Exploring Bird Knowledge

Birds, with their melodic tunes and diverse species, hold a special place in the natural tapestry of the world. A recent study* conducted by Pure in the UK surveyed 2,000 individuals, delving into their knowledge of birds and the impact of birdsongs on their mood. The results unveiled fascinating insights into the public’s understanding of these winged creatures and the emotional resonance of their songs.

The study assessed the confidence of respondents in naming different bird species. Surprisingly, only a small fraction expressed familiarity with a wide array of birds, with the majority indicating their confidence in naming one to six species. Remarkably, a significant 15% were able to name 15 or more species, showcasing a diverse knowledge base within the surveyed population.

*The study funded by Pure International Ltd. was conducted by OnePoll. Survey Name: Birdsongs; Date carried out: 6th-12th Oct., 2023; Demographics: UK Adults (nationally representative on the basis of age)

Familiarity with Bird Species and Songs

The respondents displayed varying degrees of confidence in identifying specific bird species both visually and through their songs. Common species like the blackbird, wood pigeon, and house sparrow were among the most confidently identified birds. However, when it came to recognizing birdsongs, a more limited number of individuals felt assured in distinguishing them, with the blackbird’s song standing out as one of the most recognized.

Despite most people living in urban areas, almost 2/3 of all respondents have heard or remember hearing birdsongs within the last few days.

The Emotional Impact of Birdsong

The emotional impact of bird songs emerged as a focal point in the study. A substantial percentage associated these harmonious tunes with positive emotions, including feelings of happiness, peace, and relaxation. Notably, a minority reported negative feelings, such as annoyance, indicating a subjective spectrum of emotional responses to birdsong.

Bird Songs and Mental Wellbeing

A considerable proportion of respondents attributed significant value to bird songs, considering them one of the best aspects of spending time outdoors and acknowledging their role in enhancing overall mental wellbeing. For many, the enchanting chorus of birds acts as a mood enhancer and a source of solace in the midst of daily life.

When asked about their associations with bird songs, respondents revealed a strong link between these melodic tunes and natural landscapes. The countryside and woodland areas were the most prevalent associations, signifying a deep-rooted connection between birdsong and serene outdoor environments.

Intentional Engagement with Birdsong

While a majority reported hearing bird songs regularly, a significant portion admitted to not actively seeking out these experiences. However, a notable percentage did venture outdoors specifically to immerse themselves in the beauty of birdsong. Reasons varied from personal enjoyment to destressing and feeling more connected to nature.

Bird Watching: A Mixed Interest

Interest in bird watching was divided among the surveyed group. A considerable segment showed an active engagement or interest in exploring bird watching as a hobby, while about 1/3 displayed disinterest or lack of engagement in this activity.

Consideration and Resistance to Bird-related Elements at Home

Respondents expressed varying levels of involvement with bird-related elements at home. A notable number had bird feeders, baths, or houses, with a significant portion considering adopting these elements to invite birds into their living spaces.

While some showed enthusiasm in fostering bird-friendly spaces at home, others expressed reservations. Concerns about mess, space limitations, and time constraints were among the reasons cited for hesitance.

Memories and Soundscapes

For many, bird songs evoke nostalgic memories, with childhood, countryside, and woodland areas being the most prevalent reminiscences associated with these harmonious melodies.

Future Perspectives: Playing Bird Songs at Home

A fraction of respondents admitted to using birdsong playlists at home for relaxation or aiding sleep, primarily using smartphones or smart speakers to access these soothing tunes.

Interestingly, a notable percentage expressed interest in playing bird songs through speakers at home, reflecting a potential inclination towards integrating the calming influence of birdsong into their domestic environments.


The study sheds light on the intricate relationship between individuals and birds, unveiling a spectrum of knowledge, emotional responses, and intentional engagements with birdsong. While some revel in the familiarity and soothing impact of these melodies, others exhibit varying degrees of interest, or even reservation. The symphony of birdsongs, it seems, holds the power to serenade hearts and minds, bridging the gap between humans and the natural world in a harmonious melody.

Understanding the significance of bird songs in shaping emotions and fostering connections with nature provides a unique lens into the intertwined relationship between humans and the avian world.