Blue-gray Tanager Panama

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.

Red-headed Barbet Panama Whitehawk Birding


Dates: June 22-28, 2025
Spaces Available: 8

Price: $2,895 pp
Max Participants: 8

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.



Dates: September 20-25, 2025
Spaces Available: 2

Price: $3,420 pp
Max Participants: 10

Natural beauty and relaxation are two ways to best describe Belize. While exploring this birder’s paradise, we will take our time to truly revel in the beauty and wonder of the birds we see, and combine this with additional mindfulness activities. Along the way, we will enjoy walking along quiet streams and winding jungle trails, and all the benefits of mindful birding.



Dates: OPEN*
Spaces Available: 8

Price: TBD
Max Participants: 8

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. 
* Private group tour


Here are some resources to help you discover more about mindful birding: