People get just as much extra life satisfaction from living in an area with plenty of bird species as they do from getting a pay raise, according to a new study that found that the happiest Europeans are those who can experience numerous different bird species in their daily life, or who live in near-natural surroundings that are home to many species. Birds, the researchers explained, are a good indicator of overall biological diversity and the availability of green spaces and water; and are one of the most noticeable and animate aspects of nature, especially in more urbanised settings, while Nature, the researchers conclude, is important to the public’s wellbeing.