Top 10 Health Benefits of Bird Watching

Banded Kingfisher Lacedo pulchella Male Birds of Thailand

Bird watching is an awesome hobby that is beneficial to your health and happiness. Why bird watch? Just take a look at this picture of a wood duck, or this Bohemian Waxwing and you’ll understand. But birding is so much more than an aesthetic treat. Check out our list below to see the top 10 health benefits of bird watching.

  1. Appreciation for Nature Bird watching inspires a harmonious union with nature. It requires watchers to spend time in the great outdoors where they soak up vitamin D from the sun, breathe fresh air, and commune with animals. A love of the beauty and of uniqueness of birds inspires a love of all nature, and spending time in nature is great for your health.
  2. Patience This is not a hobby for those who want instant gratification. Bird watching requires plenty of study to get familiarized with types of birds and where they are found, then time to travel to that location, then hours of waiting to catch a glimpse of a bird. Plenty of situations in the real world call for us to be patient, and bird watchers are better equipped to cope with these circumstances.
  3. Contemplation and Introspection Bird watching is a very meditative activity. Birders spend long bouts of time in the quiet of the great outdoors without the easy indulgence of distractions. Bird watching is a great opportunity to reflect on your life, or to just zone out and think calming thoughts. Meditation can slow the decay of your brain’s grey matter, which happens naturally as we age.
  4. Quick Reflexes Bird watchers have to be ready to seize the moment after long stretches of inactivity. A bird can appear out of anywhere and a bird watcher needs to ready the camera or binoculars to capture the majestic creature in flight.
  5. Mental Alertness A bird can be here and gone in the blink of an eye. Bird watchers need their brains to operate on many different levels to make sure they can pick up on any clues that a bird might be near by, and to snap a picture before a once-in-a-life opportunity is eclipsed.
  6. Cardiovascular Health Bird watchers sometimes walk many miles in search of a certain species of bird. Many birds are nestled deep in nature and are inaccessible to most humans. Certain species live high-up on cliffs and mountainsides, and you need to hike to to get to see them. HFR suggests birders push themselves to their limits and set their sights on birds that are far off the beaten path.
  7. Sense of Community Although individual outings can be either solo-trips or undertaken with a small group, bird watchers have fostered a strong sense of community. Hobbyists take pleasure in discussing the details of their latest trip both online and in person. This common interest is great for social health and making and keeping lifelong friends.
  8. Acceptance We want to control every aspect of our lives, but sometimes things are just out of our control. This can be difficult to accept, but it is a crucial part of maturity to accept that things aren’t always going to go our way. Bird watchers know this harsh truth, as most have planned an extravagant trip in search of a rare bird, only to have inclement weather or bad luck spoil their plans. Accepting that not every trip is going to result in the perfect picture is a part of the hobby, and the benefits of this can be transferred to other parts of life.
  9. Travel At HFR we are adamant travel advocates; we believe everyone should get out and see the world whenever they can. Those who travel actually live longer! Travel is part and parcel of bird watching. Fans of this hobby are notrorious island hoppers, mountain climbers, desert explorers, and all around adventurers extraordinaire. Just some possible birding trips can be found here.
  10. Increases Upper Arm Strength: Bird watching in forests or other low-light locations requires birders to use larger and heavier binoculars that can let in more light. Weak arms will lead to shaky viewing, which can inspire bird watchers to buff up for future sessions. Also, holding binoculars for an extended period of time will increase arm strength.

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