Our Pets Take Us Outdoors

There are many reasons to be thankful for the pets that have become our best friends today. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in 2020, many people found comfort in their companion animals as they were quarantined. However, pets have also inspired their owners to go outside more, allowing both owner and pets to enjoy the beauties of nature. According to the article Dog ownership, the natural outdoor environment and health: a cross-sectional study, “dog walking has been identified as a simple way of promoting physical activity”. However, it’s not just dogs, other companion animals have inspired their owners to go out and explore nature more. For instance, in the article, Bird Medicine And Surgery, bird owners can”use their outside time as your excuse to sit down alongside them, and make time to read that magazine or book”(David J). Many owners such as bird owners are encouraged to take their pets outdoors to enjoy the beauties of nature along with their companions while doing a fun hobby such as reading. There are many students who are able to emphasize more on how their companions have encouraged them to enjoy the outdoors more!

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The Beauty of Birdwatching

Photo of a Blue Jay Taken by Dr. Robert Kanter

If you were to look outside your window right now, what is the first wild animal you would see? Whether your backyard is a lush forest, a concrete balcony, or somewhere between, your wildlife sightseeing will vary. However, regardless of your location, there is one animal group that you are likely to see within mere seconds of looking outside – birds. Birds are one of the most diverse and abundant species taxa on Earth. In addition to being leisurely to spot, birds provide our senses with rare instances of natural color and song. Bird-watching is a readily available activity that can bring us closer to nature and provide us with fascinating natural phenomena to witness.

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Nature Sounds to Calm Your Mind

At one point or another, most of us have experienced the annoyance of hearing a distracting sound that impeded our ability to do something. Maybe you live near a railroad track, where trains bustle and shake late at night, hindering your ability to sleep. Maybe you’ve known the stress of trying to concentrate on a task while construction work beeps and whirs outside. In our modern industrialized world, it is not uncommon to encounter distracting noises. Hearing disruptive sounds is related to increased stress, elevated risk for heart disease, and difficulty processing information (Schell, 2003). While we can’t always choose when we hear these nuisance noises, we can choose to reinvigorate our senses and connect with nature by listening to sounds from our natural environment. As you listen to these sounds sampled from nature, observe how they make you feel. If you find the sounds to be relaxing or pleasant, consider exposing yourself to more nature sounds, either by spending time in immersive natural environments or listening to more sampled sounds. Now, I invite you to sit back and enjoy.


Schell, L. M., & Denham, M. (2003). Environmental Pollution in Urban Environments and Human Biology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 32, 111–134. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25064823

Sampled Sounds and Nature Videos Provided by Storyblocks