Why Do Birds Matter?
Mar 06, †Ј Birds are important because they keep systems in balance: they pollinate plants, disperse seeds, scavenge carcasses and recycle nutrients back into the earth. But they also feed our spirits, marking for us the passage of the seasons, moving us to create art and poetry, inspiring us to flight and reminding us that we are not only on, but of, this earth. Plants, fungi, and microbes, as well as animals, impart structure to their environments. Birds act as ecosystem engineers through the construction of nests, tree holes, and burrows Ц structures that are used by other organisms when abandoned by birds.
Those who have only a passing familiarity with birds, on the other hand, may find the excitement surrounding the declaration puzzling: Yes, birds are cute, and there is that whole birds-are-little-feathered-dinosaurs thing, but, really, what's all the fuss about the MBTA?
Why do birds matter? This article will explore the importance of birds and highlight how to retrieve data from excel sheet in sql of the many roles played by birds how to fish for smelt nature, as well as avian contributions to human society and culture.
FYI: If you want to cut to the chase and find out about Citizen Science opportunities involving birds, scroll down to the end. Northern Cardinal, male. Photo by V Schmalhofer. There are more than10, species of birds alive today, and class Aves exemplifies diversity in form and function. Birds occupy every continent, utilize all habitat types, and display incredible variety in behavior and appearance.
They have adapted to some of Earth's most extreme environments: grey gulls are masters of arid conditions, rearing their chicks in Chile's Atacama Desert; emperor penguins take the prize for cold tolerance, breeding during the Antarctic winter.
They are hunters and gatherers and scavengers, with diets as varied as their vocalizations. Nectar, fruit, seeds, insects, amphibians, fish, small reptiles and mammals, other birds, carcasses, and even blood yes, there is a vampire ground finch! Feathers reflect an impressionist's palette of color Ч the result of a kaleidoscope of possibilities incorporating every hue, shade, and tone imaginable Ч producing plumage as wildly divergent as the subtle beauty of a sparrow's how to convince customer in call center browns and what is water storage in ice and snow to the resplendent brilliance of birds of paradise.
Nests run the gamut from the simple, barely functional scrapes made by killdeer to the complex, highly decorated designs of bowerbirds boudoirs meant to how to prepare for math final and seduce. Birds are masters of flight. Some species migrate thousands of miles each year Arctic terns, red knotswhile others remain in the same locality year-round blue jays, northern cardinals. Some species spend months at a time on the wing European swiftswhile other species can barely fly turkeysand still others are completely incapable of flight kiwis, emus, penguins.
The tremendous diversity of birds contributes to their importance within ecosystems. Ecosystem services refer to the benefits that humans derive from the natural world, and birds are key players in providing many of these benefits. Ecosystem services provided by birds can be broadly grouped into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, supporting services, and cultural services. Provisioning services are easily understood: these are the "commodities" that can be extracted from natural environments.
Wild birds are or were a source of game meat, down, and guano. In less developed regions, however, wild birds are still important sources of raw materials. Regulating services include activities such as pollinating plants, scavenging carcasses, controlling populations of pest species, and dispersing seeds.
Pest control. Birds reduce the destructive impacts of various pest species. Two examples illustrate this point: consumption of spruce budworms by songbirds and raptor impacts on rodents.
Spruce budworms are the caterpillars of moths in the genus Choristoneura. These caterpillars are destructive insects that feed on fir and spruce trees; in large numbers they cause extensive economic damage by defoliating Ч and sometimes killing Ч trees. Rodents are favored prey of raptors owls, hawks, etc. Over its lifetime, a barn owl eats approximately 11, mice Ч mice that would consume 13 tons of crops.
Raptors do not actually have to kill the animals to reduce depredations by rodents. Research with owls trained to fly over but not hunt in areas occupied by wild gerbils showed that the presence of owls reduced gerbil activity and the amount of food consumed by the gerbils.
For many reasons, it is generally advantageous for seeds to be removed from the immediate vicinity of the parent plant prior to germination. The production of fleshy fruits, such as berries, is one tactic that plants have evolved to co-opt animals for this important task. Simply put, a fruit is a bribe. The sweet or oily pulp encourages consumption, and the seeds, provided they are not crushed during eating, travel unscathed through the animal's gut and pass out with the feces nutrients for the germinating seed!
