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Ornitherapy: Birds, Wellness, and You

February 26, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Ornitherapy: Birds, Wellness, and You

Saturday, January 29th, 2:00 PM (postponed due to weather)

New date!  Saturday, February 26th, 2:00 PM

Start the New Year off right with good health in mind, using birds to embark in a healthier lifestyle.  At this event, you will learn from professional birding instructor Holly Merker how to use the observation of birds to benefit your overall wellness and learn about the mounting research that shows how birds are truly “heart healthy.”

Part of 2022: The Year of Birds at Awbury Arboretum

Cost: FREE; registration is required (update 2/9/22: registration for this event is full)

Attendance is limited to 25 participants. All participants must show proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the Cope House.

Location: the Cope House at Awbury Arboretum, 1 Awbury Rd, Philadelphia, PA

Questions?  Please contact Nancy at npasquier@awbury.org.

Registration for the this event is full.  

If you’d like to be added to the waiting list, please email Nancy at npasquier@awbury.org. 

Holly Merker has a background in art therapy, but today employs birds and nature toward the same goals of wellbeing in her work as an environmental educator and birding guide, and especially while teaching people the practice of Ornitherapy.

For the past two decades, Holly has worked as a professional birding instructor for National Audubon, the American Birding Association, and many other organizations. She co-owned and operated the ID Boot Camp, an instruction-based birding tour company. Passionate about connecting young people to birds, she co-founded the Frontiers in Ornithology Association, and has facilitated many young birder groups and teen birding camps.

Dedicated to bird conservation, she has been state coordinator/data reviewer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird Pennsylvania since 2005 and has served on the Board of Directors for multiple non-profits and ornithological societies, including Hawk Mountain Sanctuary where she currently serves as both Board Member and volunteer hawk counter. Holly has also held the position of Chairperson for the Pennsylvania Ornithological Records Committee and served six years as the committee’s first female voting member.

In addition, Holly has been a professional environmental educator for over 20 years, facilitating enriching and educational experiences in the outdoors, with a strong focus on watershed education and stream ecology.

Holly recently co-authored the book Ornitherapy: For Your Body, Mind, and Soul (along with Richard Crossley and Sophie Crossley, Crossley Books, 2021) and is currently promoting the practice of Ornitherapy across the U.S while shining light on the incredible benefits birds and nature hold in optimizing our overall wellness.

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


February 26, 2022
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


The Francis Cope House
One Awbury Road
Philadelphia, PA 19138