Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bird Songs and Nature - Healthy for You and Your Mind!

Every weekend for the last few months,  my family and I have been visiting with wildlife in the middle of a beautiful preserve. There are so many wild flowers and trees. The whole walk/hike is serenaded by wild birds singing their signature songs. It is so pretty and so relaxing to be out in nature- even with 2 children who don't know the meaning of relax! The trails are just right for little ones and beginning hikers, even limited walkers could enjoy shortened trails. And we get to hear birds singing!
Enjoying the wildflowers

The place we have been going to is the Cosumnes River Preserve. If it is not close to where you live, then I would challenge you to find a bike trail or hiking trail near your home that gets you out into nature. We all need to get away from the noise of our neighborhoods and listen to the quiet! It is so healthy for you!

The other night, I was reading a chapter in The Power of Music by Elena Mannes that spoke about what happens to our brains when we hear birdsongs. Studies have been done to analyze brain activity when subjects listen to human song and to birdsong. She explains "the scans showed the listeners showed more emotion when they heard birdsong as compared to listening to beautfiul songs sung by a human voice. "
Walking the trail

Later she writes, "One possible explanation for the increased brain activity when subjects listened to birdsong is that they were trying to find the patterns in the birdsong: human song is more familiar."

I knew we were more relaxed and happy after an afternoon of listening to birds singing. But now, it is possible that we were also stimulating our brains while listening to the music of nature!
Looking at pretty flowers

By stimulating our brains, we are staying mentally healthy. Making new neurological pathways is always a great idea.

I want to challenge you this summer to find a place in nature for your family to enjoy. You can find an easy hike like we did, go to a quiet lake or pond in a park. Get away from the loud noises of city life and hear the birds!

Carolyn, at Wise Owl Factory has made a wonderful Nature Walk checklist and a Bird checklist.  Print them out and take them with you to add to the fun!

                        Nature Walk Take Along

I was so amazed at all the different birdsongs, I made a short video. If you can't see the video, click here.

We were amazed today to see a coyote playing with something in the grass!  We watched for about 5 minutes before he heard us and took off running.  It was awesome to see!
Coyote in the Grass

For another nature idea please read Take a Nature Sound Walk.


  1. What a wonderful post! How interesting to hear about the effects that listening to bird songs has on the brain. Thanks for including the printables, too! Pinned. :)

  2. That does look like a coyote, but the usually tavel in packs, so be careful! I love music, birds, and nature centers. Thanks for an online spot of beauty today! Carolyn

    1. I love nature and music too. Thank you for reading, Carolyn.

  3. I'm reading this while my two year old is refusing to nap in the room next to me. I wonder if some bird music would be enjoyable to him as he "naps". hmmmmm, might have to try it. Great post.

    1. I you hope were able to get your little one to nap today! I listen to a mountain spring with birds cd and it is very relaxing. I actually downloaded it from the library!