Carrion birds vultures, buzzards, condors, etc. When animals die intact from disease, drowning, etc. Vultures are particularly valuable as carrion birds because they feed on carcasses that are in a more advanced state of decay than other scavengers will handle. A vulture's extremely acidic gut secretions destroy many of the bacteria, as well as bacterial spores and toxins, associated with rotting meat, and pathogenic bacteria that may have been the cause of death, such as anthrax, are also destroyed.
Simple reduction of the number of carcasses available to other scavengers also has benefits. Unintentional poisoning of vultures resulted in an increase in rabies and possibly an outbreak of bubonic plague in India.
Consequently, the loss of vultures has been associated with an increase in human rabies deaths spread by feral dogs and may be responsible for an outbreak of plague spread by rats.
Supporting services include processes such as nutrient cycling, soil formation, and ecosystem engineering. As one might imagine, an exact count of the number of individual birds on the planet is impossible to come by.
However, it is clear that birds are abundant; estimates place the number between billion and billion. Billions of birds consuming many billions of tons of food digest that food and transform it into simpler components. Digestive wastes passed into the environment undergo further decomposition and become available to plants as soil nutrients. The feathers that birds molt and the inedible components they leave behind when feeding seed hulls, fur, bones, etc.
This abundance of organic material enriches soils and contributes to the process of soil formation. Mobile links. Additionally, birds are mobile links between systems, moving nutrients between different habitats and over great distances. During migration, food may not be fully processed until a bird is hundreds of miles from the place where the food was consumed. This tremendous mobility makes birds extremely important in global nutrient cycling as well as local nutrient cycling.
Ecosystem engineers. Plants, fungi, and microbes, as how to install win xp on vista as animals, impart structure to their environments. Birds act as ecosystem engineers through the construction of nests, tree holes, and burrows Ч structures that are used by other organisms when abandoned by birds. Cultural services encompass the place of birds in human society in art, religion, and leisure activities.
From the sacred ibis of ancient Egypt to the doves, sparrows, and eagles prevalent in Christian theology, birds have long played a role in religious iconography. In some traditions, birds are central characters. Among the Lenape Native Americanfor example, the sacrifice of Many-Colored Crow teaches the value of selflessness and service. In other traditions, birds are companions or guides. In Nordic mythology, Odin, the father of the gods, is accompanied by two ravens, Hugin Thought and Munin Memory ; what does the name lorna mean ravens fly out into the world each day and bring back all the news of what they have seen to Odin.
In still other traditions, birds serve as symbols. In ancient Greece, the phoenix symbolized renewal, while the owl Ч companion bird of the goddess Athena Ч embodied wisdom.
The role of birds in religion may also be of a more practical nature, such as the sky burials or blood sacrifices practiced in some cultures. The Arts. For as long as humans have been creating art, birds have been providing inspiration. Birds are represented in paleolithic carvings and cave paintings. Leonardo DaVinci's notebooks contain exquisite studies of bird wings that he drew during his investigations of flight. A few artists have devoted their lives to capturing birds on canvas. John James Audubon, the 19th century painter and namesake of the Audubon Society is likely the most famous of these.
How to get uconnect installed double elephant folio a really BIG book - Leonardo DaVinci's bird wing study. In addition to being commemorated on canvas, birds have made their mark in literature. Birds are elemental characters in numerous poems Poe's The RavenKeats' Ode to a Nightingaleand Henry's Pigeonsto name a fewserving as inspiration, symbol, and allegory.
Leisure and how are birds helpful to the environment. The most easily economically quantified cultural services provided by birds are the leisure activities they support Ч hunting and birding Ч both of which support tourism, as people often travel specifically to engage in theses pastimes.
Sport Hunting. Birds hunted for sport include both terrestrial birds such as pheasant and grouse and waterfowl ducks and geese. How are birds helpful to the environment this reason, bird hunting in the United States is more accurately what is the meaning of tpo as a cultural service leisure activity rather than a provisioning service supporting basic need for food.
Bird Watching. The economic benefits of bird watching as recreation far outstrip the economic benefits of bird hunting. In the United States in47 million people engaged in birding Ч most of them 41 million from their own homes.
Though humanity derives great benefit and pleasure from birds, birds can cause economic harm. These "dis-services" include collisions with aircraft, befouling of public areas and bodies of water, spreading disease, and agricultural losses. Bird-plane collisions. The in famous incident now a major motion picture in which the pilots of US Airways FlightSullenberger and Skiles, made a forced landing on the Hudson River was precipitated by multiple bird strikes Canadian geese at low altitude.
