Birds – February 2018

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is running its Big Schools' Birdwatch until 23rd February.
The RSPB runs two birdwatch events each year. The Big Garden Birdwatch is for everyone, and this year, was conducted on the weekend of the 27th and 28th January. The Big Schools' Birdwatch runs for three weeks, to give schools across the country to carry out the activity and send in their results. 
As part of our February 2018 BIRDS theme, you'll find a few resources that focus on why birds are so important. 

Why are birds important?

"Birds add beauty to our lives, interesting behavior to observe, and are prime indicators of how well we are taking care of our planet."
Donna McCarty. 

That quote comes from a selection of great quotes by bird enthusiasts and conservationists one the website of the conservation charity Audubon. Follow this link to read the other quotes. Birds are very important in many ways:

  • Small birds eat insect larvae as well as adult insects, keeping insect populations in check. Larger birds (or prey) keep snake and rodent populations under control.
  • Most bird species disperse seeds; many plant species depend upon birds for their survival.


A world without birds?

Here's a short documentary explaining the influence of Rachel Carson, pioneering environmentalist, whose influential 1962 book Silent Spring revealed how the indiscriminate insecticide DDT made its way into the environment and accumulated in all parts of the food chain – upsetting the balances of nature and also causing harm to humans. The title of the book refers to the fact that when birds ate DDT-contaminated insects, they would lay eggs with very thin shells – and the resulting decimation of wild bird populations had led to a loss of birdsong in springtime. 


Useful links ...

Here are two great BIRD LINKS for you to investigate further: 

• The RSPB's British bird identifier
• A wonderful gallery of garden birds at BBC Nature. 
• Radio 4's 'Tweet of the Day'. 
Newly discovered birds already endangered – article on 'Conservation Jobs' website.