Do you hear the birds?

Do you hear the birds singing? It’s a question I ask my daughter most every morning as we step from the front porch and make our way to the car. I’m not so sure most people hear the birds. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, and that includes racing out the door to start the day.

But what if you take a pause and make a conscious effort to hear the birds? They are nature’s greeting to you — a reminder of the natural world around us. According to multiple research studies, birdsong has a relaxing effect on the body. It reduces stress and anxiety, and promotes feelings of calm and relaxation.

As the day progresses, the sound of birds tends to get drowned out by human activity and noise pollution: cars passing by, HVAC units kicking on and off, the clanging of construction work. But near the end of the day when things start to quiet back down, listen closely. The natural rhythm and melody that soothes the ear returns: the boisterous song of the Carolina wren; the chit chat back-and-forth of the bluebird; the slow trill and Space Invaders gameplay song of the Northern cardinal; and the bird, which I’ve yet to determine, that sounds like it’s saying, “San Diego. San Diego.”

Do you hear the birds? Do your children?

Batty, David. “Bird and birdsong encounters improve mental health, study finds.” The Guardian. 22 Oct. 2022.

“Bluebird.” Photo by Marian Brandt on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

3 replies on “Do you hear the birds?”

Love listening to the birds! Tgey start before 5 a.m. each morning and the sounds get more chatty with one to another. You’re right, it’s calming!

What a great reminder. Admittedly, I walk out the door and forget to pause and hear the birds. Thank you for the reminder. I hear them now.

Hi Jeffrey! After you commented on my blog, I went to yours and see that you recently posted something similar about listening to the birds! I’m glad we connected, and I look forward to following your blog. Seems we enjoy writing about some similar things. Have a great day! 🙂 Alicia

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