Journal archives for August 2015

August 16, 2015

First Bird Language Group Mapping Exercise

I've been studying something called Bird Language for the past several months. It's the ripple effect in bird behavior that happens when a predator or other threat or disturbance moves through an area. Hand-in-hand with wildlife tracking, it has been used by indigenous peoples to get a better idea of what's going on in the woods. It is also used by other wildlife. Most recently Bird Language has been promoted by Jon Young in a book and in training programs being developed by wilderness schools and now with National Audubon.

One of the techniques to learn bird language is a group mapping exercise. The basic idea is that a group of people spreads out over an area, and each person looks and listens from an assigned spot for a certain amount of time. Notes are taken for each 5-10 minute period. Afterwards we discuss what we observed during each period and put our observations on a reference map.

This morning Lee Burton and I led a mapping exercise on Hill Country Conservancy's Nalle Bunny Run Wildlife Preserve. We had seven folks spread out over about 10 acres on the shore of Lake Austin, and we observed for about an hour. When we regrouped, I was delighted that everyone had already had a good time. Everyone enjoyed sitting in one place for an hour observing birds and the immediate environment. Later I was delighted that we all enjoyed spending another hour sharing, discussing, and mapping what we had seen and heard. What a rewarding experience! I hope we can repeat it.

Bird Language Mapping Group Photo - 1

A few more photos are here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikael_behrens/albums/72157657329616462

Posted on August 16, 2015 22:00 by mikaelb mikaelb | 2 comments | Leave a comment