Why Birding? What’s so great about it?
My wife and I are both ‘recreational birders’, which simply means we love observing, sharing and photographing birds from all over our country. Below are seven good reasons why birding is good for a happy and healthy 2017.
Birding helps bond family relationships. My wife and I both enjoy it together, and my children and grandchildren are starting to enjoy it with us. It is something inexpensive that we can do together.
Birding is a very interesting hobby, full of variety, like Forrest Gump’s ‘box of chocolates’, ‘you do not know what you will get’ each time you go out, which adds a touch of excitement to it. This is because Australia has such a rich variety of bird species, and also variety in sightings because birds occur in different areas and some at different times of year. Because most birds fly, and can move about, they make each visit to a particular habitat different on each occasion.
Birding is a good pastime to make friends. Birders are generally friendly, knowledgeable people, enthusiastic and keen to share their knowledge with others of like mind. We find that many of our dear friends have shared how they are becoming more aware of the birds and nature around them due to their association with us. It is another great way to help stay off Alzheimer’s and dementia, as it keeps the mind active and learning.
Birding is great to stimulate young minds and bodies to a healthy lifestyle, it increases their awareness of life around them, making them more ‘mindful’ and appreciative, not just of birds but of the other aspects of nature and life that they observe.
Birding helps us live better lives. We learn a lot about life watching the birds, for this reason Jesus Christ even told us to ‘watch and learn from the birds’. My recent book release “What Birds Teach Us” which is featured on my Birdbook page on this website, shows how we can apply some of the peculiar characteristics of our birds to our life, to do life better.
Birding has concomitant rewards because birds live in lovely, sometimes beautiful places, thus you get to enjoy more than just birds. We include birding in our holidays and weekends, and we are always blessed with a beautiful appreciation of our rainforests, bush, seascape, riverscape, flora and fauna found in the areas we bird in. This is a wonderful way to become more mindful by adsorbing into our minds and spirit the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere that the appreciation of nature brings. The peace and pleasant memories we experience when out in the bush or park can be carried into our busy work, school or home life to give us mindful moments of time out to rest and arrest our minds and emotions to a more peaceful, pleasant and soothing state. This occurs as we relive the memory, re earthing ourselves back in bush with the birds, even if just for a few seconds at a time. Many find this very helpful for restoring peace in a stressful, monotonous or unpleasant situation. My web page on the Mindfulness of Birding will give more detail.
It does not matter how young or old we are, we can all enjoy birding, just like my granddaughter.
Read the latest independent study on the Health Benefits of Bird Watching.
Proof that birdwatching is good for you
‘It’s not just birdwatchers who get depressed, anxious or stressed if they stay inside for too long. According to a study by the University of Exeter in Britain, it can affect us all. But the good news is that spending time outdoors watching the local birds can restore your mental health.
The study did not find that specific species of birds people saw had an effect (though twitchers may disagree), but the number of birds that people could see around the neighbourhood, in their gardens, or even through their window, was likely to affect their mental health. It is the simple act of interacting with birds that appears to be the key.
“This study starts to unpick the role that some key components of nature play for our mental well-being,” said Dr Daniel Cox, of the University of Exeter. “Birds around the home, and nature in general, show great promise in preventative health care.’
The positive association between birds, plants and good mental health apply, even when a wide range of socio-economic variables are taken into account.”
Quoted from Birdlife Australia’s Newsletter 1/3/17
If after reading this you would like to become a recreational birder (bird watcher) follow my weekly Blog posts by pressing the follow button at the start of the post page and also check out my Birding InfoTips page for helpful hints on bird watching and field guides. Purchase a good pair of binoculars 8×32 or 10×40 or better plus a recent bird field guide and take friends, partner and/or family along with you to share the experience. The walk in the fresh air and the feeling of excitement and expectation are all positive effects toward our mental and physical health including our immune system.