December 24, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Carol of the Birds

Can birds make you happy?  Some scientists think so, but why?

There seems to be a connection between seeing birds in their natural habitat and a person’s sense of well-being, reported Science Daily. Whether that is true may be a function of the setting and species of bird (buzzards, ostriches probably not rating as high as cardinals in the snow), but Natalie Clark of the University of Reading is convinced:

Most of us say we enjoy seeing wild birds in our local environments every day, be that the friendly robin visiting our garden each Christmas or ducks swimming in the local pond. But we have little idea of how much we value their presence and how they’re contributing to our overall well-being.

The idea is reinforced by the number of people who place bird baths or hummingbird feeders in their gardens, beyond the avid bird watchers themselves.  Without the sweet songs of birds, their visible beauty and their amazing powers of flight, the world would be an impoverished place.

There have been several Christmas songs titled “Carol of the Birds.”  The oldest and best known is probably this traditional Catalonian carol whose lyrics are reproduced at  Its hauntingly beautiful melody can be heard on YouTube sung by Victoria de Los Angeles, accompanied by cellist Luis Claret, as performed at the closing ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

A little bird tweeted a tip that Illustra Media is working on a full-length documentary on birds, to be released in Spring 2013.  If it’s anything like their latest film Metamorphosis about butterflies, you know it will be a keeper.


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  • rockyway says:

    Thanks for the link to the YouTube link David… (it’s beautiful) and thanks for all your great work over the last year. Merry Christmas.

  • wesjones says:

    it’s not hard to understand the link between birds and the sense of well-being. Birds around acting naturally is a clear sign there is no danger present. A lack of birds would be an indication but not necessarily a clear sign of pending danger.

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