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What the Robin Knows

How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching by three basic premises: the robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit; and the birds' companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs. Birds are the sentries—and our key to understanding the world beyond our front door. Unwitting humans create a zone of disturbance that scatters the wildlife. Respectful humans who heed the birds acquire an awareness that radically changes the dynamic. We are welcome in their habitat. The birds don't fly away. The larger animals don't race off. No longer hapless intruders, we can find, see, and engage the deer, the fox, the red-shouldered hawk—even the elusive, whispering wren. Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. This groundbreaking book unites indigenous knowledge, scientific research, and the author's own experience of decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, a deeper connection to ourselves. Includes bird language vocalizations. 

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 13, 2012 – In this naturalist guidebook, Young, a naturalist and teacher, has two objectives: first, by studying deep bird language, we can find out what s really going on in the world of birds ; second, we can figure out how to access that world through our awareness of deep bird language so that we can see more wildlife. His third, less direct goal is sharing his conviction that understanding the birds really does help us to understand ourselves. The premise is simple: find a sit spot (a place where you can unobtrusively be part of the world you are observing) and go there frequently daily, if possible. Sit quietly and stay long enough to let the birds readjust to their baseline vocalizing. Recognizing the baseline allows you to notice outlying noises and begin to posit theories about them, although, as Young frequently reminds readers, he is working with largely hypothetical concepts. The book comes with a handy collection of audio files to help listeners identify various songs and alarms of common birds. Though primarily geared toward birders and naturalists rather than lay readers, this passionate instruction manual offers enjoyable anecdotes.

Customer Reviews

What The Robin Knows

This book will open a new world to anyone willing to put in the practice, but to a tracker it is a must!

What the Robin Knows
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Nature
  • Published: May 21, 2013
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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