The following are testimonials by two people who have dealt with physical and emotional pain through nature – simply by hanging a bird feeder outside their windows…

-I’ve always enjoyed watching birds and wildlife, even as a young child. I was diagnosed with a painful chronic illness that pretty much confined me to my one-bedroom apartment. My mom suggested I get a bird feeder to hang in the tree outside my living room. After that, I spent many days sitting on my couch and watching the different kinds of birds come to feed. Eventually I got a bird book and binoculars and was able to identify the birds that showed up, as well as their songs. Now, 17 years later, I still start my day by looking out the window to see who is at the feeder and listening for their sweet morning songs.

-In 2005 and 2006, I suffered two deep losses that shook me to my core – first my mother and then my husband. I probably should have fallen apart, but instead I filled up my bird feeders and started learning photography. My friends and family have been so supportive, and this just feeds the flame of my addiction to Mother Nature.

Birding can be as simple as watching the birds on a wintry day from the warmth of your home. It can also be the draw to get you up off the couch and outside for a walk around your neighborhood – giving you a focus and reason to keep walking. Birding can also be a tool for keeping the mind active – learning new things can help form new neural paths that can help fight back against Alzheimer’s.

Birding has always been a special pastime for Dr. Robbins – keeping the bird feeders filled, watching the hungry visitors gather for a snack, and trying to determine what kind of birds they are!   Birds and Blooms   January 2013


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