Why bird feeding is good for your health

Every morning, I go out into my backyard and hang a bird feeder on one of the branches of my lilac tree. Most mornings, a flock of birds is already waiting for me when I step outside. After four years of feeding my neighbourhood feathered friends, they know when to expect a meal. The House Sparrows are always first on the scene. Their designated scout announces that the feeder has arrived, and soon anywhere from ten to twenty sparrows are fighting for a perch. The Red-Winged Blackbirds let me know that they’re coming by whistling as they fly into the yard. It’s a sight to behold, especially for visitors. 

My backyard has become a hot spot for the avian community. Song Sparrows, House Finches, Dark-Eyed Juncos, Mourning Doves, American Robins, Northern Cardinals and Brown-Headed Cowbirds are all regular guests at my bird resort and spa. Every now and then a new bird finds its way into my backyard; just the other day, a Chipping Sparrow feasted from my feeder. The birds and the songs that they sing bring me a unique sense of pleasure. I’m not alone in this feeling. Bird feeding has become quite the popular pastime. More and more people are hanging bird feeders in their backyards. Both of my next-door neighbours now have feeders of their own. The birding bug is highly contagious. 

Bird feeding can be a rewarding activity. It attracts nature to your backyard, allowing you to get up close to birds without disturbing their activities. It encourages you to spend time outdoors, where you can benefit from fresh air and sunshine. Perhaps bird feeding’s most enticing feature is that it can positively impact your physical and mental health. Consider the following health benefits of bird feeding:

- Bird feeding can reduce your blood pressure.

- Bird feeding can improve your cholesterol levels.

- Bird feeding is a means of stress relief.

- Bird feeding can positively impact your well-being.

- Bird feeding can enhance feelings of life satisfaction.

- Bird feeding promotes relaxed wakefulness.

- Bird feeding can improve your outlook on life.

- Bird feeding can decrease negative emotions such as anger and anxiety.

- Bird feeding provides a positive mood boost.

- Bird feeding can produce pleasurable feelings.

- Bird feeding can combat mental fatigue. 

Have I convinced you to purchase a bird feeder on your next trip to the store? The birds will thank you for it. If you’re not ready to fully immerse yourself in the wonderful world of bird feeding, but would like to experience some of the benefits mentioned above, then try adding a birdbath to your backyard. All birds need water, and there’s nothing more heartwarming than watching birds bathe.

Bianca Lallitto has a Master's degree in Psychology with a certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. She has a penchant for behavioural analysis, and enjoys exploring the possible causes of people’s actions. Her analyses frequently extend to the world of fiction; her thoughts on the behaviour of fictional characters can be found on her blog, Fiction Digest.

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