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Inaugural Bird Language Gathering, Sat, May 3

posted Apr 9, 2014, 1:33 PM by Jonathan Poppele   [ updated Apr 9, 2014, 1:57 PM ]
Jonathan Poppele, Marty Miller and Donnie Phyillaier invite you to join us for our inaugural Bird Language Gathering

Saturday, May 3, 9:00a ~ 1:00p

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425

Registration is encouraged, but not required. To RSVP, Contact Us or e-mail Jonathan Poppele <>

What is Bird Language?

Bird language is the art of interpreting the calls, postures and behavior of birds to identify the locations of predators and other forces on the landscape. Experienced bird language observers regularly use their skills to locate Cooper's hawks in suburban neighborhoods, and to identify the approach of hikers in the back-country two minutes before they come into view.

You do not need to know the names or the calls of individual species of birds to learn bird language. The “language” is universal and inter-species. Bird language experts from North America report that their skills server them very well when traveling to other continents, even they are not familiar with the local birds.

What will we do at the gathering?

Our gathering will follow a model developed by Jon Young, who has been teaching bird language workshops for over 20 years. We will begin by gathering at the Visitor Center for a welcome and orientation. Next, will head out onto the landscape around the visitor center to sit and observe bird behavior. Following our sit, we will return indoors to share our stories and map our observations. By mapping our observations, everyone will get a “birds eye view” of what happened on the landscape. Often, one person will see a disturbance, while a different person will see a bird react to it. Sharing our stories on a map will help connect the dots and quickly build our understanding of the three-dimensional shapes of bird language.

What experience do I need to have?

None. All you need is a curious mind, and a love for connecting with nature. No birding experience is necessary.

What should I bring?

Bring what you need to be comfortable sitting outside on the ground for an extended period of time—perhaps as long as an hour. You will also need something to take notes on. You do not need to have binoculars, but there is no harm in bringing a pair if you would like. Here are a few recommended and optional items to bring:


Note pad & pencil
Ground cloth, blanket or camp-chair
Sun protection
Poncho if it is raining

Water bottle

Sign me up!

Registration is encouraged, but not required. Feel free to drop in and join us—and it would be great to know if you are coming! If you have any questions, or to RSVP:

For a map & directions click here

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge