Skip to content

Workshop: Introduction to Understanding Bird Language

August 26, 2014

9:00am-12:00 noon, Saturday, September 6th.

Riverstone Organic Farm, Floyd County,Va, 

“A little bird told me…”


Who’s out there in the forest?



Based on the work of acclaimed naturalist and tracker Jon Young , this experiential workshop will introduce participants to learning the language of the birds and understanding what they are telling us about events on the landscape – and ourselves.

Activities and strategies to be shared:

  • Nature-based mindfulness techniques to reduce our impact on the land and sharpen our senses and perceptions
  • 5 voices of the birds
  • Bird behaviors
  • Interpretation of voice and behavior into stories of the landscape and its inhabitants
  • Mapping bird activity in the local ecology
  • Using bird language in “the real world”

We’ll introduce a simple, easy to use vocabulary that will allow each participant to learn and apply the techniques immediately. No prior birding experience is required, this is not an ID or song ID workshop, but birders are very welcome and will love this old wisdom!

$20/person, $30/couples or pairs, kids free. Recommended for children 12ish and up, and only if they are interested in nature and birds and have some patience. Some parts of the morning are active, but the center of the workshop is a bird sit, lasting 40-60 minutes. It’s not a good fit for little, restless people. Big, restless people we can deal with.

Bring: Appropriate clothing- we’ll be outside the entire time. Rain Gear. Stool or blanket to sit on in the woods, if needed. Snacks and water bottle. Pencil/pen and journal for notes.

Please pre-register with me, by September 5th, at 540-922-2175 or Feel free to contact me with any questions. Maximum of 16 participants. Rain or shine (unless it’s bucketing, I’ll notify you by 7:30am that morning if cancelled.)

About me:
Michael J. Blackwell has been a homestead farmer and home-schooling parent for many years. He’s a cook, animal tracker, naturalist, teacher, gardener, musician, holistic curriculum designer, artist, writer, mentor, storyteller, ceremonial leader, community builder, carpenter, orchardist, oft-befuddled father, and reluctant visionary and administrator. He has taught dogs, infants, toddlers, schoolchildren, adjudicated youth, teens, families, college students, factory workers, and elders, in many different subjects and contexts. He has an MA in Educational Psychology and has studied tracking, birds, nature and ecology for the past 20 years.

My full-of-naturey-goodness-Youtube page, including my recent TEDxVT talk on the power of tracking, awareness and attention.

My full of naturey-goodness-webpage, NaturalIntelligenceDesigns.

One Comment
  1. Michael, have you considered advertising your NIC workshops to the Master Naturalists as a potential advanced training opportunity? They are always looking for new activities to offer and are in the midst of preparing a new “class.” This sort of thing seems right up their alley. Contact John Ford for more information/ask him to post events on their list-serv:


    – Ayla


Leave a Reply to piperaw Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Ceremony Matters

The Official Blog of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute


A blog about religion, science, and philosophy

Residence on Earth

A Sustainability Blog

%d bloggers like this: