5 Ways Bird Watching is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul

Andorinhas juvenis /  Barn Swallow juveniles
Ernie is one of our frequent contributors. He writes about birds and has so much knowledge. We are always happy to hear from him. Here is his latest article.


5 Ways Bird Watching is Good for the Mind, Body, and Soul 

Unless you’re an ornithologist, you probably don’t get paid to study the science and biology behind birds. The human fascination with these feathered creatures goes far beyond genetic makeup, and part of the reason birds are so intriguing can be based partly on the element of mystery these majestic animals possess. Observing and learning about birds has been a way for individuals to relax, de-stress, and shift their focus away from the chaos of their everyday lives for years. When you’re feeling too bombarded with technology, deadlines, and city-life, bird watching can be a great way to step back and look at the bigger picture. Here are a few ways birding is healthy for the mind, body, and soul.


Teaches You the Art of Tranquility 
 
Successful bird-watching relies on a peaceful, calm, and patient demeanor. A stressed, rushed energy will only inhibit your experience, so you’ll have to bring your most Zen-like attitude with you. Habitual birders are quite used to playing the waiting game, and it’s an activity that truly requires you to live moment-by-moment. A bird chirp, a rustle of a tree branch, or a flap of a wing can be the indicator you’ve been waiting for, and the quality of your experience really comes down to learning how to be silent and really listening and observing to what’s going on in nature.


Helps You Appreciate Other Forms of Life 

During a busy and hectic work week, it can be hard to take your mind off your own life and problems. Bird watching allows you to slow down and observe how other creatures occupy their time. Suddenly, the world seems much larger and your own problems aren’t so significant in the grand scheme of things. Taking a moment to acknowledge how many other organisms you share the world with can put things in perspective and give you the dose of humbling you’ve needed.


Gets You Outside 

In a time when most individuals limit their physical activity to walking from their car into work and then back to their car and into the house, anything that inspires you to get off the couch and into the world should be something that’s cherished and acted upon. Whether it’s braving the wilderness with your binoculars, or setting up a bird feeder or nesting house in your backyard, birding lures you away from the TV into the outdoor world of fresh air, beautiful surroundings, and wild life observation.




Starts an Earth-Friendly Domino Effect


If you’ve just taken an interest in watching the robins hop around your yard, don’t be too surprised if you also begin to take a keener interest in other areas that are earth friendly. When you start to appreciate the small things the planet has to offer, it makes you want to start taking better care of it. Recycling, riding your bike to work instead of driving your car, and reducing the amount of toxic chemicals you use on your lawn are a few ways you can start to increase your global-consciousness.


Develops Your Ability to Learn New Things 

In order to help improve your memory and strengthen your brain power, it’s important to always strive to learn new things. Too much repetitiveness doesn’t help keep your mind sharp, and the field of bird-watching is a vast one to explore. Identifying birds’ markings and noises, as well as staying up-to-date on new science breakthroughs, allows you to consistently increase your ability to think critically and make your own hypotheses about what you witness on your own birding treks.
From calming anxiety to improving memory function, birding can aid in many areas of your well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned birder who’s been at it for years, or a newbie just picking up the craft, bird-watching is world you won’t regret diving into.

Ernie Allison is a freelance writer, grandpa, and veteran birder. When he’s not looking up new species of birds to get to know, he enjoys building bird feeders and taking his grandkids on nature walks and boating adventures.

A big thank you to Ernie for another informative  article. Ernie, we hope to hear from you again soon.

If you missed his previous articles you can read them by connecting to these links.
http://www.nc-mag.com/2012/09/attract-hummingbirds-with-these-four.html

http://www.nc-mag.com/2012/12/enhance-your-bird-watching-by-learning.html

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