Articles by Jon Young

Jon Young is a naturalist, tracker and bird language expert. He runs a variety programs in California. He is founder of WIlderness Awareness School and author of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program, which is a wonderful primer for learning about the song sparrow and bird language.

Learn Bird Language from the Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow as a Teacher of Bird Language

Song Sparrow: Melospiza melodia Habitat: Depends on thickets, tall grasses, forbs, yards & abandoned lots ideal. Foraging Habits: Searching ground and shrub level for seeds & invertebrates Range: Common & cosmopolitan, throughout North America Territory Size: ½ to 1½ Acres Personality: Retiring, elusive, yet very expressive & territorial Height Zone: Ground level to lower understory, […]

Alone in the Wilderness

Alone in the Wilderness – Learning to be Quiet

Stalking Wolf was very old, and he drifted into reveries that made him seem as if he might be senile when I first met him. But I realized later, when I had seen with amazement how keen his senses were, that he had simply gone inside of himself for a moment to check his perceptions […]

Animal Tracking Basics

Animal Tracking – Following the S.H.A.G.

Animal Tracking Basics – S.Ha.G. – Meaning: Slow, Harmonic, Gait. In the study of animal tracking it becomes extremely troublesome to beginners to try to wade through all the different language choices that animal trackers and authors on the subject of tracking and mammal studies have made in naming the gaits of animals.  You’ll find […]

Owl Eyes: A Core Awareness Skill

Owl Eyes: A Core Awareness Skill

Picture an owl perched on a tree branch 25ft above the ground.  Sitting motionless with its owl eyes in a fixed gaze.  The “form” we are gaining from the “owl” is that of wide peripheral vision. Stillness yields motion for the owl. When the owl holds perfect stillness, all motion is very evident. The bird […]

Nature Activities: Eagle Eye

If you take part in a program with one of the schools that uses the Art of Mentoring model, Starting Story, Nature Names, Four-Directions Classroom, Animal Calls, Fire-Keeper, and Eagle Eye are the nature activities or nature games that you will probably encounter first, as these set the tone for the learning to follow. They […]