Walking with Nature: Birdsong

Can listening to birdsong or observing birds improve our mental health and wellbeing?

Walking with Nature: Bird songs - dipper

There is a growing body of research that suggests it can, with some people suggesting that it’s comforting and calming, reduces stress, and improves focus.

We’d like to encourage you to listen to bird songs or observe birds to see if you find it has any impact on your own mental health and wellbeing. 

Listening to birds and birdwatching are great activities to try when you are out exploring your local paths during lockdown or walking as part of your active travel journey. 

Here are some simple suggestions to help you:

  • Find a spot to pause and observe birds. Try to notice the intricacies of feather patterns and markings. There are often beautiful, underrated birds around us every day.

  • As you are walking listen out for birdsongs. Are they the same? Do you enjoy some more than others?

  • Observe your surroundings as you listen to birds singing. Keep a count of how many different species you spot.

  • If you want to improve your bird ID skills or want to do something to help nature you could try taking part in citizen science bird surveys

You can experience nature from your own front door. In our guest blog, wildlife guide Daniele Muir shares the joy she's felt seeing birds visit her garden this winter. 

And, if you can't get outside, bring birdsong indoors with BBC Sound Effects.