TRISTAN. The inner beat
Tristan welcomed me a few days in his home, where he lives with several bird species, in an atmosphere halfway between the scientific researcher’s base and the realization of the dream of a child.
Tristan is a bird educator specialized in soft methods; he prepares birds for artistic performances, live shows, cinema, photos. He also works on the new concept of “ornitoteraphy” and “mediation by the bird”, creating contact between birds and people with disabilities, the elderly, detainees, in order to foster new sensations and to create a deep reconciliation between birds and humans.
Highly educated, having studied biology, ecology and ethology to university level, Tristan has a scientific approach to the education of birds, at the intersection of imprinting, traditional and positive training. His education technique is based on an understanding of bird’s sensibility and on pressure elimination.
He has approached this world in the childhood when in the forest behind his parent’s house he realized that, while remaining still for a long time, the animals came out of the vegetation. This practice of observation and approach in respect of the rhythm of the other, remains the basis of Tristan’s method today.
When I ask him what he has learned from animals, what is the distinctive feature of the relationship with animals, he replies that animal sensitivity is more extensive than ours, moving to areas we have partly forgotten in the course of evolution. Body position and movements, or micro-variations such as changing the intensity of the look or even the intentions that animate us, have for birds a great deal of importance, and through the attention to this world made of minimal, subtle and incorporeal events, we can learn to communicate with them.
As he says, there are some specific skills and behaviors depending on the species, but each individual has also its character, dynamism, and independence, which must be respected. Tristan adapt the method to each individual, and this creates special affinities between him and his birds. The difficulty of his work is to perceive the feelings of the birds, that share very few common expression codes with mammals, of which we are naturally closer. So Tristan spend a lot of time with birds to understand every detail of their attitudes in relation to the environment where they are. Education is done through play and other stimulations that lead to mutual trust. It is important for Tristan not to underestimate the sensitivity and cognitive abilities of birds.