Birds – January 2017

This month, it's the RSPB's annual Big Garden Birdwatch – so our theme for January 2017 is BIRDS.
We've gathered together a few resources, below, to help us focus on why birds are so important – and what we can do to appreciate them and help them thrive over winter and all year round ...


Big Garden Birdwatch

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.