Bird identification workshop offered by Living Web Farms on April 22

Announcement from Living Web Farms:

In today’s disorienting world we are often looking for ways to get back to basics, back to center, and relax. As it turns out, songbirds, with their vantage points and their niche in nature, can give us clues to more equalized living, and bring us closer to the natural world. On April 22, Living Web Farms will offer a full day workshop on Bird Identification, focusing on learning the language of birds to gain higher awareness.

Hendersonville, NC—As Clint Corley sits on his porch, he can discern almost entirely where his neighbor’s cat is sitting, “because the birds are talking about it,” he says. Corley, and his colleague Michael Ismerio, of Forest Floor Wilderness Programs, are gearing up for an intensive class on Bird Identification and Bird Language at Living Web Farms on April 22. “You know, the birds are generally alarmed when they see that cat. And so when you know something about bird language, you know the difference between an alarm call, like ‘hey everybody, this cat is over here, look out,’ and then a calmer state. We call it baseline.”

Perching songbirds generally exhibit 5 distinct vocalizations. Alarm calls, songs, mating calls, and more. The sense that a person can learn the differences between these calls and even translate them as messages for his own use is not new. Corley shares that his work is based on the work of a teacher he had, Dan Gardoqui, and a book Gardoqui contributed to called, What the Robin Knows (author Jon Young).  As it turns out, learning bird language may be easier than learning animal tracking, and may be more relatable for human insight. Baseline, as Corley explained it, is the state of relaxation, or calm; the state of no discernable disturbance. Aren’t we all in love with that thought?

“Birds are so present. They’re everywhere,” Corley continues. “They can tell us so much. You could call them the alarm bells of the natural world.” Corley goes on to explain that this is partly due to the birds’ vantage point, and also to the fact that they are looking for what many other creatures are looking for: predators, good nesting spots, food, etc.

In the April 22 class, participants will gain fundamental understanding of the 5 bird voices, and learn to recognize distinct patterns. There will be much discussion of tuning into the bird language to minimize your own impact and heighten your awareness. Corley says, “My initial experience of learning bird language was one of a complete change in the way I interacted with the natural world…and I have become calmer, too. The birds…they almost tell you how you are feeling. Once you understand them better, you can reduce your impact in tangible ways.” In other worlds, maintain your own sense of baseline, so that the birds won’t alarm.

“When you become part of nature’s calm,” he says, “you open a window into a whole new experience of nature. When you become part of baseline, you become like a wild animal.”

To register for Bird Identification Workshop with Clint Corley and Michael Ismerio, visit The workshop will be held outdoors, and a light meal will be served from the farm.

About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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