By Guest Blogger Mary Marsiglio
courage to enter back into a relationship with themselves and their everyday surroundings. On these outings, women discover strength in their previously labeled weaknesses. Hypervigilance, a hallmark negative symptom of trauma, can be an asset as a birder strives to be aware of sounds, movement, and distinctive habitat for bird identification.
Birding affords the opportunity to experience a familiar environment through a different perspective while remaining in the present instead of catapulting into the past or future. Instead of walking by that oak tree every day scanning for potential threats, they notice the acorn woodpeckers strategically moving acorns from larger to smaller holes.
This simple shift of using similar behaviors for joy and curiosity rather than fear and protection can imprint a narrative of strength and hope in reconnection. The unwanted lessons trauma left behind of safety, trust, confidence, and hope can be redefined by nature’s wisdom and resilience. SFBBO has allowed these women to explore a new outlet for recovery and strength that will be free and accessible wherever they end up. It has been a pleasure to collaborate and we have only just begun!
Mary Marsiglio is a psychologist by trade and an aspiring naturalist, birder, and advocate for Mother Earth. To bring the healing experience of birding to your group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wingbeat is a blog where you can find the most recent stories about our science and outreach work. We'll also share guest posts from volunteers, donors, partners, and others in the avian science and conservation world. To be a guest writer, please fill out our Volunteer Application below.