‘Happiness is a state of activity’ – Aristotle
The 5th and final part of my 5 ways to well-birding is to be active. Birding in itself is an activity, but the activity of birding transcends onto many different levels. For the most part when you are out birding you are engaging in physical activity and there have been countless studies proving that physical activity is fantastic for mental health and wellbeing.
From walking to a hide, navigating the boardwalks of your local reserve to striding the dunes in search for Autumn drift migrants; birding is physical the majority of the time. Granted, standing stationary in a line of angular tripods and glistening objective lenses isn’t particularly active, but each to their own.
Not only is birding physically active, it is also incredibly active for the mind. The act of actually ‘bird-watching’ provides a focus, observing details and stimulating the senses. The learning aspect of birding also helps to keep the mind active; be it exploring habitats and areas, learning calls and songs, reading about a particular species or visiting a new place – birding keeps you mentally engaged.
There is also a lot to be said for record keeping, sharing experiences and the social media/online side of ‘modern’ birding. These aspects also help people to connect and feel part of a wider network with similar goals and motivations; thus also promoting positive wellbeing.