ornitherapy book cover

Ornitherapy, The Power of Birdwatching


Long to-do lists, digital demands, life can be busy! If we allow birds and nature to slow us down, especially by setting time to observe our birdfeeders, we are practicing “selfcare”.

Research shows that connecting with nature actively reduces stress, depression, and anxiety, while helping build a stronger heart and immune system. Wild birds offer the perfect gateway into deeper experiences with nature, magnifying these benefits.
Through observation, we can learn not only about birds, but gain insight into our own lives while exploring our connection to the world around us. This fosters stewardship and bolsters conservation.
Within the program, we’ll delve into our connections to birds, how to maximize the wellness benefits of birdfeeding, and learn about the latest research surrounding the impact of birds on human wellbeing.

Co-Author, Presenter, HOLLY MERKER BIO

Holly Merker is a professional birding guide, author, and lecturer, with a background in art therapy, but today uses birds and nature towards the same goals delivering nature-based wellness programs for people of all ages. Holly shares her love of birds instructing for the American Birding Association, the National Audubon Society, Hillstar Nature, and many other organizations. Holly holds a certificate in Wellness Counseling and is a Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, weaving birds into both fields.
In 2022, Holly was honored to be the recipient of the ABA Conservation and Education Award given by the American Birding Association for her work in both those areas involving birds.

Holly is a global advocate for the practice of Mindful Birding, authoring two books which guide readers into optimizing the wellness benefits birds provides us, including the award-winning Ornitherapy: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul (along with Richard Crossley and Sophie Crossley, Crossley Books, 2021), and The Power of Birdwatching (Die Kraft Der Vogel Beobachtung, Freya verlag, 2023 - available in Europe only), coauthored with Dr. Angelika Nelson. She is also co-host of The Mindful Birding Podcast and founder of the Mindful Birding Network.

In her free time, Holly spends every possible moment practicing Ornitherapy, which she credits in helping defeat breast cancer, restoring her health mentally and physically.