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The benefits of birdsong

The National Trust launch a pioneering study into the science behind the chirp


Posted: 16 February 2012
by Fiona McKim

For many, awakening to the sweet sounds of birdsong starts the day off in a harmonious haze of happiness (or if you’re not a morning person, a headache), but can the chirping and tweeting of our feathered friends actually have an impact on our health and wellbeing?

This is the question that The National Trust, along with The University Of Surrey and the Surrey Wildlife Trust are seeking the answer to with their recently launched three-year research project, The Birdsong Project.

In 2010 The National Trust launched a campaign encouraging people to listen to five minutes of birdsong during the depths of winter to combat the gloomy effects of short, dark, cold days. When the accompanying audio guide was downloaded over 10,000 times, it became obvious that many members of the public as well as bird enthusiasts are interested in the uplifting effect of birdsong on the human psyche.

Through a combination of lab work, field studies and online questionnaires, the Project Birdsong aims to discern the effects of birdsong for those who live in both rural and urban areas as well as determining whether there is a distinction between different breeds, and if real birdsong has a different effect than when it is recorded.

For more details and to follow the progress of Project Birdsong visit www.facebook.com/birdsongproject or follow the project team on twitter @projectbirdsong


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