Benefits Of Birds
Birds are amazing creatures. They fly high above us, they sing beautifully, and they even teach us important lessons. What makes them so special? Birds are fascinating animals. From their beautiful plumage to their incredible ability to fly, birds are truly remarkable. And now, thanks to science, we know why these feathered friends are so unique. Known for being intelligent, social, and communicative. They also have some pretty cool adaptations that allow them to survive in such diverse environments. Learn more about the benefits of birds below.
Birds Spread Seeds –
When birds travel, they take the seeds they have eaten with them and disperse them through their droppings. This seed dispersal may be the most important ecological bird function because many plant species rely almost entirely on birds for their propagation. The estimated cost of replacing Clark’s Nutcrackers’ seed dispersal of whitebark pine alone is $11 billion across the range of whitebark pines in the U.S.
Birds Pollinate Plants –
When we think of pollinators, bees and butterflies come to mind, but bird pollinators such as hummingbirds and honeyeaters also make a big contribution, especially in high altitudes or hot climates. Their role as pollinators benefits us directly. About 5% of the plants humans use for food or medicine are pollinated by birds. And when they disappear, the results can be drastic: 31 species of Hawaiian bellflowers have gone extinct along with the birds that pollinated them.
Birds Control Pests –
Birds eat tons of bugs, as much as 400-500 million tons of insects a year. They are a natural way to control pests in gardens, farms, and parks. In its lifetime a Barn Owl may eat more than 11,000 mice that would have consumed 13 tons of crops. Birds can even be used to control the populations of other birds that are considered nuisances. The U.S. Air Force has used trained Peregrine Falcons to drive away European Starlings and Canada Geese around the McGuire Air Force Base. It should also be mentioned that birds tend to be overestimated as pests themselves. Agricultural damage estimates by granivorous birds are often exaggerated. Studies of damage to various crops indicate amounts of less than 1 percent of production.
Birds Reduce Weeds –
It has been calculated that native sparrows in Iowa eat the equivalent of 196,000 bushels of weed seeds annually. The benefits of birds are numerous. They help keep insects under control by eating them. They also eat seeds and bugs that might otherwise damage crops. And they pollinate plants. In addition, birds provide entertainment for people all over the world. People enjoy watching birds fly, sing, dance, and build nests. Many people even take pleasure in keeping pet birds as pets.
Scavengers Are Nature’s Clean-up Crew –
Extremely acidic secretions of the vulture stomach kill all but the most resistant spores, reducing the pathogenic bacteria by consuming carcasses and thereby reducing disease. Scavenging birds provide a Public Health service by arriving days before other less efficient scavengers, such as feral dogs or rats, arrive to pick at the remains, preventing deadly diseases such as rabies and tuberculosis to develop and spread. In India, a decrease in vultures led to an increase in rabies and contributed to the 1994 bubonic plague outbreak in western India that killed 54 people and cost India over $2 billion.
Birds Indicate Environmental Hazards –
Because they are sensitive to habitat change and are easy to count, birds are an important tool for measuring the health of environments. Birds integrate and accumulate environmental stresses over time because they are usually high in the food chain and have relatively long life spans. This makes birds indicators of unexpected environmental problems, as when declining numbers and breeding success of birds such as the Bald Eagle, Osprey, and Brown Pelican revealed that DDT was a pollution hazard. Like the canary in the coal mine, birds are our early-warning system. As to the birds, so goes mankind.
Birds Promote Conservation –
Since its inception, birds have been a driving force behind the conservation movement in the United States, when unregulated hunting, use of toxic pesticides, and destruction of wetlands and other habitats threatened wildlife and wild places. When people discover the wonder of birds, their interest often leads to support for conservation.
Birds Support the Economy –
The number of birders in the United States is about 73 million. They spend $40 billion annually on feeding birds, purchasing equipment, and traveling in pursuit of birds. That money ripples out, generating $82 billion in economic output, employing 671,000 people, and enriching state and federal governments by $10 billion.
Birds Maintain & Transform Entire Landscapes –
Habitats like forests, marshes, and grasslands support people across the whole planet, storing carbon, keeping the climate stable, oxygenating the air, and transforming pollutants into nutrients. But without birds, many of these ecosystems would not exist. Birds maintain the delicate balance between plant and herbivore, predator and prey, and are integral parts of food chains and food webs.
Birds Fertilize –
Birds, especially seabirds, play a key role in cycling nutrients and helping to fertilize marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. Their droppings have high contents of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium – 3 nutrients essential for plant growth.
Birds Inspire Science –
From the technology of flight to the invention of zippers, humans have drawn inspiration from birds for centuries. A significant example: Darwin’s studies of finches in the Galápagos proved instrumental in shaping thoughts on evolution through natural selection.
