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Importance of Bird

  • Date Submitted: 03/16/2013 05:38 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 48.2 
  • Words: 510
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The Importance of Birds
Birds are a diverse group, and their bright colors, distinct songs and calls, and showy displays add enjoyment to our lives. Birds are very visible, quite common, and offer easy opportunities to observe their diverse plumage and behaviors. Because of this, birds are popular to many who pursue wildlife watching and monitoring activities. Iowa Nature Mapping’s own database reflects this fact, in that the majority of wildlife observations reported by volunteers are birds. In fact, bird watching is the fastest growing recreational pursuit in the United States. According to the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, we as a nation spend over 2 billion dollars on commercial bird food! Adding all wildlife watching equipment together, including bird food, binoculars, spotting scopes, film, carrying cases, etc., the nation spends nearly 20 billion dollars! In Iowa alone, we spend some 36 million dollars on bird food! Birds are not only important economically in Iowa and the nation, but also server a vital ecological role as well. Birds are critical links within the vast food chains and webs that exist in the ecosystem. Here are just a few of the many roles birds play:
Agents of Dispersal
Some birds transport a variety of things through the environment. For example, birds serve to spread seeds of various plants, thereby helping in plant dispersal. American robins feeding on mulberries eventually deposit the seeds to other locations in there droppings. Other seed and fruit-eating birds do the same thing. Hummingbirds pollinate various nectar-producing plants, transporting pollen on their beaks and feathers from one flower to the next. Even animals can be spread. Some wading birds relocate fish eggs that get stuck to their legs, thereby aiding in fish dispersal to other parts of a river or marsh. Some birds, such as the house finch, spread an eye disease called avian conjunctivitis (Mycoplasmal Conjunctivitis)...

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