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The Joys of Birdwatching in Meadow Lakes: A Comprehensive Guide

Older couple going birdwatching

Scientists have long since proven that being immersed in nature comes with healing effects. The sight of the green, lush botany is not only pleasing to the eyes, but it also soothes the mind and heart, allowing you to reclaim feelings of peace and opening your mind to new possibilities. There is quiet here, a perfect opportunity to meditate and bask in the presence of other magnificent creatures that dwell in the same environment. Of course, we are referring to the birds.

For any avian aficionado, birdwatching near Meadow Lakes is a meaningful pastime. Whether you simply enjoy sitting on a bench and waiting for these magnificent creatures to fly toward you, or you prefer to set off on wonderful hikes to discover rare birds migrating from the wild, immersing yourself in nature is a great opportunity to learn so many amazing things.

Surprisingly, Birdwatching Comes with Benefits, Too

SciTech Daily published a report stating that seeing or hearing birds can positively affect one’s mental health—an influence that lasts up to eight hours. To come up with this conclusion, the study enlisted 1,300 volunteers who logged into a smartphone app to input their mood each day, noting if they were able to see or hear birds. Those with mental health conditions experienced significant improvements during these encounters.

A 2020 study in Ecological Economics has shown a connection between happiness and the variety of bird species around one’s community. The authors of the study noted that listing 14 bird species was as satisfying as earning an extra $150 a month!

It’s not just the sight of the birds that can be beneficial, it’s the sound of them, too. A 2013 study in the Journal of Environment Psychology revealed that one is most likely to associate birdsong with the restoration of focus, as well as recovery from stress. More studies second this. In 2017, a study published in BioScience showed that bird abundance in urban neighborhoods was linked to lower instances of depression, anxiety, and stress.

What Is It About Birds, Exactly?

Princeton University’s Christopher Leawhy, who had an outstanding 45-year career with the Massachusetts Audubon Society, shares some of the reasons:

  • Birds are aesthetically captivating, thanks to their colors, forms, and plumage.
  • Birds also exhibit interesting behaviors. There are some that make their homes in gardens, migrate to the top of the tallest mountains, thrive in deserts, and even nest in the coldest parts of the world.
  • Birds inspire us; they play a role in our art, poetry, music, myths, medicines, and even films.
  • Birds are endemic to specific parts of the world, and some migrate from place to place, allowing you to discover rare finds.

Birdwatching is one of the popular outdoor recreational pastimes in the U.S. Many wellness and health clinics have partnered with birding education programs to create an effective form of mental support.

How to Start Birdwatching

Begin with a birding course. Birds possess unique actions and languages. You want to understand the sound and behavior they emit. Some courses are easily accessible online, such as the ones found at All About Birds. From learning the types of birds to what they eat, you get insight into how they behave, as well as what you can do when you encounter them.

You should also consider investing in birdwatching supplies. This may include bird feed, water bowls, a pair of binoculars, and a tiny notebook where you can write down the birds you see. A list helps familiarize you with the birds you encounter and where you found them, allowing you to return to the place when you want to see them again in the future.

Where to Go Birdwatching in Meadow Lakes, NJ

Meadow Lakes Nature Reserve

Tucked inside our Springpoint Senior Living Community, Meadow Lakes’ Robert A. Winters Arboretum is a 13-acre botanical ground lined with canopies of trees, as well as lush, immaculate gardens tended by a group of resident master gardeners. Walk beside the three pristine ponds or gaze at the decades-old trees set in a nostalgic, mid-eighteenth-century landscape. Sit on a bench by a forested area and watch the local birds croon in the branches. The area is a few minutes from Princeton and offers access to many of Meadow Lakes’ nearby amenities.

Brookside Park Bird Sanctuary

A great site to visit during spring and summer, birds flock to the Brookside Park Bird Sanctuary, including the Great Blue Heron, Osprey, Wood Duck, Red-winged Blackbird, and Great Horned Owl. The land is between New Hampshire’s George Burrows Brookside Sanctuary and South Hampton’s Crosby Conservation Land. Here, a tapestry of swamps and ponds border the marshland. Audobon’s Yellow Trail ranges less than a mile long, ending at the swamp edge and offering great views.

Willow Creek Wetlands Preserve

Sprawling 143 acres between Indiana and Erie Avenues, the Willow Creek Wetlands Preserve is a protected conservation area that has been managed by The Nature Conservancy, allowing wildlife to thrive in their natural habitats across the wet prairie. More than 200 native plants thrive within the preserve, along with 100 bird species that are fun to watch from afar.

Thompson’s Woodland Trail

Thompson Park offers an extensive 14-mile forest with thriving marshlands and a walkable Woodland Trail, perfect for all ages. Park at the Old Orchard and admire the lush, rising canopies where birds have nested. This 10-minute walk is perfect for morning or late afternoon jogs, letting you hear the marvelous birdsong as you explore the forest.

Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary

A good distance from Meadow Lakes, NJ, is the Stone Harbor Bird Sanctuary, a sprawling 22-acre nature hike that was opened in 1947. Here, hundreds of birds make their nests and thrive. Talk to your community about tours in this area.

Fair Lawn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary

You can also visit the Fair Lawn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary in Fair Lawn, known for its quaint gardens that house a wide variety of birds. Not only is it great for birdwatching in Meadow Lakes, NJ, but it’s also a great sight for morning strolls and a picnic with friends.

Try Birdwatching at Your Own Home

Instead of heading out, why not make your backyard a bird sanctuary? By allocating spaces for birds to eat and rest, you can protect and sustain the birds your way. Set up a birdhouse in your Meadow Lakes, NJ home. Fill it with feeds, seeds, pine cones, and peanut butter. Don’t forget water, too. Birds get thirsty and are drawn to these spots.

At the right time of day, watch closely and observe the birds flock to your little sanctuary. Enjoy their lovely crooning and the calming effects of their presence as they visit time and again.

At Meadow Lakes, we encourage holistic healing through inspired events and our award-winning LivWell program. With a focus on whole-person wellness, we want you to create experiences that support satisfying personal choices, lifelong development, and an optimal sense of well-being. Perched inside East Windsor, there are many opportunities to be completely immersed in the healing wonders of nature. Discover the Springpoint Difference. Call us today.

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