‘Bird language’ is an ancient yet ever fresh aspect of natural history, one that has recently been revived by American naturalist Jon Young and others.
Reading bird language involves carefully listening to the subtle messages that birds communicate. This isn’t as mysterious as it may sound. Depending on the time of year, you are likely to hear contact calls, alarms, song and other territorial calls on a daily basis. You can increase your awareness of what is happening in the wider landscape and predict the sparrowhawk’s arrival, locate that elusive tawny owl or spot ground predators.
Bird language can also teach us a lot about ourselves and our own place in the landscape. By following some simple principles you can reduce the disturbance you create and get closer to wildlife. And it’s great fun!