Birds are among the most well-known and adored all-natural animals. Birdwatching, photography, and feeding birds are enjoyable pastimes, but there is much more to them. This simple activity can give significant health advantages and improve the quality of life for almost anyone.
But why do you like birds so much? Here are the top four reasons and eight benefits of bird watching, in our opinion, people are so fascinated by birds.
Why do you like birds? 4 reasons you should
Easy to watch birds everywhere
They can be found all over the planet from New York City’s downtown, suburbs of Dallas, and the county’s rural farmlands to thousands of kilometers out at sea. This is because there are so many bird species—450+ in Maine, 950+ in the United States, and 10,000+ worldwide—each one is unique, much like the areas they dwell in.
The vast majority can be seen with the naked eye if you pay carefully. Everyone seems to know and appreciate great blue herons. The same goes for egrets, eagles, hawks, and gulls (OK, but gulls are recognized!). Many smaller birds, such as robins, pigeons, mourning doves, song sparrows, chickadees, and starlings, do not try to hide their presence and may readily coexist with humans. Others, including woodpeckers and finches, come to the bird feeders where we can readily see them.
People admire them
Some people wish they had a pair of bird wings so they could fly anywhere and whenever they wanted. Birds truly represent freedom. Borders between countries are not an issue for them. They can easily overcome any obstacles by flying high in the air.
The birds’ tenacity is an inspiration. People marvel at how the small birds work tirelessly to build their nests, find food, and feed their young. Another outstanding characteristic of birds is their ability to work together. When a bird is hurt or killed, its friends gather by its side.
People also admire one of the most incredible things that billions of birds do on the planet: they fly thousands of kilometers each fall and spring, which is astonishing. But they also return to the same locations across the hemisphere year after year!
People fascinate by their color
Birds come in a variety of colors and patterns that make them visually appealing. The various types, beaks, and multicolored tails make them look like a rainbow flying over the sky.
Eye-catching orange Baltimore orioles, indigo buntings, and all the yellows, oranges, reds, and blues of warblers are a visual feast. It’s no surprise that numerous birds are named after their colors, such as the blue jay, indigo bunting, yellow warbler, and cerulean warbler.
Bird’s sounds are amazing
We humans like the melodies and calls of birds just as much as we enjoy their colors. Some are instantly recognizable: a gull’s yelping cry, a loon’s echoing yodel, a pigeon’s cooing, a crow’s raspy “caw,” and a cardinal’s loud “cheer-cheer-cheer.” Even if a person does not know the name of the performer, some bird songs provide the background sound of summer.
The whistled “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” is a well-known song throughout much of Maine, though many people are unaware that the singer is a white-throated sparrow.
8 top benefits of bird watching (Scientific proof)
There are numerous mental (and physical) health benefits of bird watching. According to official studies, there are 40-50 million people in the United States who watch birds in their backyards or other sites.
So, here are seven particular benefits that bird watching helps mental and physical health.
Birding promotes mindfulness, reduces stress
Bird watching is fundamentally an act of mindfulness, and we are all aware of some of the documented health advantages that it can provide, such as reduced rumination and lower blood pressure, to mention a few.
Mindfulness practice, specifically through birdwatching, has been clinically proven to improve mental wellness. Scientists from the England’s University of Exeter showed in a 2017 study published in BioScience that when people saw more birds in their daily lives, they had lower prevalence and severity of depression, stress, and anxiety. Furthermore, individuals did not even need to interact with the birds: simply seeing them was enough to indicate a mental health benefit.
Furthermore, University of Surrey research suggests that deliberately listening to birdsong aids in perceived stress recovery and attention restoration.
It keeps you in shape
You would believe that watching birds requires nothing more than standing still and exercising your arms when you hold a pair of binoculars, but you’d be incorrect! Because bird watching is mostly an outside pastime, it frequently entails walking or hiking through various terrains such as woodland, shrub, marsh, and clifftop. Indeed, many of the most intriguing or difficult-to-find species may exist in more isolated places away from human activity, requiring greater effort to reach them.
And, as you may already know, exercise has both physical and mental advantages. Exercise, even if it is only a short stroll, causes a rise in endorphins, one of our so-called happiness hormones, which helps to improve mood and reduce stress.
Birdwatching Brings People Together
Having a strong network of friends will help you stay happy and healthy, according to numerous studies. And if you start bird-watching, you’ll probably make a lot of new friends. Birding bridges all social and economic barriers and creates a sense of community that can lead to long-lasting friendships. Sharing our love of birds with new friends—and those who have never tried birding before—benefits the birds as well.
It both excites and challenges you.
Yes, bird watching is pleasant, but it will not put you to sleep. Birding keeps you focused and can be hard, which is another mental health advantage. It’s part of the fun to try to spot a bird after hearing its call, but it’s not always easy. If you try to discover a sly woodpecker in the trees after hearing its distinctive tap-tap-tap sound, you’ll probably be scanning the tree for a long time before you find it!
Discover new places
Pursuing birds in their native habitats will undoubtedly jolt us out of our habits and haunts. Watching the sun rise over a meadow, walking out into the woods at night to hunt for owls, or even going to the garbage to view a rare gull—all of these experiences take us beyond the ordinary. After getting to know the birds in their neighborhood, many birders develop an insatiable curiosity about species from other parts of the world. Birding can inspire people to go far and wide. Exploring bird life in new and different places is an interesting approach to broadening your knowledge of the world at large.
Disease prevention like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s,…
It is critical for our general sense of well-being to keep our thoughts engaged and healthy. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, if we want to keep our brains healthy, we need continually learn new things. What better way to do so than to continue learning about birds? If you’re new to bird-watching, even identifying the birds you observe might be a mental challenge. Even if you are an expert birder, you can learn something new about the behavior of your local birds every day. According to research, these kinds of mental workouts can help establish new brain paths that can help battle diseases like Alzheimer’s, various forms of dementia, and Parkinson’s.
Create a bond between family members
Birdwatching is a great way to connect with nature! It might be as simple as sitting in your yard or as strenuous as a stroll in the woods. Even better, it’s something you can do as a family, getting you outside and bonding with one another as well as the environment.
Encourage kids to learn
Children are naturally curious and like learning new things; take advantage of this by taking them outside with you. Begin by studying the birds that visit and what they do in your backyard. Encourage them to take action to create bird habitats. Get their hands dirty by planting, making a bird bath, or assisting you in building a nest box. It is a valuable lesson to teach kids that they can make a difference in the environment.
Children learn to notice similarities and differences in birds, which helps them recognize them. The most enjoyable aspect of bird watching (or, as others call it, birding) is seeing bird behavior. With practice, children improve their concentration, observation, and reasoning skills.
Some birdwatching tips
- Buy a modest pair of basic binoculars online or from a used store. Binoculars are an essential accessory for any aspiring birder since they allow you to get a closer look at birds in the distance and inspect them in greater detail.
- When you go out in nature, bring a pocketbook of birds with you so you may try to identify them and mark any discoveries. Excellent for both adults and children.
- To avoid scaring them away, tread cautiously and make as little noise as possible.
- If you go to the same spots every day, you might be able to form a bond with the birds.
- Install bird feeders in your yard or scatter seeds on your balcony. When you begin to attract birds to your outdoor space with food, they will remember it and return more frequently, increasing the amount of focused birdwatching time you may get.
Bird watching has numerous mental health advantages, ranging from stress reduction to genuine moments of amazement. It’s something you can do alone or with your family, and the birding community is kind and friendly. Birding is also a free and enjoyable way to spend time in nature.