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Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,275
Registered: ‎07-29-2014

Spiritual health via birds

[ Edited ]

@chickenbutt@Bird mama:  but you already know this. ;-)

 

 

ANIMAL MAGIC + NATURE THERAPY = A BALM FOR THE SOUL  Heart

 

 

How birds help us beat the blues:      

Seeing birds in your garden 'can cut the risk of suffering stress and depression'

 

  • Living nearer to bird life can improve mental health new research suggests
  • Exeter University study shows those living close to birds reduce the risk of stress and depression
  • The study showed that 274 people exposed to bird song saw a fall in stress levels

 

In our increasingly busy lives, a glimpse of a wren or a blackbird can offer a moment’s respite from everyday worries.

 

Now researchers have found that living close to bird life can cut the risk of suffering from stress and depression.

 

People in neighbourhoods with more birds in them have better mental health, a study by Exeter University shows, regardless of whether they live in a leafy suburb or busy city.

 

An Exeter University study shows those living close to birds reduce the risk of stress and depression and have general higher levels of mental health

It followed more than 274 people, whose stress levels fell based on the number of birds they saw in a typical afternoon.

 

It appears not to matter if these birds are pretty robins or big black crows, with just the number of birds spotted making the difference. It follows research which shows bird song can help people recover from the mental fatigue of a day’s focused concentration at work.

 

Lead author Dr Daniel Cox, a research fellow at the University of Exeter, said: ‘This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental wellbeing.

 

‘Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care, making cities healthier, happier places to live.’

 

Previous studies have shown that neighbourhood green spaces are good for wellbeing, by cutting people’s stress and stopping them from overthinking. The effect is felt whether someone purposely goes to the park, just walks through nature on the way to the shops or sees it out of their window.The latest study surveyed the mental health of 274 people of different ages and income brackets, and conducted extensive surveys of the number of birds in the morning and afternoon in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Luton.

 

It found levels of depression, anxiety and stress fell by people just going outside and depended on the number of birds they could see in an afternoon.

 

In the study, common types of birds including blackbirds, robins, blue ****** and crows were spotted. But the study did not find a relationship between the species of birds and mental health, but rather the number of birds people could see from their windows, in the garden or in their neighbourhood.

 

It suggests that for most people it is interacting with birds, not just specific birds, that provides wellbeing.

 

Dr Cox said: ‘It appears people just like seeing birds, the more birds the better, whether that is a blackbird or a crow. In another study we show that watching birds in the garden makes people feel more relaxed and connected to nature.

 

The study showed that 274 people exposed to bird song saw a fall in stress levels and that those in areas with more bird life had better levels of mental health
It appears not to matter if these birds are pretty robins or big black crows, with just the number of birds spotted making the difference. It follows research which shows bird song can help people recover from the mental fatigue of a day’s focused concentration at work

‘This may be because a different study by this group found in urban areas that people know the common birds like robins and blackbirds, but are less able to distinguish other species. They may get a great ****** and blue ****** confused, for example, but they get the same experience from both.’

 

The academics studied afternoon bird numbers, which tend to be lower than birds generally seen in the morning, because more people are likely to be up, about and outside at that time.

 

The research, conducted with the University of Queensland and the British Trust for Ornithology, is published in the journal Bioscience.

 

Dr Gavin Siriwardena, head of terrestrial ecology at the BTO, who led its work on this study, said: ‘If we want to design our urban landscapes so that people get more wildlife-related benefit, we need to consider what people actually experience, not just what is there.

 

‘A woodland on the edge of town might tick a conservation box, but mature trees in gardens might be better for human health, even if they support fewer birds.’ 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,463
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Spiritual health via birds

So true!

I get to see many birds coming to my little patio every day and some of them like to let me know they are here-we say hello; I tell them how handsome (the cardinal) or pretty they are and if they like the seeds and suet I put out. One sleeps in a corner every night and I always make sure to say goodnight to her. I think they get to know your voice and that you won't hurt them.

They make me happy to see them and I could watch them all daySmiley HappyHeart

"If you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you'll learn things you never knew. Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains? can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,788
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Spiritual health via birds

I'll tell you what.  I live with 3 birds and every day is like living in a Disney cartoon.  My birds have open flight cages for eating, drinking and bathing and live in an aviary type set up.  They never fly downstairs - they seemed to have staked out the upstairs and I'd swear the freedom adds to their longevity.

 

I've lived with cats and dogs in my life.  Something about a bird is magical and I can't put my finger on it :-)

 

There are many elements: wind, fire, water
But none quite like the element of surprise
Honored Contributor
Posts: 41,788
Registered: ‎03-12-2010

Re: Spiritual health via birds

Outside I have a robust bird and squirrel population that adds even more purpose to my life, lol.  My squirrels have me trained, I am not kidding.  

There are many elements: wind, fire, water
But none quite like the element of surprise
Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,417
Registered: ‎04-08-2013

Re: Spiritual health via birds

I love birds!  I have a sun conure and two canaries.  The canaries are male & female (separate cages, next to each other).  The male sings and sings then the female will start twittering along with him.  It's music I never get tired of.  Then there's my outdoor birds.  I have so many feeders in our yard, as well as heated birdbaths.  Honestly, I could be completely stressed out and then look outside and see an unusual visitor or an everyday friend and feel happy.  I'm looking forward to the return of the hummingbirds.  I noticed some juncos today, and the goldfinches are slowly starting to get their bright yellow color back! 

Honored Contributor
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Re: Spiritual health via birds

 

@feline groovy

 

I agree. Birds and just about all animals add mental comfort to the majority of humans. Our home with lots of trees attracts all types of birds. My wife keeps her "bird book" right next to her chair in our patio room. She references it quite often to see what type of bird visits that is not what we see on a regular basis.

 

We have had eagles and white snow owls over the years we have lived here. They are very interesting to watch, and the male cardinals in our snow filled spruce trees are a beautiful sight to see.

 

Great thread and pictures.

 

 

 

hckynut(john)

hckynut(john)
Respected Contributor
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Registered: ‎11-20-2013

Re: Spiritual health via birds

Love birds. I openly admit that I become unhappy when I can't at least hear them. Their sounds are medicine for my soul.

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Re: Spiritual health via birds

Nice article Feline.  It’s amazing how nature can affect us.  I love seeing and hearing birds.  It’s such a pleasure to hear them first thing in the morning, that first little peep that lets me know daylight isn’t far away. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 10,275
Registered: ‎07-29-2014

Re: Spiritual health via birds

@hckynut

 

Had a feeling that you and Cindy were nature lovers.  8-)

I love it too, and trees especially.

It's so nice that you can enjoy so much of it (and wildlife) from home.

 

Bet the felines (and perhaps your canine kid and the fostered Boxers) enjoy the 'birdtainment'.  

Maybe somewhat-frustratingly at times, though.  ;-)

 

Thanks for the kind words.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 15,158
Registered: ‎06-27-2013

Re: Spiritual health via birds

@feline groovy

Birdtainment makes me happy!