The Health Benefits of Birding

Prothonotary Warbler

I know I love grabbing my camera and binoculars and heading outdoors to go birdwatching. Every day of birding is different than the day before, you never know what you’ll see or find next and for me that is exhilarating! Part of the thrill is wondering what bird I may discover that day. There have been a few times that I have come across a rare bird for my area which always adds to the fun. Birding or birdwatching really is an easy hobby to start. You don’t need much equipment and since birds are basically everywhere you don’t have to travel far to watch them. Start by walking around your own yard or a nearby park. The best part is your yard and most nearby parks are free! According to a 2016 survey by the US Fish and Wildlife Service more than 45 million people watch birds around their homes and away from home. If 45 million people are doing it there has to be something to it. Plus, birdwatching can be very beneficial to your health.

  • It is great exercise and great way to get some fresh air – Some days I will be caught up in my birding and photography that I don’t even realize the miles I have walked or hiked. Birdwatching gets me outside enjoying the sun and the fresh air.
  • It is great for your brain – Think of the workout your brain gets when you start learning birds by sight and their calls/songs by sound or one of the many interesting facts about each bird, or their migration pattern, the list goes on and on…
  • It helps lower stress – There is nothing better than a walk through nature to help clear my mind and lower any anxiety I may be experiencing. Life can be fast paced some days and birding helps me slow down and relax.
  • It gives me time to reflect and center myself – I love watching for birds and watching them interact with each other, especially during breeding season when the young are hatching and the parents are spending time caring for them. It really is amazing to watch.
“Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time” – Katrina Mayer

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