By Jill Brooke
In honor of National Bird Day today, I thought I’d share a study that was just released on how being around birds will impact your happiness and quality of life.
In fact, the German study said, that living and working near a bio-diverse population of birds is as important to our happiness levels as our income. A 10% increase in bird diversity increases our satisfaction with life as much as a 10% pay raise.
“The happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species,” says the study’s lead author Joel Methorst, a doctoral researcher at Goethe University in Frankfurt.
Although the researchers used data collected in Europe, common sense says it applies to all humans whether you live in Australia or North America.
As the study says, even when they are not visible, birds are the most audible of the wildlife humans typically encounter. Most of us take for granted how much their cheerful songs do to boost our mood. And birds love to interact with flowers.
Cool right? In fact, over Covid, one of our favorite discoveries was bird feeders and the joy you get from seeing the variety of birds I never paid attention to that live all around us.
The fluttering arrival of birds to our windows sparked my son to get a book to identify the birds which included red-headed woodpeckers, cardinals, finches, doves, chickadees, blue jays and thrashers among many.
The researchers used data from the “2012 European Quality of Life Survey” to determine whether there was a connection between birds and happiness in more than 26,000 adults from 26 European countries.
The beneficial effects of a diverse nature on people’s mental health has already been documented by studies on a smaller scale. But this study made a distinction from mental health to also include well-being.
The study also said that birds are good indicators of overall biological diversity, particularly in urban areas, so a healthy environment is one where you can either hear or see birds.
And seeing birds also means having them around in decor – whether on fabrics, wallpapers or art. In fact, birds are often painted with flowers for many decorative purposes.
Just seeing birds in any way does lift your spirits.