Top 10 Health Benefits of Bird Watching during COVID-19

A female Green barred Woodpecker (Colaptes melanochloros) head sticking out of a nest hole in a tree trunk, Pantanal, Brazil

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. While we are all partaking in some form of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, bird watching is a healthy hobby that you take up while staying local. Check out our list below to see the top 10 health benefits of bird watching.

  • 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 the uniqueness of birds inspires a love of all nature, and spending time in nature is great for your health.
  • 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.
Kids love learning about nature too!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 nearby and to snap a picture before a once-in-a-life opportunity is eclipsed.
Birding with a loved one can be a lot of fun and promote bonding
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
bird watching in the forest- one day we will be able to adventure and travel!
  • Travel (even locally!) At HFR we are adamant travel advocates; we believe everyone should get out and see the world whenever they can (we recognize that it is difficult to do so right now). Those who travel actually live longer! Travel is part and parcel of bird watching- but if that’s not an option, there are many local bird watching opportunities as well in state parks, coastlines, and even your neighborhood! In general, fans of this hobby are notorious island hoppers, mountain climbers, desert explorers, and all-around adventurers extraordinaire. Just some possible birding trips for the future can be found here.
  • 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.


  1. My husband has been thinking of starting bird watching as a new hobby, and I had no idea that there are so many health benefits! I like that you say you learn to have quick reflexes because a bird can appear out of nowhere. Also, I agree that spending time in nature is great for your physical and mental health, so I will show these benefits to my husband!

  2. Hey there,
    For me always nature is the best for refreshing the mind and improve our health.
    I’m also a bird lover. I feed the birds near my courtyard and love to watch them with competing for each other to eat food.

    Thank you for writing this post. I read and know all the health benefits of bird watching…

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