap 011248  |  ochre on canvas  |  61 x 46 cm

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Two Parrots by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Two Parrots

Jap 012219  |  acrylic on linen  |  122 x 92 cm

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Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Ngatijirri Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 013362  |  acrylic on linen  |  107 x 46 cm

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The Owl by Jane Mervin

Jane Mervin  |  The Owl

Jap 007843  |  acrylic on canvas  |  30 x 30 cm

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Mimi Spirits Dancing by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Mimi Spirits Dancing

Jap 007005  |  acrylic on canvas  |  109 x 97 cm

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Dumbi Owl by Donny Woolagoodja

Donny Woolagoodja  |  Dumbi Owl

Jap 007469  |  ochre on canvas  |  54 x 44 cm

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Gubau Wurau – Wind Bird by Dennis Nona

Dennis Nona  |  Gubau Wurau – Wind Bird

Jap 008866  |  limited edition etching  |  90 x 44 cm

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Totemic Bird by Timor Carving

Timor Carving  |  Totemic Bird

Jap 009876  |  local wood  |  length 17 cm

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Sea Eagle by Bede Tungatalum

Bede Tungatalum  |  Sea Eagle

Jap 010545  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 38 cm

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Owls by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Owls

Jap 012218  |  acrylic on linen  |  140 x 82 cm

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Water Bird by Michael Munkara

Michael Munkara  |  Water Bird

Jap 010559  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 77 cm

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Pirnini Country by Jimmy Pike

Jimmy Pike  |  Pirnini Country

Jap 008220  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  32 x 31 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010538  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 48 cm

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Galahs on Fence Line by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Galahs on Fence Line

Jap 012458  |  acrylic on linen  |  139 x 79 cm

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Diving Duck – Gurrupudu by George Milpurrurru

George Milpurrurru   |  Diving Duck – Gurrupudu

Jap 007132  |  Silk Screenprint  |  79 x 56 cm

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Wandjina Dreamings by Donny Woolagoodja

Donny Woolagoodja  |  Wandjina Dreamings

Jap 007471  |  ochre on canvas  |  52 x 46 cm

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Magpie Geese – Swamp Dreaming by Roy Burrunyula

Roy Burrunyula  |  Magpie Geese – Swamp Dreaming

Jap 008197  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  62 x 43 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 012929  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 74 cm

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Bu Ka Palgie – Shell & Bird by Dennis Nona

Dennis Nona  |  Bu Ka Palgie – Shell & Bird

Jap 008896  |  limited edition etching  |  30 x 60 cm

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Galahs by Turbo Brown

Turbo Brown  |  Galahs

Jap 011393  |  acrylic on board, framed  |  61 x 46 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012924  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 40 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012925  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 36 cm

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On the Coast by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  On the Coast

Jap 013696  |  acrylic on canvas  |  120 x 89 cm

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Diving Duck by Andrew Margalulu

Andrew Margalulu  |  Diving Duck

Jap 008205  |  limited edition lino print  |  38 x 30 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012920  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 48 cm

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Bowerbird Woman by Mary McLean

Mary McLean  |  Bowerbird Woman

Jap 010353  |  limited edition etching  |  50 x 39.5 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 010549  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 63 cm

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Coast at Limmen Bight by Maureen Thompson

Maureen Thompson  |  Coast at Limmen Bight

Jap 010516  |  acrylic on linen  |  120 x 120 cm

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Ngadajirri – Budgerigar Dreaming by Eva Nelson Napaltjarri

Eva Nelson Napaltjarri   |  Ngadajirri – Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 010721  |  acrylic on linen  |  90 x 90 cm

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Wandjina, Dumbi & Unguds by Theresa Numendumah

Theresa Numendumah  |  Wandjina, Dumbi & Unguds

Jap 007516  |  ochre on canvas  |  50 x 40 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012923  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 44 cm

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Waterbird & Nest by Roy Yilidjirri

Roy Yilidjirri  |  Waterbird & Nest

Jap 010637  |  ochre on bark  |  76 x 46 cm

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Kulama – White Cockatoo by Roslyn Orsto

Roslyn Orsto  |  Kulama – White Cockatoo

Jap 012926  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 74 cm

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Brolga and Fish by Edward Blitner

Edward Blitner  |  Brolga and Fish

Jap 014232  |  acrylic on canvas  |  100 x 60 cm

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Water Bird by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Water Bird

Jap 010552  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 72 cm

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Budgerigar Dreaming by Karen Napaljarri Barnes

Karen Napaljarri Barnes  |  Budgerigar Dreaming

Jap 009262  |  acrylic on canvas  |  61 x 30 cm

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Owl by Romolo Tipiloura

Romolo Tipiloura  |  Owl

Jap 010539  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 39 cm

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Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi by Mick Magani

Mick Magani  |  Jinang from the mainland – Mildjingi

Jap 005900  |  bark  |  64 x 25 cm

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Alawa Story by Willie Gudapi

Willie Gudapi  |  Alawa Story

Jap 012132  |  acrylic on canvas  |  128 x 84 cm

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Cockatoo by Thomas Munkanome

Thomas Munkanome  |  Cockatoo

Jap 012930  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 73 cm

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Water Bird by John Tipungwuti

John Tipungwuti  |  Water Bird

Jap 010557  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 73 cm

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Bush Turkey Benuk by Graham Badari

Graham Badari  |  Bush Turkey Benuk

Jap 012490  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  17 x 23 cm

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Owl Turutjikini by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Owl Turutjikini

Jap 012944  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 57 cm

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Wuntarra Karraji by Jimmy Pike

Jimmy Pike  |  Wuntarra Karraji

Jap 008212  |  limited edition silkscreen  |  50 x 33 cm

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Tokapuwi – Bird by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Tokapuwi – Bird

Jap 012946  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 80 cm

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Out to the Horizon by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Out to the Horizon

Jap 013693  |  acrylic on canvas  |  118 x 89 cm

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Bird Carving – grey by Mario Munkara

Mario Munkara  |  Bird Carving – grey

Jap 013190  |  carved wood & ochre  |  height 80 cm

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Travelling On by Fiona Omeenyo

Fiona Omeenyo  |  Travelling On

Jap 013695  |  acrylic on canvas  |  120 x 87 cm

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Wedge Tailed Eagle Dreaming by Nathania Nangala Granites

Nathania Nangala Granites  |  Wedge Tailed Eagle Dreaming

Jap 014971  |  acrylic on canvas  |  61 x 30 cm

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