Bird Language: Ground Predators

Many species of birds spend a considerable amount of time on the ground looking for food, water, and nesting material and for some species it is their primary habitat.  Consequently, they are exposed to numerous threats from ground dwelling animals that like to supplement their diet with an avian meal!  Come spend a day with us to study the various creatures that commonly prey on ground dwelling birds and the alarms that these birds elicit to warn each other of this impending danger.

Earth Native is a sanctioned Bird Language Leaders affiliate, the only training location in the entire southern U.S. certified by Jon Young’s 8shields organization.  This class will teach you about the foraging habits and behaviors of birds as they relate to the movement of common ground predators in selected habitats, and how to recognize the predators’ whereabouts based on bird alarms that ripple through the landscape.  We will examine the various “shapes” of alarms caused by these ground predators such as:

  • Parabolic shape
  • Cat alarm
  • Popcorn shape
  • Dog plow
  • Weasel alarm


After this class concludes, you will understand how to recognize when and what species of ground predators are moving through terrain after they have been “discovered” by nearby birds (even though you may never actually see them!).  This will greatly increase your awareness of what is happening in real time around you, whether it is in your own back yard or in the middle of a large wilderness.  Additionally, it will inform you on where specifically to look for track and sign of these ground predators if you want to further increase your understanding of their behavior.

ENROLLMENT NOT CURRENTLY OPEN - Please contact us to be notified when dates are announced for this class.

Class Cost: $65 per person

Class Dates

Class Times: 9am-3pm

Class Location: Our campus in Bastrop, TX at 137 Woodview Lane (read more about our campus here)

*This is an ADULT class but is open to ages 12 and up. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult participant.

Requirements: There will be short walks involved with class and participants should be comfortable hiking on a paths with short inclines and crossing small stream beds


There is an online course offered by Jon Young in conjunction with the University of California at Davis called “Backyard Bird Language.”  Jon covers all the major bird language topics in 5 modules with video and audio segments along with daily practices, practical tips, and journaling exercises.  The course is self-paced so can be completed in 5 weeks, or over a longer period of time and is an excellent way to begin your bird language journey, whether you are long time birder or completely new to the study of bird behavior.  It will open up a whole new world for you as each time you step outdoors, whether that be in your backyard or in the most remote wilderness, you will begin to greatly enhance your connection, enjoyment, and knowledge of the natural world. To register use this link:

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