piyêsîsak – Birds

Perisoreus_Canadensis : Whisky Jack from Wikimedia Commons; Click image to see full details

wîskicâk : Perisoreus_Canadensis : Grey Jay, now the national bird of Canada

The wîskicâk, known in English as the Grey Jay or Whisky Jack has just become Canada’s National Bird (November 2016).  Read more about the selection process (and see some stunning photos) at Canadian Geographic.

Read about the “Canadians” who claim they’ve never heard of it – though it’s obviously old news in Cree: http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/gray-jay-canadians-ruffled-over-national-bird-they-ve-never-heard-of-1.3164852.

Solomon Ratt gathered the following words from nêhiyawêwin: itwêwina / Cree: Words by Arok Wolvengrey. CPRC, 2001. He comments that he may have misspelled a few and isn’t sure the list is exhaustive for the birds seen in Saskatchewan (or in western Canada). How great would it be if we could now gather a collection of corresponding images?

EnglishCreeSyllabics
Bald eagle mikisiwᒥᑭᓯᐤ
Birdpiyêsîsᐱᔦᓰᐢ
Bitternmohkahasiwᒧᐦᑲᐦᐊᓯᐤ
Black birdcahcahkâyowᒐᐦᒐᐦᑳᔪᐤ
Black duckkaskitêsipᑲᐢᑭᑌᓯᑊ
Blue heronmohkahasiwᒧᐦᑲᐦᐊᓯᐤ
Blue jaykwîhkwîsiwᑹᐦᑹᓯᐤ
Blue wing duckyîkihcikanawêwisipᔩᑭᐦᒋᑲᓇᐍᐏᓯᑊ
Brown duckosâwisipᐅᓵᐏᓯᑊ
Bull finchoskanêwᐅᐢᑲᓀᐤ
Canada goosekihci niskaᑭᐦᒋ ᓂᐢᑲ
Canaryosâwi piyêsîsᐅᓵᐏ ᐱᔦᓰᐢ
Canvasback duckmisikwâyowêwisipᒥᓯᒁᔪᐍᐏᓯᑊ
Chickadeekicikîsosîsᑭᒋᑮᓱᓰᐢ
Chickadeepicikîskosîsᐱᒋᑮᐢᑯᓰᐢ
Chickadeekicîskosîsᑭᒌᐢᑯᓰᐢ
Chickenmisihyêwᒥᓯᐦᔦᐤ
Chickenpâhkahâhkwânᐹᐦᑲᐦᐋᐦᒁᐣ
Chickenpâhpahâkwânᐹᐦᐸᐦᐋᒁᐣ
Chicken hawkpipon âyisᐱᐳᐣ ᐋᔨᐢ
Cootsihkihpᓯᐦᑭᐦᑊ
Cormorantkâhkâkîsipᑳᐦᑳᑮᓯᑊ
Craneocihcahkᐅᒋᐦᒐᕽ
Cranecahcahkiwᒐᐦᒐᐦᑭᐤ
Crowâhâsiwᐋᐦᐋᓯᐤ
Crow duckkâhkâkîsipᑳᐦᑳᑮᓯᑊ
Diver (Hell diver) ducksihkihpᓯᐦᑭᐦᑊ
Doveomîmîwᐅᒦᒦᐤ
Ducksîsîpᓰᓰᑊ
Duck hawknôcinîwihêsiwᓅᒋᓃᐏᐦᐁᓯᐤ
Eaglekihêwᑭᐦᐁᐤ
Eaglekihiwᑭᐦᐃᐤ
Eagle (Golden Eagle)mikisiwᒥᑭᓯᐤ
Falconkêhkêhkᑫᐦᑫᕽ
Fish duckohcihkᐅᐦᒋᕽ
Frog eater duckwâsahacaskwêsiwᐚᓴᐦᐊᒐᐢᑵᓯᐤ
Gooseniskaᓂᐢᑲ
Grey Jaywîskicâk, wîskicânᐑᐢᑭᒑᐠ, ᐑᐢᑭᒑᐣ
Grousepihêwᐱᐦᐁᐤ
Gullkiyâskᑭᔮᐢᐠ
Hawkkêhkêhkᑫᐦᑫᕽ
Hawk (large)sâkwahtamowᓵᑿᐦᑕᒧᐤ
Hawk (night)pîskwaᐲᐢᑿ
Heronmisi mohkahaiswᒥᓯ ᒧᐦᑲᐦᐊᐃᐢᐤ
Horned owlohtawkêhowᐅᐦᑕᐤᑫᐦᐅᐤ
Hummingbirdâmowi-piyêsîsᐋᒧᐏ ᐱᔦᓰᐢ
Hummingbirdmôso-piyêsîsᒨᓱᐱᔦᓰᐢ
Killdeerotâpiskâkanêsîsᐅᑖᐱᐢᑳᑲᓀᓰᐢ
Kingfisherokîskimanasiwᐅᑮᐢᑭᒪᓇᓯᐤ
Laughing gooseapisci niskisᐊᐱᐢᒋ ᓂᐢᑭᐢ
