a white-crowned sparrow

Birds and Happiness

A recent article in The Guardian caught my eye, talking about the impact birds and birdsong have on a person’s mental health – a very interesting read.

One of my favourite things about our place in Athabasca (80 acres of Boreal forest in northern Alberta) is the number of birds that frequent our bird feeders there. I love listening to the chickadees, sparrows, waxwings, and finches singing away every morning. It lifts my spirits in a very simple and tangible way.

The piece talks about the effect listening to or watching birds has on depression – it can be difficult to motivate a person to exercise (the most common way to release endorphins), but much simpler to expose them to birds. Most people describe their feelings as “joy” after hearing birds singing. I would describe my feelings as “comfort, peace, serenity” as I sit in my armchair, strategically placed so I can see the bird feeder amidst the trees.

This life can be complex and finding simple pleasures can be challenging. Taking time to watch birds dance and flit about, singing their simple songs, can be a retreat from stress.

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash