If you find yourself happier around singing birds, you’re not alone. A new study from the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research indicates being around greater bird biodiversity is actually linked to greater happiness levels amongst people.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers utilized data from the 2012 “European Quality of Life Survey” to explore the connection between species diversity around homes, towns, and cities, and how it relates to satisfaction. What they found was a correlation between the specific number of bird species and the happiness felt by European residents. In fact, the authors calculated that being around fourteen different bird species provides as much satisfaction as earning an additional $150 a month.
Although the focus was on birds, the researchers do state that birds are the best indicators of biological diversity and that living near natural green spaces is linked with greater happiness.
“According to our findings, the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in or near-natural surroundings that are home to many species,” said Joel Methorst, a doctoral researcher at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center who served as lead author of the study.
During the pandemic, bird-watching became quite a popular hobby amongst Americans as it is an accessible activity that can be done with social distancing in mind. If you want to feel a bit happier, perhaps it’s time you take up the hobby yourself if you haven’t already done so!