“Science is finally catching up [to]…the ancient discipline of deep bird language…”

– Richard Louv, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the Children & Nature Network

“Birds talk to each other, we can understand them, and it’s fun!”

– Joe Ellis, National Audubon Society Board of Directors

“I speak English, Spanish, and Bird Language!”

– preschool participant at Stretch the Imagination Preschool, San Francisco, CA

What: Introduction to Bird Language

Where: Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

When: Wednesday, May 15th, 2019, 1:00pm-5:00pm

Cost:  $55

Register Here

Children & Nature Network Conference attendees: Register Before April 15th using the discount code “conference” to receive $10 off!

Although their is no youth program at this event, this is a family friendly event!

Use the code “birdchild”  to register children for 50% off. They can participate with you.


Bird Language is an ancient skill that people have used to help them survive and thrive for thousands of years.

The birds are the “newsfeed” of the ecosystem—they tell us where water, food, safety, or danger is. We can learn to understand this language.

Over the last 30 years, we have proven the effectiveness, accessibility and love of this practice among all ages, from preschool children to young adults and elders. It is the fastest gateway to nature connection for all ages.

Join us at beautiful Lake Merritt, designated as a wildlife refuge for migrating birds since 1869. Together, we will practice nature connection through an experiential workshop that activates all of our senses to understand what the birds are telling us — far beyond bird watching.

Spend an afternoon mindfully tuning into the “five voices” of the birds and the meaning behind various flight patterns. In small groups, create maps of the activity in the area, revealing the “story of the day” as the birds tell us what is happening in this ecosystem on a profound level.

This is for you if you are:

  • A teacher or a parent who spends time outdoors with children
  • An urban planner working to make nature-rich cities
  • Leading an after-school program for youth
  • A wildlife biologist educating the public
  • Honing your own nature skills
  • Training youth to be leaders in the outdoors
  • Aware that mindfulness and sensory capability are important life skills
  • Wanting to have fun and learn!
  • No previous birding experience necessary!



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!


Workshop Facilitators

Molly Tsongas is the Digital Campaigns Manager at Audubon California, and, as a strategic advisor to 8 Shields Institute, leads the development of bird language programs across the United States. Molly is a certified animal communicator and developed animal tracking and primitive skills through the Weaving Earth nature connection immersion program. As a nature guide and somatic coach, she trains people to expand their sensory awareness to detect information in their ecological environment. Tsongas holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Brown University. She spends her free time camping and hiking with her partner and beautiful pitbull.

Dan Gardoqui lives in the Agamenticus region of the Maine Seacoast. He has been studying naturalist skills, wildlife tracking, bird language and mentoring since the late 1900’s. Dan has an M.S. in Natural Resources, is a Certified Wildlife Tracker, Registered Maine Guide and served as Science Faculty at Granite State College. Through wildlife tracking, he has contributed to multiple wildlife studies & texts. Dan is regarded as a one of the foremost thought leaders in the field of Bird Language – a topic on which has taught in three continents, partnered with National Audubon and with served as science editor for the book “What the Robin Knows.” While not navigating the landscape of nonprofit leadership & management, Dan loves spending time trail running, cycling, hunting, playing music & being a dad to his boys.

Also check out this 5 day immersive opportunity to learn Bird Language with Jon Young May 23-27, 2019

California Bird Language Intensive in Pescadero, California