We humans take a lot of things for granted in our lives and these things that we take granted for though beneficial to our everyday lives are ignored and never looked into too much. One such thing we never care to think twice about are the birds that accommodate this planet along with us and the millions of other organisms. A lot of us don’t know the significance of birds in our everyday lives. So let me illustrate how important birds are to humans and the world at large.
Importance of Birds to Humans:
Birds provide some direct benefits to humans that we all generally forget to notice, let me list them down for you.
Food: Birds are grown to provide food to billions of people around the world. Birds produce both meat and eggs which are a major food source and different birds are grown across the world depending upon the species that is found in that geographical area. Bird meat and eggs are a major source of protein and are widely used to produce various other more complex foods such as cakes, cookies and so on. Bird meat which is also called white meat is said to be healthier for the heart than red meat that comes from cows, goats and other animals because the fat content in white meat is said to be lower.
Economic Value: Birds are grow in large numbers for monetary gains. Birds are grown for their meat, feathers, eggs and so on. These products are sold and bring in money. Since food is an indispensable part of life and birds being one of the cheapest and easiest ways to gain protein, the business of growing birds has become an essential and profitable one. Feathers are used all over the world for various purposes like for stuffing in pillows, decorating hats and so on. Different varieties of wild birds also bring in tourists and avid bird watchers and this produces tourism revenue and provides stress relief and a form of entertainment to the people.
Other indirect ways birds help us: Species such as the humming bird help in pollination of plants by taking the male gamete and dropping them on the female gametes of plants, this is what helps plants reproduce and survive. Bird’s also control pests and rodents by hunting them down, these rodents and pests if left unattended would turn out to be nuisance in the long run, This is very helpful to a lot of farmers. Birds are also grown by many as pets for companionship. We also use bird droppings from the poultry we grow as manure as it is a rich source of nitrogen, potassium and phosphate all three of which are essential for plants to grow.
Ecological Importance of birds:
Apart from the direct benefits to humans, birds do so much for the earth and help in keeping the ecological balance proper and here’s how they do it.
Seed propagation: Birds that eat fruit or other seeds help carry the seeds of these fruits and plants through their excreta. So when the birds drop their excreta, these transported seeds then can grow spontaneously at various locations and it give the plants a chance to grow in more favorable conditions and this helps such plants survive. A lot of plants are dependent on birds for seed propagation and this seed propagation is what allows plants to populate in new areas.
Scavengers: Birds play the role of waste disposal in nature by consuming the carcasses of dead animals. They also clean up what’s left by the predatory carnivores such as lions by eating what they leave behind.
Food chain: Birds are also carnivores in the food chain and help in keeping the population of rodents and insects in check by hunting them for their food. This keeps the populations of these insects and rodents in control and in the right balance
Pollination: Pollination is the process of moving the pollen from flower to flower to help fertilize the sex cells and create new plants. Species like the humming bird take part in pollination of plants. A lot of different types of plants are dependent on birds for pollination. Without the occurrence of pollination plants cannot reproduce and survive.
Fertility: Bird droppings are a form of manure that nature provides itself. Bird excreta is rich in uric acid that can be easily converted to ammonia which is a great fertilizer for plants. Bird excreta is also rich in potassium, phosphate and nitrogen all three of which are needed for plant growth.
Birds provide so much to us and this world we live in and it is our obligation to protect them as humans. Without birds there will be an ecological imbalance. We as humans don’t have the right to destroy nature and it is also in our best interests to protect mother nature and her children.