Birdwatching In Your Vicinity Provides Mental Health Benefits, Says Study


Scientists have observed that people living in the vicinity of birds, trees and shrubs are less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety, and depression.

According to the study published in the journal BioScience, researchers from the University of Queensland, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Exeter health benefits were observed irrespective of the location of an individual whether it is urban or rural areas or leafier suburban communities as long as they were in the vicinity of birds, trees, and shrubs.

About 270 individuals participated in the survey which included various factors like age, ethnicities, and income levels. According to the findings, people who didn’t spend much time outside than usual during the week earlier were mostly likely to suffer from to depression or anxiety

Birdwatching And Mental Health Benefits

The researchers were not able to establish a link between bird species and mental health. Instead, the mental health benefits reported by the people were linked with the number of birds seen. But, these benefits were not linked to their type. Common birds that were seen during the study, include crows, blue tits, robins, and blackbirds.

The number of birds seen in the morning and in the afternoon were also extensively surveyed by the researchers in places like Luton, Bedford, and Milton Keynes and observed that lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression were associated with the number of birds that people saw in the afternoon.

The previous study has said that many people actually can’t determine specific bird species, saying that birdwatching’s mental health benefits are linked to interaction with birds in general and not specific birds.

Conducted as part of the Fragments, Functions, Flows and Ecosystem Services project and funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council, the research also received contributions from Kevin Gaston, Steven Hancock, Karen Anderson, Richard Fuller, Gavin Siriwardena, Kate Plummer, Hannah Hudson,

Animals And Human Mental Health

According to the study conducted in 2016, cats can be blamed for some psychiatric disorders. But, another study released in February led to controversy, saying that Researchers from the University College London did not find links between felines and psychotic symptoms. The previous study revealed that the natural cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii is linked to mental health issues such as schizophrenia and psychosis.

In US, around 60 million people are reported of being infected with T. gondii, making them the victim of toxoplasmosis. However, most of them do not show the symptoms of the disease, which may include swollen lymph glands, muscle aches, blurred vision, and eye redness.