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Bird Language Weekend: May 5-7

posted Apr 10, 2017, 9:53 AM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Apr 10, 2017, 9:57 AM ]

Join us for a weekend of exploring bird language at beautiful Cedar Creek:

Friday, May 5, 5:00p  through
Sunday, May 7, 10:30a (with optional mid-day & afternoon activities)

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
2660 Fawn Lake Dr NE
Bethel, MN 55005

Total cost is just $75

Experience Life Through the Eyes of the Birds

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.

During this weekend-long program, you will be immersed in a community of nature connection mentors and learners. Through exercises, instruction, games and lots of time sitting in the woods, the community setting amplifies each individual’s learning journey. Together as a group we will begin to uncover unique patterns of the local  birds and animals, and what they are telling us through their behavior and language.

The Program

This program follows the principles of Bird Language shared by Jon Young in his book, What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World. Our team of facilitators combine decades of experience in birding, wildlife tracking, group facilitation, and nature connection mentoring. We are one of the groups piloting Jon Young's Bird Language Leaders program and have been running bird language programs across the state for the past two years. Lead facilitator Jonathan Poppele has trained with Jon Young since 1998 and is the Minnesota coordinator for Bird Language Leaders. The weekend will include instruction, exercises, storytelling, games, and lots of time sitting quietly in the woods observing and connecting with nature.

Check-in begins at 4:00p on Friday, May 5. The program starts at 5:00p. We will run all day Saturday, and wrap up before lunch on Sunday. All meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch are included in the program.

After our formal wrap-up, there will be optional activities Sunday mid-day and afternoon for those who wish to stay longer.

The Facility

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is a 5,400 acre experimental ecological reserve operated by the University of Minnesota. It is located about 35 miles north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, just east of Bethel. Cedar Creek lies at the boundary between prairie and forest. It is a mosaic of uplands dominated by oak savanna, prairie, hardwood forest, pine forests, and abandoned agricultural fields; and of lowlands comprised of ash and cedar swamps, acid bogs, marshes, and sedge meadows. The area was first set aside in the early 1940s to be kept in its natural condition for scientific and educational purposes. Much of the land remains pristine, and has never been developed for agriculture. The land is host to a wide diversity of terrestrial and avian predators including fisher, bear, owls, hawks and falcons. You can learn more at

Lodging is double occupancy dorm rooms. If you have a preferred roommate, please let us know that on the registration form. Bedding and towels are available from Cedar Creek for an extra charge, or you can bring your own.


Registration for the full weekend is just $75, including meals and lodging.

Register online here

If you have any questions about the program, contact us:
If you have questions about the facility, please contact Cedar Creek

For a map & directions to Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, click here

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve