Why Birding?  What’s so great about it?

IMG_0986My wife and I are both recreational birders, which simply means we love observing, studying and photographing birds from all over our country, Australia. In addition we are constantly learning to understand from observing the behaviour of our birds.

Below are seven good reasons why birding is a great recreational activity, encouraging a happy and healthy life.

Birding helps bond family relationships. My wife and I both enjoy birding together, on our birding dates. My children and grandchildren are starting to enjoy it with us. It is something inexpensive that we can do together. It is an ideal hobby for couples that are looking for a recreational past-time they can share together, that will get them outdoors, especially when the last child has left the nest. One of the reasons marriage failures occur due to empty nest syndrome is that couples often discover they have nothing in common any longer that they enjoy sharing together, now that the children are no longer the central focus of their lives.

Birding is a healthy pastime because it gets you outdoors in the fresh air, and gets you exercising by walking. It uses your senses and mind in a restorative manner, being a pleasant variation from your indoor domestic life. Recent scientific research has shown that a 30 minute walk  in  nature  among  tall  trees  can  ease  the  symptoms  of  depression and  anxiety, lower  blood  pressure, refresh  and  renew  one  emotionally, and help to restore inner calmness  and  peace. It is also another great way to help stay off Alzheimer’s and dementia,  as it keeps the mind active and learning.

The National Parks Association of Queensland, on their Kids in National Parks promotional page highlight these health aspects:

          ♥ Positive mental health outcomes;

            Physical health benefits;

            Enhanced intellectual development;

            A stronger sense of concern and care for the environment.

  • 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, which live in a  variety of interesting habitats. Many birds occur in different areas  at different times of year. Because most birds fly, and can move about, they make  each visit to a particular habitat different and interesting on each occasion. 

  • Birding is a good pastime for making friends. Birders are generally friendly, knowledgeable people,  enthusiastic and keen to share their knowledge with others of like mind. It is enjoyable meeting other birders you know on the track and share experiences.

  • 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 wildlife that they observe. It sharpens one’s senses of hearing and seeing as one tunes in to the world about them and diverts the focus of their stressful life to an enjoyable distraction for a time.  It encourages us to conscientious about conservation and protecting our endangered species. Bird counts are performed annually by many keen birders in an attempt to monitor and save threatened species.

  • 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 learn from the behavior of our birds in order to live a happy and healthy life.


    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 doesn’t matter how old we are, we can all enjoy birding, even my young granddaughter (pictured above). 

Read the latest independent study on the Health Benefits of Birding 

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 (birdwatcher) and learn more about our birds follow my weekly Blog posts by pressing the Follow button at the start of the Blog post page . If you would like to know how to get started to make birdwatching a hobby check out my Birding for Beginners 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.

Happy Birding!

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NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed  by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021.


  1. I’ve only just found this birding page whilst searching for learning about photographing Birds, now I see why i’ve been a hopeless bird photographer.. I now am going to take my skills to a new level.. I’ve seen so many birds whilst wandering around the wetlands but haven’t had any knowledge of how or where to go.. That will probably change as from tomorrow… Thank you very much for your posting.. Neville…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Neville for your welcome comment, we all become better with practice and trying different methods and I am sure your journey is not much different to my own. If I can be of any help please feel free to send an email from my AboutUs page or through a comment in my blog post. My aim is to educate birders as well as showcase our beautiful Aussie birds. My InfoTips page and current post on the 5Ls to Better Birding also may be of assistance. One of the reasons why bird photography is so popular is the challenge to catch the bird in the moment, it is similar to firing a rifle on a bird shoot, you become more accurate and creative as you spend time at it. Photos are a great record and proof of seeing a bird, and they also teach us a lot about each bird which I find most interesting as a scientist, learning their peculiar characteristics of behaviour and applying them to human life skills as counselling tools. This is the purpose of my first book and now my second I am currently researching to write soon. Enjoy your birding experience, and don’t be too hard on yourself, your first photos you will replace one day with much better ones. Have a great week!


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