SAN DIEGO, March 25, 2014 — Gracing humanity with their melodious symphonic sounds, North American songbirds call attention to the advent of springtime.
Many species of songbirds fly northward from faraway lands imbued with migratory passion.
This predictable migratory event is fueled by their desire to find plentiful food supplies, suitable mates, and ideal nesting places for female birds to lay their eggs and tend to offspring.
According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 4,000 species of songbirds worldwide, with evidence suggesting they evolved over 50 million years ago.
There are approximately 650 species of songbirds who reside within North America, according to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Across America a variety of Warblers, Flycatchers, Buntings, Swallows, Doves, Vireos, Orioles, Finches, Larks, and hundreds more species of songbird provide their unmistakable euphonious message that spring’s promise of new life has arrived.
In a 2013 study, “Frontiers of Evolutionary Neuroscience,” co-authored by Emory undergraduate Sarah Earp, Earp says that, “Both birdsong and music elicit responses not only in brain regions associated directly with reward, but also in the interconnected regions that are thought to regulate emotion.”
Growing urbanization brings increasing levels of noise-related stress into everyday life, ranging from traffic sounds to incoherent chatter, to many other forms of human-created noise pollution.
It is impossible to deny the negative impact noise-related stress has on emotional and physical well-being.
With ever-increasing noise decibels impacting the environment along with ever-increasing population growth, there will continue to be greater health and emotional problems as a result.
Some common forms of negative environmental, noise-related health difficulties which might occur include weakened immune system, compromised digestive system, lowering development of reading and verbal skills, increased emotional rage which may lead to crime, and other negative impacts, according to http://hikingresearch.wordpress.com/tag/health-benefits-of-silence/.
Experiencing the positive benefits of melodious birdsong can help to reduce the experience of everyday environmental stress common to those residing in urban areas.
Though birds may actually sing for a variety of natural, self-serving reasons, such as expressing territorialism, sexual desire, dominance, safety and alarm, and newly discovered food sources, the resultant positive sound therapy provides health benefits to those humans who are willing to listen.
The beauty of birdsong has inspired some of the world’s most gifted musical composers to write symphonic masterpieces.
As described by Emma Baker in the Top 12 Classical Music Inspired by Nature, the following are among the most revered:
-Ludwig Von Beethoven-Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. Beethoven pays orchestral homage to the abundant birdsong in his beloved Vienna countryside.
-Ralph Vaughan Williams-The Lark Ascending. Vaughan Williams devoted a single-movement violin concerto the English Skylark.
-Antonio Vivaldi-The Four Seasons. Vivaldi’s famously popular violin concerto which depicts the four seasons of the year showcases spring songbirds in his concerto, Spring.
North American songbirds of springtime raise the spirit, lighten the heart, and help create positive health and emotional well-being.
Their predictable presence every spring serves as an invaluable reminder that human beings are deeply connected to the natural world around them.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the President and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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