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Healing Wings

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An osprey stands on its nest with its wings spread wide.
A pair of osprey sit together in their huge nest. These fish-eating raptors usually mate for life.

NPS/Evans

Are you ready to enter a new world? A world full of travel, adventure, and danger? A world existing right in front of us? Welcome to the world of birds.

Birds are amazing travelers, expert hunters, skilled camouflague artists, and dedicated parents. Yet, birds are also in crisis. In the last 50 years...

3 BILLION dead
13 species gone forever
1 in 8 species globally threatened

By learning more about birds, observing them, and helping in a project to protect them we hope you also find a new sense of wonder and joy.

The Journey

Healing Wings is a journey into the amazing world of birds. Along the way you’ll learn about birds, observe them outdoors, and lend a hand to help protect them.

Throughout we invite you to record your journey and share it with others.

An illustration of people watching birds from a path that goes through the woods.
Black and blue band with a magpie silhouette

1. Learn about the Wonderful World of Birds

Before plunging into the world of birds, take a moment to learn about birds and how you can successfully observe their world.

Learn More You want to learn more about birds after completing Birds and Observing Them? Here are some resources to help you discover even more about the wonderful world of birds:

Completion Checklist

Black and blue band with a heron silhouette

2. Experience the World of Birds

Now it’s time to get outside and observe the amazing world of birds. Take the time to look for birds, listen to their calls, and watch their activities. So, grab your birding kit and head on out on your birding trip.

Places to Bird You can observe birds just about anywhere. However, as part of the Healing Wings experience, we invite you to visit your nearest national park

Once you’ve observed birds in a national park, continue your observations:

  • At home
  • Around town
  • At a local park
  • At a state park
  • In a national forest or wildlife refuge

Completion Checklist

  • Participate in a birding experience
  • Write down your observations
    • # of birds seen
    • Location of each bird
    • Activity of each bird
    • Description or sketch of each bird
    • Identification of each bird
  • Share your biggest surprise
  • Share how it made you feel
  • Select a service project to do
Black and blue band with an eagle silhouette

3. Lend a Helping Hand

By lending a hand in your community, we can save many birds from dying and even give some species a chance to return from the brink of extinction.

Find a Project Now that you are ready to help some birds out, it is time to find a project. Here are some different options to explore:

Completion Checklist

  • Participate in a bird-related project
    • What is the goal of the project?
    • How did you assist?
    • What other helping opportunities exist?
Black and blue band with a raven silhouette

4. Share Your Experience

Every good experience needs to be shared. Take a moment to share your Healing Wings experience with a friend, a neighbor, a family member, or a colleague.

Record Your Experience Help make your journey more memorable by recording every step.

  • Start a Healing Wings journal
  • Take photographs of each step
  • Record voice memos
  • Sketch or paint birds you observe
  • Make a Healing Wings video

Completion Checklist

  • Share your project experience
    • How did you help birds out?
    • Where did you go?
    • Who did you do the project with?
    • How did it make you feel?
  • Share a picture of your experience
  • Invite someone to do Healing Wings

Bonus

  • Go on another birding experience
  • Help with another service project
  • Take a friend with you
Black and green band with an arrowhead silhouette

Resources for Parks and Partners

Healing Wings can be done by park visitors on their own. However, to really make the program soar, a park and partner can work together to bring interested groups together to learn more about birds and offer a helping hand with resource management projects.

Partnership Toolkit

A quick-start guide that summarizes strategies for reaching out to veterans and others of the military community.

Start that partnership today!

Implementation Framework

A case study-framed guide on how you can implement Healing Wings at your park.

Set up Healing Wings at your park
A flock of American avocets floating on a lake.

Birds and Observing Them

Learn about birds and how you can observe them wherever you are.

Last updated: May 20, 2021