California Bird Language Intensive 2020

Experience Life Through the Eyes of the Birds

 ​Deepen your connections to nature, self, & others

 Bring more presence to all that you do

Understanding the language of birds - what they are telling each other, and what they are telling you - will enrich your life in practical & surprising ways, helping you to embody the attributes that lead to success in many areas of your life.

When: Thursday June 11th 3pm - Monday June 15th at noon, 2020

Where: Pescadero, California

What: Birds and animals share a common language. Their calls and alarms help them stay safe from danger. We can learn to understand this language. In fact, we are "hard wired" to learn this, as countless generations of our ancestors depended on this ancient skill to survive, around the world. Largely forgotten by modern peoples, this understanding is sorely needed at this time of cultural upheaval and natureʼs shifting patterns.

In an era marked by increasing disconnection from nature, self, and others, the practice of learning Bird Language will give you the tools to be more successful in your relationships, your career, your community, and in life in general by enhancing your ability to experience empathy, compassion, attentiveness, sensitivity to your surrounding and others, and increased awareness.

What Will I Experience at the Intensive?

During this week-long intensive, you will be immersed in a village of mentors and learners. The community setting amplifies each individual's learning journey.

Together the group learns the unique ​patterns of the birds and animals, and what they are telling us through their behavior and language.

Learn how birds act as a barometer for ​your own awareness. Through this knowledge, ​you'll get instant "biofeedback" on how to blend into the natural patterns of the landscape.

When we listen deeply for bird language, we begin to access a deeper part of our awareness. We step into the Quiet Mind. With all the senses activated, we connect with the landscape, the animals, and with our inner worlds. We become attuned to the rhythms both within and without.

This Intensive will open a new world of understanding on how to be more attentive to your surroundings, sensitive to how you affect others, and help you achieve a quiet mind, resulting in increased peace and happiness.

This will have a ripple effect that will benefit you and your loved ones, enhancing your ability to become a successful nature mentor and create healthy communities. Join us for a week full of fun, fire, food, friends, and phenomenal personal transformation!

Core Curriculum

As shared in Jon Young's book, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World, participants will experience the core vocabulary of bird language, including tools for interpreting the language and behavior of birds around the world, including:

  • The Five Voices of the Birds
  • Interpreting Shapes of Alarm
  • Sensory Awareness & Natural Movement
  • Mapping Bird Language
  • Storytelling and Dynamic Sensory Memory Skills
  • and more!


​Tuition: For this event we offer three pricing tiers (see below).

Tier 1 tickets are priced below the cost per participant, while tiers 2 & 3 are priced at and above cost. By choosing a higher price point, you are making it possible for us to offer reduced tuition to those who cannot afford the full price. This is done as part of an effort to make this event as accessible as possible. Thank you for choosing the price point that is appropriate for you!

  • Tier 1 (below cost) = $650  (use the code warbler1 at checkout to get the reduced cost price)
  • Tier 2 (at cost) = $750
  • Tier 3 (above cost) = $850

Registration coming soon!

​Rustic camping space is provided and all delicious meals are catered by our wonderful chef Carin. We use organic and local foods when possible and can accommodate gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and other dietary preferences. For questions email

For those seeking ​deluxe accommodations at night, we recommend Costanoa Resort just a few minutes drive away. They have tent cabins, luxury cabins and lodge rooms and a hot tub and sauna as well as a KOA campground.

This is a Family Friendly Event!

Creating a village—where the whole family is welcome, supported and growing together—is so important.

In that spirit, there are youth nature connection programs for children aged 5-16 at the event. Also children under 4 are welcome to attend under the care of an adult or parent!

COST for Children's Program: $375 *Sibling discount makes your second child $335 Use the code fawn1 at check out to get $40 off your second child.

Meet the Workshop Facilitators

For over 30 years, Jon Young has been a leader in the field of nature-based education and cultural mentoring, implementing vital advancements in the understanding and benefits of effective nature- and people-connection modeling. Jon is a deep nature connection mentor, wildlife tracker, peacemaker, author, workshop leader, consultant, inspiring public speaker and storyteller. He has appeared as an expert in numerous documentaries concerning nature and ecology and travels to teach widely throughout North America, Europe, Australia and southern Africa.

​Jon has authored and co-authored several seminal works on deep nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote's Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007) among other titles in print and media. As a founder of the 8 Shields Institute, Jon Young has established a best-practices process for cultural modeling and nature connection mentoring, and is actively promoting nature-based cultural regeneration for the benefit of current and future generations.

Kristi Dranginis is the founder of, a hub for resources and online courses that help people all around the world build confidence learning about birds and the natural world. Through her courses, students are immersed in the principles of deep nature connection, bird language and advanced bird identification skills.

Kristi teaches birding at traditional skills events like Rabbit Stick, Winter Count, Saskatoon Circle, Buckeye, Sharpening Stone and for organizations like the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, The Women’s Wilderness Institute & The Powerhouse Science Center. Kristi is one of the founding collaborators on the Dipper Project, a research project studying the effects of the Gold King Mine spill on avian life in Colorado. She also leads tours for the Bosque del Apache Sandhill Crane Festival, Mesa Verde Bird Festival and the Durango Bird Club. She has worked at bird banding stations on Great Gull Island, focusing on the Roseate & Common Terns, as well as migratory birds at Oxbow Preserve and hummingbirds at Mesa Verde National Park. She is a contributor to the new Peterson's Field Guide to Bird Nests. Kristi is also a Field Ornithologist, Naturalist, Herbalist, and Photographer.

Guy Galante is a Carmichael, CA native and resident. Guy is very passionate about the American River Parkway and his career has focused on creating future stewards of it. He has led hundreds of walks and talks along the American River with youth and adults covering a wide variety of topics. Guy taught 6th grade for years in Gold River, and his curriculum revolved around the Parkway. He is passionate about native plants and plant restoration and has published curriculum focused on maintaining Rancho Cordova's restored Cordova Creek. ​Guy currently teaches outdoor recreation at CSU, Sacramento. He is a Bird Language Leader and conducts bird language workshops in Sacramento with his 8 Shields inspired nature connection organization, called "Roots of Connection".

Guy spends much of his personal time wandering the trails in the Parkway with his yellow Labrador, Natoma. He is a well known local nature photographer and is published in the American River Almanac and 150 Most Frequently Seen Birds of California's Great Valley. He primarily focuses on capturing images of coyotes and has photo-documented them along the river for more than 10 years. By earning a master's degree in Recreation Administration, his primary goal is to bring County Parks, stakeholder groups and communities together to foster a deeper connection with and appreciation of each other and the natural world.

​Want to learn some birding by ear? ​Discover the "Five Voices" we use to start decoding bird language - check out our Bird Voices Audio Library here: