Robin on NestPrescription for Peace

Bird Watching. What’s in it for me? You might be surprised.

Research shows the simple act of bird watching has health benefits—it can lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress. Really? Really. Read on if you have an iota of stress in your life.

A study at the University of Exeter recorded the observations of hundreds of people from rural and urban settings who observed birds both in backyards and their neighborhoods. The results confirmed what I have always suspected: Being in the presence of our feathered friends is good for us.

Anna's Hummingbird by Marlene RalphInterestingly, the study showed that it did NOT have to be an exotic “life bird”—just your ordinary, everyday backyard bird will do to bring you peace. No wonder that regular morning visit from the Anna’s Hummingbird starts my day with a smile (photo courtesy Marlene Ralph). And calm. And who doesn’t crave that in the madness of this everyday life?

This recent clip from CNN also speaks to the benefits of birding: Birdwatching for Peace of Mind and Better Health.

So, let’s all commit to stop and sit with the birds for a minute or two. Or heck, even an hour if you can steal the time. We are not lazy slackers. We are doing it for our health. And we have the research to prove it.

I close with this shocking true confession: Being in the presence of birds calms me down, yet if I spy a bird I’ve not seen before, a little voice in my head chirps, “What is that bird?” The curious in me wants to know what it is. If you also suffer from WBD (What’s that Bird Disorder) I’ve got some tips on how to do that in a stress-free way—which I will share with you next time. But for now, sit back, relax and watch the birds. It’s what the doctor ordered.

Have a Bluebird Day!


Carol handfeeding Chickadee