THIS LAST YEAR HAS BROUGHT MANY OF US INTO MORE CONTACT WITH NATURE WHEN HAVING TO DISTANCE OURSELVES SOCIALLY. I'VE ALWAYS LOVED TO HEAR THE BIRDS WHEN THEY VISIT NEARBY, WAKE UP EARLY IN THE MORNINGS, SEE THEM IN THE PARKS, AT THE BEACHES, FLYING IN FORMATIONS ON OCCASSIONS ABOVE THE HOUSES IN MY LOCALITY WHEN I STEP OUTSIDE. I'VE JUST PURCHASED A SECOND BIRDBATH RECENTLY, SO I HAVE A DEEPER ONE OUT THE FRONT FOR THE MAGGIES WHO LOVE TO SPLASH IN IT, AND A SHALLOW ONE FOR THE BACK, SO THE SPARROWS CAN REFRESH THEMSELVES TOO. I CAME HOME THE OTHER DAY TO SEE A PIGEON RESTING PEACEFULLY IN THAT ONE FOR QUITE SOME TIME - NOT SO QUICK TO FLY AWAY, AYE? WITH A LITTLE PATIENCE, YOU CAN BEFRIEND SOME BIRDS A LITTLE - ATLEAST WE CAN MAKE OUR YARDS INVITING AND EXPERIENCE PRECIOUS MOMENTS HERE AND THERE ON DIFFERENT DAYS.
Being Around Birds Makes Us Much Happier Says New Science
By Andy Corbley
We see them nearly everywhere we go, we hear them every day, they live in every environment, and now, two new studies have shown their mere presence makes us happier.
German research has even found that being surrounding by a wide variety of birds can offer increasing life satisfaction equivalent to $150 per week of added income.
On The Surprising Benefits Of Species Diversity
The German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research took data from the 2012 European quality of Life Survey to measure how species diversity in birds affected 26,000 people in 26 European countries.
“According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species,” explains the study’s lead author, Joel Methorst a professor at Goethe University in Frankfurt, in a press release.
“We also examined the socio-economic data of the people that were surveyed, and, much to our surprise, we found that avian diversity is as important for their life satisfaction as is their income,” explains Prof. Dr. Katrin Böhning-Gaese, also at Goethe University.
On Bird Song And Well-Being
In the second study of note, California Polytechnic University covertly subjected Colorado hikers to a test that measured their sense of well-being by placing speakers that played a variety of bird song along certain sections of a popular hiking trial network—then interviewing the hikers about their experience.
“While the bigger picture of nature’s restorative properties is likely to involve multiple senses, our study is the first to experimentally manipulate a single one (sound) in the field and demonstrate its importance to human experiences in nature,” said Danielle Ferraro, to the university press.
Indeed, hikers on the trials that perceived both more sounds and more varied sounds said they felt better about life, and about their experience hiking, than those who heard both fewer sounds, and less sound altogether.
The benefits of birding—hearing their song, noticing the species around us—is a good thing too. A recent report from the Audubon Society found that sales of bird feeders, bird food, and birding apps have all increased during the pandemic, while participations in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s annual Global Big Day 2020 shattered all previous records.
During the Big Day, participants logged 2.1 million sightings of 6,500 species. An all-time high of 50,000 participants submitted more than 120,000 checklists, shattering the previous single-day checklist total by 30%.
Nesting season is fast approaching, and with lockdowns continuing in many states and countries, there’s never been a better time to take up birdwatching—and, if you can, to make your property a positive habitat for avians.
YES, COME AND SPEND SOME MORE TIME OUTDOORS - ENJOY THE FRESH-AIR AND SUNSHINE. IF YOU GO WALKING FOR 15-30MINS, YOU CAN SEE THE BIRDS FLYING IN THE SKY AND LANDING ON HOUSETOPS AND TREES. IF YOU SIT STILL ON YOUR VERANDA OFTEN, YOU CAN NOTICE OCCAIONAL BIRDS VISIT YOUR GARDEN. MORNINGS ARE GREAT FOR THAT. BIRDBATHS ARE GREAT FOR THAT and BIRDFEEDERS IN TREES.
Watching Birds Near Your Home is Good For Your Mental Health
According to this study, people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
The study conducted at the University of Exeter, involving hundreds of people, found benefits for mental health of being able to see birds, shrubs and trees around the home, whether people lived in urban or more leafy suburban neighborhoods.
The study, which surveyed mental health in over 270 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities, also found that those who spent less time out of doors than usual in the previous week were more likely to report they were anxious or depressed.
After conducting extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon in Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Luton, the study found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress were associated with the number of birds people could see in the afternoon. The academics studied afternoon bird numbers – which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning – because are more in keeping with the number of birds that people are likely to see in their neighborhood on a daily basis.
In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue tits and crows were seen. But the study did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds they could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighborhood.
Previous studies have found that the ability of most people to identify different species is low, suggesting that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides well-being.
University of Exeter research fellow Dr. Daniel Cox, who led the study, said: “This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being.
“Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.”
TRY CATCHING THE SUNSET SOME EVENINGS AND THE SUNRISE ON OCCASIONAL MORNINGS, THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL - ESPECIALLY BEAUTIFUL SOMETIMES - FREE FOR ASKING (They're There Every 24 Hours And We Miss Most Of Them).
Some People Say:
"I love birds and have been enjoying them, especially with more time at home or while walking!"
There's Far Too Much Tech These Days For Us And Our Kids. Acquaint Yourselves With Nature. If You Learn To Listen To The Birds, Your Peace Will Be Greater - Have You Ever Noticed Them Fly In Formation Or Frolic Among The Trees? This Really Brings A Deep Sense Of Contentment And Joy. Bring Your Kids Up With The Birds - They Will Thank You For Life!