If you’ve ever woken up to the sweet sound of birds chirping, you’ve experienced bird language first hand. Also known as the inter-species communication among birds, bird language helps our feathered friends keep in contact with their flock, find their mates and protect their territory from unwanted intruders. While birds utilize a diverse variety of calls, songs and body language to communicate, learning to interpret their language can help us better understand what’s happening in nature.
What do birds do when they feel threatened?
Birds are very sensitive to their surroundings, with very keen eyesight and hearing. When their safety is threatened, birds communicate via bird language to help warn other birds and animals of potentially dangerous intruders. Predatory animals like owls, wild cats, weasels and canines are much more likely to merit the attention of birds. Animals that are known to steal eggs or baby birds from nests tend to get the most attention, especially if the birds are nesting.
Do birds talk to people?
While humans pose a small threat to birds, invading their space could result in aggressive chirping, as a warning to stay away. If birds are unclear of our intentions, they will likely fly away and make alarming calls to other animals within earshot. Other animals are able to identify the source of bird language through the shape and dynamics of the chirp.
Birds that reside in big cities are much more comfortable with interacting and having people nearby. City birds like pigeons, starlings and house sparrows learn from a young age how to identify normal human behavior. Birds raised in the country or wilderness take much more caution when it comes to human interaction and can be easily alarmed.
Do other animals know bird language?
For most animals in the wild, paying close attention to their surroundings is key to survival. Prey animals, like deer and rabbits, have learned to listen for alarming bird language to determine their safety. Bird alarms help a variety of animals determine whether or not they are in the presence of danger, and if they should relocate to avoid detection.
How can I learn bird language?
Bird language is best observed and learned by simply sitting quietly in nature. The key is finding a place near your home where you can go and sit every day to observe the normal sights and sounds of birds. You’ll slowly begin to notice subtle changes in their sound and pitch with behaviors that could be linked to nearby predatory animals or a change in season.
At Weaving Earth, we offer bird language courses for adults and children of all ages. The practice of bird language helps strengthen our listening and awareness skills, and supports our innate ability to listen and respond to our intuition. In an era marked by increasing disconnection from nature, studying bird language can give us the tools we need to be more successful in our relationships, careers, communities, and personal lives.