Why is it that the bobcat, fox, and other animals can remain so hidden and elusive? They are listening to the universal alarm system of the forest - the voices of the birds.
Our ancestors relied on the signals of birds for early warning to avoid predators, or to locate game. There are still remnants of this ancient knowledge remaining within hunter-gatherer cultures today in various places around the world.
Scientific research is beginning to catch up with this ancient knowledge. Recent studies are confirming what indigenous wisdom has already known and utilized:
Birds communicate about the locations of animals (and people), and there is an alarm system shared by many different species. You can learn this language too!
Imagine. . .
With an understanding of the basic principles of bird language and behavior, these "Jedi-like" skills become possible to attain.
In fact, people living close to the land have relied on this knowledge for thousands of years to avoid danger.
People of all ages, including children, can learn this. It is only recently in the modern world that these ancient skills of interpreting the language of nature have been nearly forgotten.
Bird language expert Jon Young, author of the book What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World, has spent a lifetime studying the communication system of the forest.
Jon has traveled and observed the patterns of bird language around the world, and distilled this ancient knowledge into an easy-to-learn system that anyone can grasp.
A master storyteller and mentor, Jon Young has shared the skills of bird language with thousands of people of all ages.
Jon has found that not only does bird language help people connect with the earth, it also helps people develop a deeper sense of awareness and peace in their lives.
Bird language clubs, training workshops, and children's programs have grown as a whole new generation is connecting with the land again through the voices of the birds.
Learn Bird Language - From Home!
As not everyone can take the time to make it to a live training workshop with Jon, we have created an at-home training course that can be used anywhere - the Backyard Bird Language Online Course.
Backyard Bird Language with Jon Young is an engaging, self-paced online course that you can complete in a way that works for your schedule.
Each module takes you deeper into the world of understanding the language of the birds, bringing deep connection with nature and the birds in your neighborhood.
Though these methods are based on ancient wisdom, Jon presents it in a simple and grounded way to make these skills accessible to anyone interested in learning bird language. Beginners and experienced birders alike are welcome.
The practices in this course are designed to engage your senses in nature's dynamic patterns.
When you listen with an ear for the pattern language we will share with you in this course, the birds will "tell" you things that have been happening right under your nose that will astound you, even if you are an avid birder or nature observer.
Module 2 - The Five Voices of Bird Language
The "Five Voices" are universal patterns of communication found in birds around the world. With this understanding, you can travel anywhere in the world and begin to read into the deeper context of bird language, even if you don't know how to identify the species involved at first.
Module 4 - Bird Language Allies
There are 650 bird species that nest in North America north of Mexico alone, and over 10,000 species worldwide. Which types of birds are helpful to focus on when first learning bird language, and why?
Get an introduction to five common North American species that are especially helpful bird language "allies"; learn the qualities that make them so useful to start with. Through these examples, you will learn how to apply this knowledge anywhere in the world to pick helpful species to start your observations with.
Training video with Jon Young, Video transcript (PDF), and MP3 audio version of each video for those who like to listen on the go.
Daily Field Exercises with Josh Lane PDF Reflection Guidebook and MP3 audios to inspire your daily practice
Online quiz for each section to test your knowledge & skills
A personal response via email for each module that you complete from a BirdLanguage.com course responder - get helpful feedback and suggestions for your personal learning journey.
Guided Daily Learning Activities:
Each module comes with a set of simple daily practices you can use right in your backyard.
These simple but powerful practices stay with you for a lifetime and open a whole new world of connection through the birds, wherever you are - great for those seeking a structure for learning these skills at home!
Josh has shared bird language and nature connection skills with people around the world for over 16 years, including presentations and workshops at the 2013 National Audubon Conference.
Josh has created simple daily practices that you can use each day during this course for 30 days worth of guided learning activities.
Special Bonus Learning Materials
Bonus Video - Five Voices Guessing Game
Practice your bird language skills with this fun bonus video!
Test your knowledge of the Five Voices of bird language that you'll be learning about in Module 2 of the course.
Bonus Video - Shapes of Alarm Mysteries Video
We've created fun animations to test your skills with interpreting the causes of different alarm shapes.
You'll learn to identify the bird language signatures caused by a variety of ground and air predators.
Every week for six weeks, you'll receive access to a new course module. Each module includes a training video with Jon Young, and five days of field exercises with daily audio practices shared by Josh Lane.
You'll receive a field practice each day to engage your senses as you build your bird language skillset. At the end of each day, you'll use the questions provided in the Reflection Guide to look back on what you learned that day. The sixth day each week provides questions that help you reflect on the learning from that week as a whole.
After you complete each module, you can get feedback by sending in your completed journals via email to your Bird Language course responder, who will respond to you via email. Our course responders bring a background in natural history and field observation, and they look forward to sharing in your stories. Your course registration includes 6 email responses, and you'll have up to 6 months from the time of course purchase to make use of this component.
Easy Access: Receive long-term access to the online course. Login easily through our online portal.
(PDF Transcripts - All Materials are digital)
The course makes a great gift for the birder or outdoor enthusiast in your family!
What course members are saying:
“I get that twittery feeling in my heart too when I get to observe the birds just doing their thing. It’s like they are allowing me into a secret society and I get to just 'do my thing' too.”
“Spending regular time in my sit spot is literally changing me, my relationships, my perceptions…. I am feeling very grateful for these teachings!”
“This is great stuff. Puts me right where I want to be - in connection with the where, the who, and the what all around me.”
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Bird Language in the Wall Street Journal:
"What makes the approach of What the Robin Knows (Jon’s book all about bird language) so refreshing is that it borrows back into bird-watching something the practice often surrenders to birders, those single-minded stalkers who identify and then abandon individual birds with promiscuous fury.
"My daughter has little interest in my fits of avian acquisitiveness, but sitting quietly in the woods, taking in the whole system as a sort of babbling classroom whose sounds and silences all communicate something important, she was mesmerized—and so was I. This, more than anything else, is what bird-watching ought to mean."
—Jonathan Rosen, editorial director of Nextbook and the author, most recently, of "The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature."
What Birding Experts have to say
on learning bird language with Jon Young:
Reviews from World-Reknowned Birding Experts on bird language as shared by Jon Young in his book What the Robin Knows. . .
“Here is the ancestral wisdom passed down from Apache elder Stalking Wolf to renowned tracker Tom Brown to Jon Young himself, who in turn passes on to the reader the art of truly listening to the avian soundscape.
"With all senses more finely tuned, you’ll find yourself more aware of your surroundings, slowing down, and reconnecting with a native intelligence and love of the natural world that lies deep within each of us.“
—Donald Kroodsma, author of The Singing Life of Birds and Birdsong by the Seasons
“What the Robin Knows is a fascinating introduction to nature study beyond putting names on what we see, not just a guide to paying attention outdoors but full of tips on how to do it. It should help us discover the world of nature around us, often glimpsed but too often overlooked. This is less a book to read than one to use, one that will enrich our hours outdoors."
—Thomas R. Dunlap, author of In the Field, Among the Feathered
Can I really learn this through an online course?
Jon has spent a lifetime observing bird language in action around the world. Through this wisdom he is able to condense this unique information in one place so you can learn quickly and easily.
Save hundreds of dollars by not having to travel to a distant in-person workshop.
Learn from the comfort of your own home, at your own pace
Learn skills you can apply around around the world, from the birds in your own yard
We stand behind the quality of our courses and include a 30 day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied in any way.
Register via our secure checkout page with a one-time payment below.
After registration, you'll receive an email with the link to the member's portal. You can get started with the course right away!