Among the San, it is learned by necessity to avoid dangers from lions, hyenas, leopards, large herbivores and poisonous snakes-among other hazards. The San People’s knowledge of Bird Language is extensive and nuanced. Their mentoring begins early in life, and the elders play a vital role. As I think of ways to reduce search costs and speed the learning of Bird Language in the post-modern world, I have come to the conclusion that games are among the most important tools to help build the connection needed to understand this nuanced language most effectively.
Thanks to Geoffrey McMullan’s important work here. Games are vital to the growing community of Bird Language , citizens and scientists contributing their stories of experiences to help expand on our understanding of this fascinating world of inter-species communication.
And, it’s FUN to learn this way!'
Exploring Bird Language
About the Book
Book Title: Discover Nature Awareness - Exploring Bird Language by Geoffrey McMullan. Forward by Jon Young
Format: Softcover, 132 pages. Ships from the United Kingdom by Pathfinder-UK
Topic: A book of engaging games for teaching bird language. These exciting games can be played at a beginner’s level up to the more advanced level, depending on the group you are working with, or even just to have lots of fun with your family and friends
"Interpreting Bird Language is an Art"
Each game is designed to help you to connect with birds and to understand their language, and you do not need to even know their names
WHO IS IT FOR?
Whether you’re a bushcraft school running bird language courses, a forest school or a scout leader, a teacher, or you just have an interest in nature and birds, then Exploring Bird Language is the book for you
Greetings Mr. McMullan,
"A quick note to thank you for the copy of your book which I received yesterday. What a wonderful collection of activities presented in a clear and highly useful way. I also really enjoy how you teach and depicted the various elements of bird language. I share your profound respect and life giving pleasure at being outside connected with nature, particularly in my connection with the birds.
I have a nearly four year old grandson who is attending an outdoor nature activity based preschool called Forest School and I will be sure to share your work with my daughter, as well hopefully with my grandson. My life and my health changed after reading Jon Young's ‘What the Robin Knows’ and I am sure I will enjoy my time delving into your work as well. It is indeed that connection that is not only life enhancing but frankly in my case life giving".
Romeo - USA 2017
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Part 1 – Understanding the Games: Covers basic theory to understand bird language,
behaviour and awareness.
Part 2 – The Games: Includes 22 inspiring games allowing students to learn and understand
Part 3 – Personal Accounts: Read instructive true stories of bird language in action.
"Exploring Bird Language is a fantastic source of ideas and inspiration for teaching this ancient art to people of all ages. Geoffrey's enthusiasm and passion for birds really add something to the book, as does his infectious sense of curiosity. The games are clearly described and provide a set of effective tools for nature connection and education".
Dan Puplett - UK 2016
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Thoughts from Leading Nature Connection Experts:
“Discover Nature Awareness is really great. It’s got such a nice, concise treatment of some very important parts of the nature connection journey. I really like the book and found it useful immediately… Impressive.”
Jon Young (author of ‘What the Robin Knows’)
“Thanks, for adding so well to the literature of nature awareness for pioneers like Jon Young.”
Richard Louv (author of ‘Last Child in the Woods’)
“I really like your books.”
Joseph Cornell (author of ‘Share Nature’)
Exploring Bird Language
Stories from the Field
Someone Is Coming
The San Bushmen call the Woodpecker (my favourite bird), Zana. They told me that when Zana calls it is telling them that someone will soon visit and indeed each time this happened they would call out “Sau” (the name they gave me, it means tree) and point in the direction of the resident Bearded Woodpecker, which was calling. Every time, soon afterwards, someone did visit us.
The Woodpecker Led the Way
Sometime after my trip to Namibia, I was running a tracking course for a friend in the north of England. On the second day I was explaining to the group about concentric rings and bird language, and how important these are to our tracking skills. I was sharing the story about Zana being the first bird to let the San Bushmen know if anyone was coming. Literally, after telling this story I heard a Great-spotted Woodpecker give off its alarm call, Kik, kik, kik, kik, kik, in quick succession.
As I looked up and called to the group to pay attention, the Great-spotted flew right past us. In hot pursuit came Blackbirds, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and other birds which burst through the woods in hot pursuit of the woodpecker, as it lead them away from the threat. We then scanned the woodlands in the direction the birds had flown from and sure enough there was a whole bunch of people walking along the broad walk in the woods.
They were completely unaware of our presence, let alone the birds alarming. I was saying to the group just prior to this incident that sometime during the course I would throw a concentric ring while they were in their Sit-spots so that they could observe how the birds respond to my presence. Well, after that there was no need to throw that concentric ring, nature as always had done the job for me.
The Dance of the Roller
As I walked with the San Bushman, a Roller flew overhead. The bushman I was with pointed to it, whistled to the roller to get its attention. He then moved his body with his arms out stretched in a way that appeared to be mimicking the roll of a Roller in flight, then, right on cue the Roller rolled. It seemed to me they were both connected to each other and were enjoying each other’s company through dance. In fact I know this was the case because I felt it. In my view we are all capable of this connection. It’s just that with the distractions of our modern lives, most of us have switched off to it.
Read more stories and learn inspiring games for teaching bird language in Geoffrey’s book, Exploring Bird Language.
“Geoffrey has a way of working – calmly, slowly, with humour – that really draws you in. His ability to connect with the natural world, and to share that connection to others, is really profound. Games that seem simple and even child-like when described, took on a huge significance in my mind. We were all deeply affected by the experience… Amazing.”
David Bond, Director – Green Lions
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About the Author:
Geoffrey McMullan is a counsellor with an MSc in Addiction Psychology. He is the Founder of Pathfinder-UK. Geoffrey is also a Bushcraft & Tracking Instructor, and the author of the Discover Nature Awareness book series.
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