Celebrate Spring Migration at Bosque del Apache with Friends

May 2025

Join us for a weekend of celebrating Spring Migration at Bosque del Apache and learn about the amazing species that are spending the season with us! Holly Merker and Alex Harper will be returning to guide in-person, birding identification field trips.




Photo by Alex Harper


Please Read

Please bring
your binoculars, water, your own car, and your own refuge pass. Click here for more information on refuge passes.

Please note that this is a caravaning event, so you will be attending the driving parts of this event in the comfort of your own vehicle.

We advise that you wear comfortable walking shoes and layers of clothing to be comfortable in changing temperatures.

Meet us at the Visitor Center Parking Lot – please arrive 10-15 minutes early.

There will be food vendors.


Photo by Erika Gilsdort

Holly Merker

Holly has a background in art therapy, but today employs nature and birds to achieve the same result of mental, physical, and emotional wellness in her work as a Mindful Birding leader and certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide (ANFT).

Holly has paired her professional backgrounds in art therapy and over twenty years of bird guiding and environmental education, with coursework in MBSR, and the practice of Forest Bathing, to provide rich sensory experiences through nature-based wellness programs. Holly’s gently guided experiences incorporate accessibility for all mobility and skill levels and are designed to be welcoming and inclusive to all people.

After using birdwatching for its therapeutic benefits while undergoing treatment and recovery from breast cancer, Holly is dedicated to sharing the message that birds and nature can be powerful companions in our wellness and selfcare, bolstering the body’s defenses against disease and boosting mental well-being. Holly promotes these concepts as lead author of the award-winning book Ornitherapy: For Your Body, Mind, and Soul (Crossley Books, 2021) which guides readers into more mindful experiences with birds.

Alex Harper

Alex Harper is a field biologist, birding guide, and outdoor educator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally from Miami and South Florida, his deep interest in nature began early in childhood. He gravitated towards birds and reptiles in particular, and his parents fostered his interests by taking him to biologically rich habitats like the Florida Keys and Everglades.

Today Alex is more permanently settled in Las Vegas where he helps to operate a bird guiding business, serves as an outreach coordinator and educator for Red Rock Audubon, and conducts occasional bird surveys in the Mojave Desert. He serves on the board of directors for the Audubon chapter, sits on a board that advises county officials on wildlife policy in southern Nevada and is a voting member of the Nevada Birds Record Committee.

Alex presents and leads workshops on a variety of topics that are interesting to him, including frameworks for better birding, birding using mindfulness practices, focusing on specific groups or families of birds, photography, and ecosystem ecology. He is especially interested in the growing research on the effects of spending time in nature and birds as it relates to wellbeing and happiness. Because he works in urban and suburban environments in Las Vegas, he is unrelenting in sharing with people that enjoying birds can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their home environment.


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