Loonmâkwaᒫᑿ
Loonmwâkwaᒹᑿ
Magpieapisci kahkâkîsᐊᐱᐢᒋ ᑲᐦᑳᑮᐢ
Mallardiyinisipᐃᔨᓂᓯᑊ
Meadowlarktâpikâkanêsîsᑖᐱᑳᑲᓀᓰᐢ
Mud henoskacânisipᐅᐢᑲᒑᓂᓯᑊ
Mud henwîskacêsipᐑᐢᑲᒉᓯᑊ
Night owlpâhkwêkanᐹᐦᑵᑲᐣ
Ospreyapiskwayᐊᐱᐢᑿᕀ
Owlôhôwᐆᐦᐆᐤ
Partridgepaspaskiwᐸᐢᐸᐢᑭᐤ
Partridgeâhkiskôsᐋᐦᑭᐢᑰᐢ
Pelicancahcakiwᒐᐦᒐᑭᐤ
Pheasantâhkiskowᐋᐦᑭᐢᑯᐤ
Pigeonomîmîwᐅᒦᒦᐤ
Pintail duckkinokwayawêwisipᑭᓄᑿᔭᐍᐏᓯᑊ
Ploversêsêsiwᓭᓭᓯᐤ
Prairie chickenpihêwᐱᐦᐁᐤ
Quailpaspaskiwᐸᐢᐸᐢᑭᐤ
Ravenkâhkâkiwᑳᐦᑳᑭᐤ
Red-headed duckmihkostikwânêwisipᒥᐦᑯᐢᑎᒁᓀᐏᓯᑊ
Robinpihpihciwᐱᐦᐱᐦᒋᐤ
Roosternape pâhkahahkwânᓇᐯ ᐹᐦᑲᐦᐊᐦᒁᐣ
Ruffed grousepaspaskiwᐸᐢᐸᐢᑭᐤ
Small summer birdnîpinêsîsᓃᐱᓀᓰᐢ
Small wild birdpakwâc âyisᐸᒁᐨ ᐋᔨᐢ
Snipesêsêsiwᓭᓭᓯᐤ
Snow goosewêhwêwᐍᐦᐍᐤ
Song sparrowkaskaskacîscacayᑲᐢᑲᐢᑲᒌᐢᒐᒐᕀ
Sparrow hawkpîhpîkisîsᐲᐦᐲᑭᓰᐢ
Spoonbill duckkinokwayawêwisipᑭᓄᑿᔭᐍᐏᓯᑊ
Spruce grousesakâwi pihêwᓴᑳᐏ ᐱᐦᐁᐤ
Spruce partridgeoskahtako pihêwᐅᐢᑲᐦᑕᑯ ᐱᐦᐁᐤ
Swallowmîcaskosîsᒦᒐᐢᑯᓰᐢ
Swanwâpisiwᐚᐱᓯᐤ
Tealapiscisipisᐊᐱᐢᒋᓯᐱᐢ
Tomtitapisci kîskisîsᐊᐱᐢᒋ ᑮᐢᑭᓰᐢ
Turkeymisihêwᒥᓯᐦᐁᐤ
Turkeymisihyêwᒥᓯᐦᔦᐤ
Water birdsêsêsiwᓭᓭᓯᐤ
Water hencâcikacêsipᒑᒋᑲᒉᓯᑊ
Wavey duckwêhwêwᐍᐦᐍᐤ
Whisky jackwîskacâk, wîskacânᐑᐢᑲᒑᐠ, ᐑᐢᑭᒑᐣ
White dovewâpiski mîmîsᐚᐱᐢᑭ ᒦᒦᐢ
White grousekicikânêsîsᑭᒋᑳᓀᓰᐢ
Winter birdpipon ayisᐱᐳᐣ ᐊᔨᐢ
Winter sunbirdkicikânêsîsᑭᒋᑳᓀᓰᐢ
Wood duckamiskosipᐊᒥᐢᑯᓯᑊ
Wood partridgesakâwi pihêwᓴᑳᐏ ᐱᐦᐁᐤ
Woodpeckerpâhpâscêsᐹᐦᐹᐢᒉᐢ
Wrenpicikîskosîsᐱᒋᑮᐢᑯᓰᐢ
Yellow birdosâwi piyêsîsᐅᓵᐏ ᐱᔦᓰᐢ
Yellow throated buntingocihcipisîsᐅᒋᐦᒋᐱᓰᐢ

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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3 Responses to piyêsîsak – Birds

  1. nsr says:

    Thank you for this. It’s much easier to learn another language when you study what has meaning for you. This morning I hear âhkiskow on my balcony, kicîskosîs below my window, and kihci niska overhead. It is, a GOOD morning.

  2. Ryan Gideon says:

    Is there a cree (moose cree) word for “white-throated sparrow?” It’s the bird whose song sounds like, “my sweet Canada, Canada, Canada…”

    Thanks.

  3. Randy Freese says:

    Good evening, I am looking for a specific bird of prey. A kind of hawk or Falcon. I have a description being a small hawk, very fast…

    name is james bay eastern cree dialect sounds like Gagacusn – not spelles right, as far as i know

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