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.