ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: How your yard can help save birds and boost health

Wild birds are taking a hit because habitats are shrinking. This episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion with Viv Williams" explores a new study about how your yard can help boost bird diversity. And in the process, you might just enhance your own health and happiness.

We are part of The Trust Project.

What is it about wild birds that people love so much? We watch them, feed them, paint them, honor them and listen to their calls. Still, an Indiana University article states that 200 species of birds have gone extinct sine the 1500s.

A new study from a team of scientists reveals the value of considering birds when you plant and design your yard. After studying six cities, they found that yards certified as wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation’s certification program support a wider variety of bird species than yards that are mostly lawn. And they found that wildlife habitat yards support more of the popular species that people like to see than urban parks.

Why is this important? Well, in addition to the above-mentioned love for birds shared by many, and the fact that they are decreasing in numbers, birds are important parts of the earth's ecosystem. The Indiana article notes that birds help with pest control, pollination and soil enrichment.

And a quick Google search of the health benefits of nature results in many scholarly articles about how exposure to nature and its creatures helps to boost our feelings of wellbeing, and may help ease symptoms of depression and perception of pain. To name just a few. Building a bird-friendly yard is a win-win, in my opinion.

Some elements needed to create a yard for the birds include native plant species, shelters and water features. If you're interested in making your yard a certified wildlife habitat, check out the National Wildlife Federation's website for details.

ADVERTISEMENT

The birds and back yard study is published in the journal Ecological Applications.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

Health_Fusion-1400x1400-Sponsor.jpg
Health Fusion logo Sponsor 1400x1400

What to read next
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says distance makes keeping track of your parents' health harder, but barring dementia, they get to choose where they live.
Ticks can survive a Minnesota winter, but their go time is March through October. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams goes in-depth with a tick expert who helped discover two pathogens that ticks can carry. And both of them can make you sick.
Sound and electrical stimulation may offer hope for people suffering from chronic pain and other conditions. Researchers are exploring the combination with the goal of developing treatments that are safer and more accessible than opioid medication. Viv Williams has details of a new study in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."
When those first baby teeth appear, it's time to start teaching little ones about good dental health. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams consults a pediatric dentist about when kids should have their first dental appointment and she shares tips on brushing.