时间:2021-05-03 15:45:55


Can Birdsong Make You Happier?

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.

If you are able to step outside and hear many types of birds, you might also have a greater feeling of well-being1.

Two studies show that hearing diverse birdsongs may help increase our happiness.

California study

One study was done by researchers at California Polytechnic2 State University (Cal Poly, for short). A research team studied the effects of birdsong on people walking through a park in the U.S. state of Colorado.

A biology graduate student, Danielle Ferraro, led the Cal Poly study. Ferraro says that there could an evolutionary3 reason why we like birdsong.

"There could be, sort of, an evolutionary reason why we like birdsong so much. And the idea is that when we hear birdsong it could ... signal safety to us."

There could be many other reasons too. Ferraro states that in some areas around the world birdsong can also signal the arrival of spring and nice weather. Bird diversity, she adds, can also mean a healthy environment.

She explained her study to VOA. Ferraro and her team played recorded songs from a diverse group of birds native to the area. They did this on hiking trails in a park in Boulder4, Colorado.

Over several weeks, the researchers played recorded birdsong at certain times of the day and other times they did not. Then they talked with hikers after they passed by.

Hikers who heard the recorded diverse birdsongs reported a greater sense of well-being than those who heard simply the natural birds. The researchers suggest that both the bird sounds and biodiversity can increase feelings of well-being.

Ferraro explained that she used native birdsong for the study. This way it would sound as natural as possible. They also did the study during the summer. She explains why this is important.

"So the study took place in the summer and that's kind of important because the most birds' breeding season. And if we would've played the (bird)song during breeding season, you know, that might've disturbed them. We didn't want to disturb the birds too much."

The study was published in the Proceedings5 of the Royal Society B in December 2020.

German study

The Science Daily recently reported that scientists in Germany examined for the first time whether a diverse nature also increases human well-being across Europe.

The researchers looked at the "2012 European quality of Life Survey" to study the connection between the different kinds of birds in their surroundings and life satisfaction. They looked at more than 26,000 adults from 26 European countries.

"Europeans are particularly satisfied with their lives" if their surroundings have a "high species diversity," explains the study's lead author, Joel Methorst. He is a researcher at the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (also known as iDiv), and the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

He and his team found that the "happiest Europeans are those who can experience" many different kinds of birds "in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species."

They reported their findings in the December 2020 issue of Ecological6 Economics.

So, if birdsong is good for our mental health, how can we increase the different types of birdsong we hear?

"I would recommend planting native trees and flowers because we have a lot of, you know, pretty ornamental7 plants in our cities. And they might look nice to us, but birds can't necessarily use them. So, I think it's important to have species that are native to the area to increase bird diversity."

Words in This Story

diverse – adj. made up of people or things that are different from each other

native – adj. produced, living, or existing naturally in a particular region

hiking trail – n. a path through a forest that is set aside for people to walk on

breed -v. to produce offspring by sexual reproduction

disturb – v. to interrupt or bother (someone or something)

predator8 – n. an animal that lives by killing9 and eating other animals

evolutionary – adj. the process by which changes in plants and animals happen over time

recommend – v. to make (something or someone) seem attractive or good

ornamental – adj. used to make something more attractive

surrounding – adj. near or around someone or something



1 well-being Fe3zbn     
  • He always has the well-being of the masses at heart.他总是把群众的疾苦挂在心上。
  • My concern for their well-being was misunderstood as interference.我关心他们的幸福,却被误解为多管闲事。
2 polytechnic g1vzw     
  • She was trained as a teacher at Manchester Polytechnic.她在曼彻斯特工艺专科学校就读,准备毕业后做老师。
  • When he was 17,Einstein entered the Polytechnic Zurich,Switzerland,where he studied mathematics and physics.17岁时,爱因斯坦进入了瑞士苏黎士的专科学院,学习数学和物理学。
3 evolutionary Ctqz7m     
  • Life has its own evolutionary process.生命有其自身的进化过程。
  • These are fascinating questions to be resolved by the evolutionary studies of plants.这些十分吸引人的问题将在研究植物进化过程中得以解决。
4 boulder BNbzS     
  • We all heaved together and removed the boulder.大家一齐用劲,把大石头搬开了。
  • He stepped clear of the boulder.他从大石头后面走了出来。
5 proceedings Wk2zvX     
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • to initiate legal proceedings against sb 对某人提起诉讼
6 ecological IrRxX     
  • The region has been declared an ecological disaster zone.这个地区已经宣布为生态灾难区。
  • Each animal has its ecological niche.每种动物都有自己的生态位.
7 ornamental B43zn     
  • The stream was dammed up to form ornamental lakes.溪流用水坝拦挡起来,形成了装饰性的湖泊。
  • The ornamental ironwork lends a touch of elegance to the house.铁艺饰件为房子略添雅致。
8 predator 11vza     
  • The final part of this chapter was devoted to a brief summary of predator species.本章最后部分简要总结了食肉动物。
  • Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and a fearsome predator.科摩多龙是目前存在的最大蜥蜴,它是一种令人恐惧的捕食性动物。
9 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。

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