Flock to Birdwatching to Ease Eco-Anxiety

Naman Bajaj
March 26, 2024

A lot of us are feeling anxious due to the current state of the planet, and it's impacting our lives and relationships. Psychologists and other mental health experts are finally recognizing this chronic fear of environmental doom, also known as eco-anxiety.

Birding is an effective antidote to deal with climate anxiety.

What is birding?

Birding is the act of observing wild birds in their natural habitats. Various studies have shown that engaging with birds in our daily lives has lasting benefits for our mental well-being.

For example, a 2017 study published in BioScience reported that neighborhoods with a high abundance of birds have lower rates of depression, anxiety, and stress, affirming the positive impact birds have on eco-anxiety.

Another 2013 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that among all natural sounds, birdsong stands out. It helps with stress recovery and attention restoration, highlighting the unique restorative properties of birding.

Birds can also incentivize people to go in nature which reduces stress by lowering blood pressure and levels of stress-inducing hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine.

If you're just starting in birding (also known as birdwatching), follow these steps:

Birdwatching for beginners

Birdwatching is one of the easiest hobbies to step into. Here’s how to start:

  • Invite birds to your location by setting up a bird feeder. You can also find birds near places with water.
  • If you have a backyard, you can make it into a bird sanctuary by planting native plants that attract birds.
  • Use apps like the Merlin Bird ID to learn different bird songs and identify birds.
  • Take it a notch up by enrolling in a birding course to learn more about different bird species and their behaviors.
  • Consider purchasing secondhand binoculars to enhance your birding experience and get a closer look at the species you're observing.
  • Keep a small notepad or use a note-taking app on your phone to keep a list of birds you see. It will make it easy to familiarize yourself with different species and track your observations.
  • Once you are a little confident about your bird sightings, you can also contribute to bird conservation by submitting your sightings to global databases such as eBird.


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Commons team hiking
Naman Bajaj
March 26, 2024


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