Connecticut Audbon Society



The Birds of Happiness

Glum birders fruitlessly awaiting a Roseate Spoonbill’s arrival at the Coastal Center in 2018. If the bird had been there, they would have been happy. Photo by Tom Andersen.

December 9, 2020 — You know that feeling you get when birds come to your feeder or when you pass through a mixed flock of songbirds in the woods? That’s happiness and, it turns out, those birds are bringing it to you.

Researchers in Europe have correlated personal happiness to nearby species diversity as “measured based on the diversity of avian species.”

” … the individual enjoyment of life correlates with the number of surrounding bird species,” the study’s summary says. “An additional 10% of bird species therefore increases the Europeans’ life satisfaction as much as a comparable increase in income.”

The EcoWatch website interpreted that this way: “The authors calculated that being around fourteen additional bird species provided as much satisfaction as earning an additional $150 a month.”

Concludes the report: “Nature conservation thus constitutes an investment in human well-being.”

We’re tempted to add, “cheer up,” but if you’re reading this you’re probably already happy. — Tom Andersen






Follow Us Facebook Twitter Instagram