“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 with Jon Young and Kathleen Lockyer

Where: Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

When: Sunday, May 20, 2018 1:00pm-5:30pm

Cost:  $55 

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

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. He 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.

Kathleen Lockyer is an licensed and registered occupational therapist (OT), and a self described “research junkie.” Kathleen‘s life and career have guided her to trail blaze new paradigms of therapeutic intervention. She has spent more than twenty five years gathering the most valid and important scientific research relating to what is best for children, families, and the future of our world. Continually integrating all that she learns, she developed a Nature-Led Approach©. This approach brings together developmental, bio-physical, social-emotional, cognitive-behavioral, and neurological sciences for a wholistic and connective learning experience that just makes sense. This “whole systems, nature-led©” approach capitalizes on everyday experience in a realistic format for modern families. Kathleen is deeply invested in long term change, not short term band-aids. Kathleen is excited to be on the leadership team for Bird-Language as she knows it to be one powerful tool that builds stronger bodies, clearer minds, and just makes life better.