Lead with Nature - Dan Gardoqui, the Bird Whisperer
By: Dan Gardoqui
July 23, 2022
As a teen, I remember reading a story about a time when humans and wild animals spoke the same language....the thought of being able to communicate with wildlife really resonated with me. So, I began a journey of finding ways to connect more deeply with the more-than-human-world. At first, it was all about learning the names of the beings I shared the world with: trees, plants, mammals, reptiles and birds. Then, it was all about learning their stories - so I began my journey as a wildlife tracker. After a long mentorship with a very non-traditional teacher in the old ways of learning, I decided to also get a modern (Western scientific) understanding of wildlife. Finally, I realized that I needed to find ways to "track" the birds- so I began listening deeply to their songs, calls and more.
Learning the Language of birds was transformational. I quickly realized how my "people bias" (thinking that humans were smarter/more advanced than wild animals) was limiting my capacity to learn from my wild neighbors. As a life long mimicker of sounds, I began practicing my bird mimicry skills to best understand and interact with the winged ones. Giving the birds my time ,attention and respect changed my relationship with them. Seeing them as neighbors and doing my best to kindly share space with them resulted in them doing the same with me.
Today, I spend my days helping others to slow down, listen and connect with the more-than-human-world -including the birds. By knowing when birds are telling us "Hey, back off!" and "Please don't disturb me right now "we can build mutual respect and trust - and change how we share space on this amazing planet.