b'Birds have their own interesting stories, he said. For example, many migrate great distances. Some stay in the Phila-delphia area from spring to fall, and Mr. Santiago said that residents can easily learn to spot them: The Baltimore ori-ole shows up well with its black head, black-and-white wings, and bright orange belly. So does the ruby-throated hummingbird, with its bright-green body and red throat. The gray catbird isnt so showy, but its call does sound a lot like aILLUSTRATIONS BYcats meow. Maribel Quino, ninth grade Girls High contributorMr. Santiago pointed out that sometimesand I dont hear birds. When they are there, I feel people, too, migrate from faraway places. Thatmore grounded. Birdcalls help me focus on the can be stressful, he said, but seeing a bird frompresent.their former home can make them feel more comfortable in their new one. Birds exist out- So the next time you are outside and see a bird, side of the context of just what we see, he said. listen to its calls. You might be surprised how They are important for another reason. Birdsrelaxing it can be.are an ecological indicator of whether an area By Emma Mulligan and Morgan Martinis healthy, he explained. Having not only anEast Norriton Bulldog Bulletinabundance of birds, but a variety of birds, shows that a place is healthy.Joanne Douglas is the youth program Bird-watching also can be good for peoplesmanager at Bartrams Garden in health, because it takes them outside where theyPhiladelphia. can be more active, he said. He also pointed toJose Santiago is center coordinator for the research showing that being outside supportsAudubon Mid-Atlantic Discovery Center in mental health, which is especially importantPhiladelphia.during a global pandemic.When he hears birdcalls, Mr. Santiago said, IFor longer biographies, visit: usually feel a sense of relaxation. There is anHealthyNewsWorks.orgeeriness when I am just outdoors or on a hike 9'