Mindful Birding & Ornitherapy
Just as there are many different types of birders, there are many different ways to go birding.Some enjoy the thrill of chasing after hard-to-see species and building large life lists. Others prefer to go at a slower pace and enjoy whatever crosses their path. Mindful birding is about being in the moment and focusing your mind on the present. By being more purposeful in our observations of birds, we can immediately feel the benefits that bird watching can bring us, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Birds and birdwatching can influence us in many positive ways – reduce stress, improve mood, promote relaxation, and help us focus on tasks. Birds, literally, have healing powers!
Though any birding tour can be done in a mindful way, we have created a few tours specifically for those who would like to take the time to focus their minds and observe the beauty of birds, their behaviors, their songs and calls, the subtle characteristics of their plumage, and any other details that catch their attention.
Wondering how to get started? There is no right or wrong way to practice mindful birding and ornitherapy. Here are a few suggestions:
- start a nature journal
- bring a sketchbook with you
- sit for a while and observe the birds around you
- close your eyes and listen to bird calls without worrying about identifying the species
- go birding with a novice birder and spend time observing behaviors of the birds you see
- focus all of your attention on a common species, a bird you know well, and see what else you can observe
Check out the resource links below for even more ideas on mindful birding adn ornitherapy.
Our Ornitherapy Tours
Our ornitherapy tours combine birding with other optional therapeutic activities, such as yoga, meditation, sketching and nature journaling. These trips are ideal for those who would like to use their vacation time to release the stress and strain that everyday life can put on our minds and our bodies. They also are perfect for those who may wish to travel with a partner who isn’t as avid a birder, or for yoga lovers who would like to learn more about the natural world. Either way, an ornitherapy tour will provide you and your travel partners with a rewardable, enjoyable birding and mindful experience.
PANAMA: MINDFUL BIRDING RETREAT
This retreat is designed to help you develop your own mindful birding practice. Set in the beautiful, lush highlands of western Panama, we immerse ourselves in nature and receive its many benefits for our health and well-being.
PANAMA: INTRO TO BIRDING & YOGA
Panama combines the perfect setting for natural exploration and relaxation. Extensive forests, endless miles of pristine coastline, and hundreds of species of colorful birds make Panama a top choice for immersion in tropical nature.
BELIZE: MINDFUL BIRDING & YOGA
Natural beauty and relaxation are two ways to best describe Belize. While exploring this birder’s paradise, we will take our time to truly enjoy the beauty and wonder of the birds we see. Along the way, we will visit breathtaking waterfalls, roaring rivers and winding jungle trails.
MINDFUL BIRDING RESOURCES
Here are some resources to help you discover more about mindful birding:
- Ornitherapy: The Therapeutic Power of Birdwatching. This article, published in BirdWatching Magazine in 2021 was written by Marta Curti about the benefits that birdwatching brings us.
- Mindful Birding on Birdability.org
- Book: Ornitherapy for your Mind, Body and Soul