Birds Are Military Heroes –
Birds have special skills that have made them historically useful to militaries. During World War I, pheasants detected oncoming hostile aircraft at long distances. The canaries sensed poison gas. Gulls followed submarines in search of garbage. Carrier pigeons successfully navigated through shellfire and past bullets aimed at them, transporting messages that helped the Allies capture German submarines, and that saved the crews of downed seaplanes and a sunken minesweeper. Birds aren’t just useful, they’re bona fide heroes.
Birds Feed Us –
Their eggs have been at least incidental sources of food for humans since their origin and still are in most societies. Chickens have domesticated in Asia at least 3,000 years ago. More than 230 million turkeys are consumed each year in the United States. Birds are delicious.
Birds Enhance Our Culture –
Having been featured in art since prehistoric times when they appeared in early cave paintings, play prominent and diverse roles in folklore, religion, and popular culture. Note Big Bird, a very large canary of Sesame Street fame. Or Amadeus Mozart’s pet starling that motivated the opening theme of the Third Movement of his Piano Concerto No. 17 in G. is the inspiration for the arts.
Feathers Keep Us Warm & Comfortable –
Bird feathers are used worldwide to stuff pillows, mattresses, sleeping bags, coats, and quilting. They are a natural and renewable source of insulation whose environmental impact may be less than synthetic petroleum-derived microfibers.
Bird Watching Connects Us To Nature –
Birds hold widespread public interest and are a gateway to increased natural engagement. Nearly 60 million birders in North America have made birding the second most popular outdoor activity after gardening. charm us at our feeders, challenging us to learn their field marks, molts, and names.
Ethical EcoTourism –
Birding Tourism, or Avitourism, can sustainably support communities and foster greater conservation. A great reason to travel to, and connect with, other locales and cultures.
Bird Hunting Can Actually Help –
It may seem counterintuitive, but the game and properly regulated hunting play an important role in both bird and habitat conservation. Hunting requires healthy, thriving bird populations. And hunting was one of the primary drivers behind the creation of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which has set aside millions of acres of land for the conservation of wildlife and their habitat. The Duck Stamp is required as a license for waterfowl hunting. For every dollar spent on Duck Stamps, ninety-eight cents go directly to purchase vital habitats or acquire conservation easements within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Across the country, over 20 million acres of land have been preserved as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a habitat that is not just for the seasonal game but available to all species all the time..
Our Moral Obligation –
Given all these benefits, don’t we have an ethical obligation to ensure that our children inherit as much as we have now? Regardless of their functional values, should we no more allow the loss of a bird species than destroy a masterpiece of art? Across the Americas, more than 500 native bird species are threatened with extinction — 12 percent of 4,230 species. In the United States alone, nearly 300 of 750 native bird species, or 37 percent, are declining in population. Let’s help them out.
Why do we need to be bird watchers?
Birds improve our quality of life.
What do they do for us?
And there’s more they do for us behind the scenes: We reap many benefits from sharing our planet with through what’s known as “ecosystem services.” Ecosystem services include all of the positive benefits that natural systems provide.
What are bird droppings?
Bird droppings, also known as guano, play a key role in spreading nutrients, and seabirds are particularly crucial.
What are the benefits of Dovekies?
All that nitrogen boosts local grass growth in the normally barren Arctic habitat and feeds grazers such as hares, geese, reindeer, and muskox, which are hunted by people for food.
Why Do Vultures Eat Carrion?
(Other scavengers, like coyotes, also hunt for food.) Because vultures are so singularly focused, they’re remarkably efficient at picking up the scraps.
What are the benefits of woodpeckers?
They are environmental indicators: If woodpeckers are around, you can bet lots of other birds are, too.
What are the benefits of woodpecker cavities?
Woodpecker-excavated holes afforded more access to tasty insects and offered better protection from predators.
What are the benefits of monitoring woodpeckers?
Woodpeckers are so important for other species that monitoring them can tell scientists how the entire bird community is doing.
What is the difference between a mushroom and an edible fungus?
Whenever they dig up a fungus, eat it, and hop to the next one, they move spores around and propagate a diversity of tasty mushrooms.
What is the relationship between trees and birds?
The mutually beneficial partnership is the scaffolding that supports the whole forest system.
What are the benefits of nest boxes?
Similarly, putting up nest boxes for Western Bluebirds can save grapes on vineyards.
The benefits of bird are numerous. They help keep insects under control by eating them. They also eat seeds and bugs that might otherwise damage crops. And they pollinate plants. In addition, provide entertainment for people all over the world. People enjoy watching the fly, sing, dance, and build nests. Many people even take pleasure in keeping pet as pets. The benefits of are numerous. They help clean up our environment by eating insects and pests. They also provide food for us, humans. And finally, they add beauty to our landscapes.