Watching birds can help reduce stress, according to research conducted at the University of Exeter, the British Trust for Ornithology and the University of Queensland. Researchers surveyed the mental health of more than 270 people from different ages, incomes and ethnicities, and found that those who spent less time outdoors were likelier to report high levels of anxiety. In particular, they found that lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress correlated with the number of birds people could see from their windows, in the garden, or in their neighborhood.
This means the simple act of putting out a bird feeder and keeping it full can improve not just the lives of the local birds in your neighborhood, but your life as well.
Maintaining a bird feeder is an inexpensive hobby that can be both relaxing and educational. With a bird feeder and a field guide, you can learn about the beauty of birds and the variety of songs they sing.
Jesus Christ was a birdwatcher who recommended others take up the practice. When His disciples were struggling with anxiety, He told them to: “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” (Matthew 6:26). Setting up a feeder gives you an opportunity to “behold the fowls of the air” each day and meditate on the many scriptures about birds!