Birds as public nuisances and vectors of disease. Where birds gather in large numbers, their feeding and excrement can damage the area and may pose health risks. Large congregations of ducks and geese in parks with ponds or other areas sporting grassy expanses with water, such as the manicured landscapes around many corporate buildings are an example of this.
Defecation on land while feeding geese are the major culprits here creates odor and obstacle hazards on lawns and paths that reduce enjoyment of park-goers. Defecation in or near the water contributes to nutrient loading that promotes algal blooms eutrophication that reduce water quality in ponds and lakes. Humans promote congregating behavior by feeding waterfowl.
Fortunately, many municipalities are beginning to take steps to discourage the feeding of waterfowl. Transmission of disease is more likely when birds congregate. Some of the diseases carried how to plant tomato plants in garden birds affect only other birds. Duck viral enteritis duck plague and avian botulism are examples of this type of how to write a business proposal email. Some diseases generally affect only other birds, but there is a possibility that they could become zoonotic and pass to humans.
Birds Tell Us to Act on Climate
Native birds interacting with the flora in our ecosystems have a mutualistic relationship Ц that is, they both benefit from the relationship. While the bird receives nectar or fruit (in the form of berries) from the tree it visits, the tree benefits by having another organism carry out the process of pollination or seed dispersal.
What do you know about Health Problems in Golden Retrievers? Birds have quite a long history of evolution, they appeared on the planet long before the humans did. Birds are considered beautiful and adored around the world.
Birds have not been like they are today, evolution played an important role in the transformation of birds, like humans and animals. Birds have been traced back to almost million years ago, long before the dinosaurs were wiped out, and the recent fossils of birds found were 60 million years. Birds may seem cute, cuddly and beautiful to us, and we like to keep them as pets, but they are an important part of the ecosystem, birds help maintain the environment.
Did you ever wonder? What would the world look like without birds? This article will tell you the undeniable importance of birds for our planet and how they help in improving the environment. Birds help plants to reproduce, they act as dispensers and pollinators, birds sit on many plants, trees, and flowers. They carry the seeds or pollen from plants and trees to other places where they drop them, and new plants emerge hence continuing the plant life.
This process not only benefits the plants but also to humans and other animals. Many animals eat plants and birds keep the food cycle going. Many birds eat insects and pests, in an ecosystem, if the number of pests, insects, and bugs exceeds the normal amount, they can cause serious damages to humans and other animals.
Many bugs can even destroy crops if they keep reproducing at faster rates. This not only helps in saving crops and plants but if these tiny critters increase in larger amounts they can lead to a dirty environment. Birds eat bugs and ensure the balance in insect populations. The food relation between birds and humans is very old, birds have been a source of food for humans for thousands of years. Humans get meat and eggs from the birds, similarly, birds have also developed a dependency on humans for their food.
Chickens, Turkeys, Ostriches, and many other birds are a source of food for humans. Birds are kept as indoor pets around the world, bird reproduction and trading is a business and millions of people around the world are earning their life by reproducing and selling birds for keeping and food purposes. Birds like parrots are very popular to keep as house pets.
Many birds feed on the left offs of humans and other animals. Birds like vultures eat up the remains of wild animals hence keeping the wild environment clean. Many animals die daily, and if birds like vultures and kite birds do not exist, many diseases can spread like fire and affect humans and animals in many harmful ways.
Birds are a crucial part of our ecosystem, we may not notice the positive effects they have on us and our planet, but their importance cannot be denied. If the birds suddenly disappear or vanish from the earth today, our planet will lose its natural balance. Imagine waking up in the morning with complete silence, we will immediately start missing birds. Birds are a major source of food for humans when it suddenly vanishes, we will lose another major source of food and the results will be devastated.
Birds are a wonder on our beautiful planet, they provide us with food, business, and entertainment. Next time you hear a bird singing, pay close attention, and ask yourself will your life be the same without these beautiful creatures.
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Birds help the environment in the following way: Birds Help in Plant Reproduction: Birds help plants to reproduce, they act as dispensers and pollinators, birds sit on many plants, trees, and flowers. Birds Help Controls Pest Populations: Many birds eat insects and pests, in an ecosystem, if the number of pests, insects, and bugs exceeds the normal amount, they can cause serious damages to humans and other animals.
Birds Are A Source of Food for Humans: The food relation between birds and humans is very old, birds have been a source of food for humans for thousands of years. Birds Provide Business: Birds are kept as indoor pets around the world, bird reproduction and trading is a business and millions of people around the world are earning their life by reproducing and selling birds for keeping and food purposes. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
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