Willy is friendly, fierce and beautiful. He is always around when we are playing ball, flying swiftly and eating bugs from the grass. Not easily intimidated, this species is strong when protecting their own even from much bigger animals like dogs, cats, snakes and eagles. Found in mainland Australia, New Guinea and Solomon Islands, Willy is also a great recycler, using all sorts of materials to improve their nests. This exquisite bird is also depicted in indigenous cultures as a bird that can communicate with spirits and as one of the most intelligent animals.
The people of the Kimberley held a belief that Willy would inform the spirit of the recently departed if living relatives spoke badly of them. They also venerated the willie wagtail as the most intelligent of all animals. McKay HF, McLeod PE, Jones FF, Barker JE (2001). Gadi Mirrabooka: Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming. Libraries Unlimited. p. 100.
The Kalam people of New Guinea highlands called it konmayd, and deemed it a good bird; if it came and chattered when a new garden was tilled, then there would be good crops. Majnep, Ian Saem; Blumer, Ralph (1977). Birds of my Kalam Country. Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 103–04.