How Bird Watching Can Boost Your Mental Health

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

If you're already someone who watches birds, whether it be your backyard, in conservation areas or both, you're probably aware that it is very uplifting. For many, it was a place to turn to during the pandemic, or many other stressful points that we're bound to experience in life. It is very stress relieving. 

White-throated Sparrow. Photo by Heather Kerrison. 

Science has confirmed that having birds around your home can act as a sort of preventative health care, creating happier places to live. Check out this study.

Observing birds can improve our mental state by:

  • Encouraging Mindfulness: when you are birding, you are typically acutely aware of movement, sound, and sights around you. This allows you to be fully present in that moment, pulling your attention away from any nagging thoughts or things that may be weighing on you. This mental clarity can really afford you a sense of calm. 

  • Social Interaction: Bird watching is such a point of social connection. If you are part of our Facebook Group you know that it's one of the most positive places to be on the internet! It's simply people sharing about birds they've seen and the joy and excitement that comes along with it. You can even bird in groups or join guided tours/walks. 

People connect with each other in the group, share birds they've seen, help each other with ID and more. 

  • Continuous Learning: there's a certain sense of wonder and accomplishment that comes along with learning to identify new birds by sight and sound. It's very stimulating for our minds and ultimately super rewarding - lots of warm and fuzzies! 
  • Ignites Creativity: Many people like to photograph birds they see, which very often leads to honing that skill, becoming more creative in it. Some even use birds they see as sources of inspiration for painting, drawing, and many other creative endeavours. 

It can be so fun to frame shots differently or view things from different angles. Tree Swallow, photo by Heather Kerrison. 

If someone ever tells you that you 'bird too much' - tell them it's good for your health! Doctors orders. 

To birding! 



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