Cranes are often called “Birds of Happiness”. This name has its origin in Sweden. There, the arrival of cranes is an omen of spring, which brings warmth, light as well as abundance of food. Certainly a good reason to be happy. But even in autumn, when the migrating cranes are harbingers of winter, they make happy. In any case, after my day with the cranes in Linum, my happiness was at its best. Other people certainly have the same feeling. It’s not for nothing that up to 400 birdwatchers come to Linum every evening to watch the cranes fly in.
However, not only cranes, but also blackbirds, tits and sparrows make us humans happy. This was revealed in 2020 by a study conducted by the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Based on data from 26,000 people in 26 European countries, the study shows that individual life satisfaction correlates with the diversity of bird species in the environment. Thus, ten percent more bird species in the environment increase the feeling of happiness at least as much as a comparable increase in income.
Biological diversity thus plays an important role in human well-being. What will happen to our life satisfaction if species extinction continues at the current rate? What if more and more habitat is converted to monocultures and the birdsong fades away?