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Bird Language Interpretation

March 18 @ 10:00 am 12:00 pm

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What can we learn from birds?

This workshop will feature a 15-minute talk introducing bird calls/songs, their seasonality, meaning, general tips for starting to ID them. This will be followed by a listening session with eyes closed bringing you into mindfulness and attention, then we will pick apart the different sounds heard after the listening session. Later we will walk slowly and listen and observe and ask questions e.g. a chickadee gives an alarm call – why do you think it did so? What behaviour can we see from the other birds nearby? Can we see a predator nearby? How has the sun and shade affected bird calls? How has a flock moving through changed the vocalizations of other species nearby? While tuning into our surroundings we’ll learn what birds can teach us!

Accessibility info: This workshop is taking place at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, and will involve slow walking on uneven natural soil/woodchip/gravel pathways with steps surrounded by bushes and trees.

Instructor Bio: Ian has been a birder from an early age, growing up in Victoria, BC, where he has guided birding walks for Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and the Victoria Natural History Society for the past 10 years. He has done bird and biology fieldwork across Western Canada, including with Bird Studies Canada, the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, and Parks Canada, and currently works at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. His knowledge of bird vocalizations is widely appreciated, and with his keen interest in all of the natural world, you’ll be able to learn about plants and butterflies and amphibians and seaweeds, too, while you’re birding! If you ask him what his favourite bird is, he just might answer with Bushtit, Raven, or Nelson’s Sparrow.


This workshop is happening in person only. Any health and safety protocols will be emailed to you 24 hours in advance. Please dress appropriately for all types of weather, the workshop may be outside or in our unheated strawbale building.


Only current members in good standing are eligible to use the free ticket option as a part of their member benefits package.

There are a limited number of Pay What You Can tickets available for folks who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), and people who are facing significant financial barriers to their involvement in our programming. The Compost Education Centre is continually in the process of examining the ways in which our program accessibility can be improved for all members of our community. This ticket gesture is by no means a fulsome examination of the systems of oppression that exist for people inside and outside of our community. We welcome your ideas and feedback.

You must pre-register for this event.

Customers can request a refund within 30 days of ticket purchase. After 30 days refunds and workshop exchanges are not permitted due to administrative staffing capacity. Please be in touch if you are no longer able to attend but hold a ticket so we can make your space available to someone else.

You can also register for the event by calling our office at 250 386 9676 or via email by contacting office@compost.bc.ca


The Compost Education Centre is located on unceded and occupied Indigenous territories, specifically the land of the Lekwungen people— specifically the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. These nations are two of many, made up of individuals who have lived within the porous boundaries of what is considered Coast Salish, Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwakwa’wakw Territory (Vancouver Island) since time immemorial. At the CEC we seek to respect, honour and continually grow our own understandings of Indigenous rights and history, and to fulfill our responsibilities as settlers, who live and work directly with the land and its complex, vital ecologies and our diverse, evolving communities.

Compost Education Centre memberships get you free workshops, discounts at garden centres around town and more great perks! Sign up or learn more on our website.



March 18
10:00 am – 12:00 pm


Compost Education Centre
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Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary

3873 Swan Lake Rd
Victoria, BC V8T 3K5 Canada