a soothing soundscape awaits

It seems I’ve lost the art of keeping a clear mind. And in a pandemic world, access to the usual escapes either seem harder to come by or they are losing their effect on me. Which makes me wonder how I might turn to some more natural, even archaic forms of comfort….. aha Bird Songs!

December 2021

Recent research in Attention Restoration Theory and Stress Recovery Theory shows us how exposure to nature sounds, either real time or virtual, can help bring our systems back into balance after stressful events. The research and my curiosity for a more simple approach to dealing with my stress is taking me out into the field to learn what my community has to say.

I’ll be talking to local naturalists, audiologists, researchers and psychologists to understand just how bird songs might change mine and perhaps your approach to stress, and which local birds are the most relieving.

a song that changed me

Thanks to Barry Hetschko Photography and this lovely Bewick’s Wren for this photo

To a naturalist, the sound of a local bird call may signal a specific season, or the presence of a unique habitat. To one working in nature therapy, a bird song may be a tool for positively coping with life stresses and cognition fatigue. To an audiologist, bird songs may be a means of measuring an individual’s hearing loss. While each of these fields of study gain different insights from the presence of bird songs, they are all positively motivated to conserve the ability to hear them. 


I live on the edges of one of the most important estuaries in BC. It is identified as an Important Bird Area, home to one of the largest heron rookeries in BC and a historic salmon spawning and fishing ground. The vitality of the ecosystem has profound cultural importance, located on the unceded territory of Cowichan Tribes, as well as significant economic and ecological value. More over, “According to Island Health, Duncan and neighbouring communities have higher rates of depression, anxiety, suicide and drug-related deaths compared with the rest of Vancouver Island” (The Discourse 2019). This combination of unique ecology and staggering mental health concerns drives me as an educator and health practitioner to explore and give voice to the unique role our soundscape may play in supporting the wellbeing of our community members. To do this, it seems most valuable to bring together the diverse local experts who have lived experiences and deep knowledge of the potential benefits.

Unceded Territory of
Quw’utsun people 

I am incredibly grateful to be living and working on this land, and to highlight the bird species that know it more deeply than I may ever.


My background is in environmental education and communication and for the past 10 years I have worked in and around nature based therapy, land and watershed conservation, environmental education and mindfulness based stress reduction. In addition to this, I am a skilled educator and facilitator with a LOVE for voice work and interpersonal communication. My work in these fields have informed me how, on a whole, we have a need to attend to daily emotional and environmental stressors but are often looking to mal-adaptive coping mechanisms like food, alcohol, material consumption, and thought patterns that do little to resolve our tensions. With an academic background, I am deeply curious how the research on bird songs is lived in daily experience in my community. Holding positive relationships with naturalists, alternative and conventional health practitioners, and scholars I am excited to bring to life this topic and do it in a warm, engaging and rigours manner.

For more on my work, or to work with me privately visit me at www.wildpeace.ca


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