This two-part episode of Out There With The Birds is about “Ornitherapy.” Yes, you read that correctly, that’s Orni-THERAPY! Host Wendy Clark joins authors Holly Merker, Richard Crossley, and Sophie Crossley to discuss their new book, Ornitherapy: For Your Body, Mind, and Soul, published by Crossley Books. This is a different kind of birding book that teaches you how to use birds and birding to promote mindfulness, peace, and healing in your everyday life.
Richard Crossley is an internationally acclaimed birder, photographer, and award-winning author of The Crossley ID Guide series. Born in Yorkshire, England, he’s also lived in Japan, and birded worldwide before settling down in Cape May, New Jersey—because of the birds. Richard also co-founded the global birding initiative Pledge to Fledge, Race4Birds and The Cape May Young Birders Club. He served on the board of directors at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. He has contributed to most major birding publications, is frequently heard on radio, and is a sought-after public speaker.
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. Holly has worked as a professional birding instructor for National Audubon, the American Birding Association, and many other organizations. She also co-founded the Frontiers in Ornithology Association, she has been state coordinator/reviewer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird Pennsylvania since 2005 and was a two-term voting member of the PA Ornithological Records Committee, as well as the committee chairperson.
Sophie Crossley, daughter of Richard Crossley, started her writing career at an early age with a publication in Ranger Rick magazine at 11 years old, and continued on to pursue a degree in communication studies and marketing from The College of New Jersey. Her first published book is Ornitherapy: For Your Mind, Body, and Soul, although she previously contributed to The Crossley ID Guide: Waterfowl. An avid nature and wellness enthusiast, she aspires to cultivate better wellbeing and environmental consciousness through practices such as Ornitherapy, freediving, and mindfulness.