How Backyard Bird Watching Helps Seniors Stay Active

Updated on July 22, 2020
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Birdwatching is an observation activity that gives off numerous benefits to your well being. It is an easy and cheap hobby. 

For starters…

You can go birding with the comfort of your bedroom window, you only need your eyes and ears for this. 

However, if you are more inclined to this activity, many bird-watching tools can help you out in being a professional like binoculars, highly attractive feeders, cameras, and much much more. 

As a senior, hobbies and other things that can keep you distracted are important in avoiding illnesses, especially if they play a crucial role in your physical and mental stimulation. 

Which is why birding may just be the perfect activity for you! In this article, we’ll discuss the various advantages of bird watching and how effortless it can be.

Mental Activeness

Mental health may just matter more than you know. If you wish to fight and avoid loneliness, memory problems, and all those common diseases that seniors have, then you should definitely consider birding. 


This activity allows you to appreciate even the smallest things like how such birds open their bills and flap their wings.

The fact that you can enjoy this activity according to your preference makes it so much better. Whether you prefer to do it alone or with a company, inside your home or outdoors, it’s your choice to make. 

This activity promotes mindfulness. You’ll eventually find yourself paying too much attention and living in the moment. Almost everything about it triggers relaxation without you even noticing. In fact, it has been proven that seeing such birds have a therapeutic effect. 

Lessened Risk Of Mental Problems

Seniors have a higher risk of mental illnesses than younger people, which are primarily caused by mishandled stress. 

Boosted energy levels and increased happiness are some of the effects of birdwatching. It also lengthens your patience and improves focus which will eventually result in a meditative state, anxiety’s biggest fear! 

It triggers reflection and a change of perspective towards things. So let’s say you’re going through a stressful, apathetic, and problematic day, you can surely expect to feel relieved, assured, and empowered after a session. Even just the fact that you’re outdoors or doing something else than laying around accompanied by electronics reduces the risk of stress.

Improved Alertness

This activity isn’t all about seeing birds. We’ll it may be at first, but after a few sessions, you’ll want to know more and learn new skills. You’ll be observing their plumage, studying their behavior, listening to their calls and songs, and memorizing their names for identification. Which is why it is considered as a mental exercise. 

If you make it a hobby, you’ll soon be skilled enough to spot them from far away, know when they’re coming, and understand their behavior. All of these are a result of sensory stimulation and reflex exercise.

Stronger Memory

Memory loss is not rare at all for seniors, they come along eventually, but the good news is there are multiple ways to fight it and this is one of the easiest ways. Some studies surprisingly prove that the appearances of such bird species and the sounds they make can recall lost memories. 

It is also considered as a form of mental exercise that increases sensory awareness, enhances memory, and forms neural paths to fight illnesses like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia. 

Physical Activeness

Mild Exercise

No matter what mobility state you’re in as a senior, bird watching is for you. In fact, it can even be your stepping stone to a slowly improving mobility. You can prepare for birdwatching in various ways, as a matter of fact, you don’t have to go out of your comfort zone at all.

For less mobile seniors who are wheelchaired or bedridden, you can ask assistance from a family member or a caregiver to place a bird feeder in front of your window and move you closer or in a better direction to gaze at them. 

For those who can move but not actively, this could be your chance to get back on track. At first, you’ll only be refilling and cleaning your bird stations, but after some time, you’ll want to watch outside or in your yard instead of gazing through the window. And who knows? Maybe you’ll eventually want to take walks to the park or other places that have a lot of birds. You’ll even probably go hiking and searching for them. Nothing is impossible!

And for those who are highly-mobile, this can be an excellent way to maintain your mobility while learning and enjoying. It’s not hard to get really committed to birding, you’d be surprised to find yourself with the accompaniment of various tools for a better experience.


When you bird watch, you’ll eventually be going outside, whether that is to take a hike, a walk, to sit outdoors, or even to just refill your bird feeders. The shortest time outside would still have its benefits, but of course, the longer time you spend outside, the more beneficial it becomes. 

Taking a walk outside and hiking to find highly populated spots is already a cardio-vascular exercise, not to mention that you’ll be absorbing vitamin D on sunny days. Moving outdoors to maintain and fill up your feeders and baths will require you to take longer and deeper breaths of fresh air, which is much better. It’ll result in more oxygen transported to your cells giving you a better, more positive mood. 


No matter where you are, what mobility you’re currently in, or how old you feel like, bird watching is for you. Especially when you put interest in it, you’ll surely get inclined. 

But things like poorly maintained feeders and wildlife illiteracy have their negative effects on the environment and wildlife, so make sure to be a responsible bird watcher. Make sure to check out for more bird watching tips and knowledge!


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