Birds are unique living beings with the ability to fly.
There are many types of birds and we see only a few of them around the places of human residence.
The role of birds seems to be overlooked due to technological advancement and the current lifestyle.
Many of us do not even get time to see them on a daily basis or at least once a week.
Some of the birds are reared for humans use, while others are indirectly helpful to humans.
They form a part of the food chain in the ecosystem and are a part of Nature.
Importance of birds to human
Birds are useful to humans in the following ways like
1. For Food
- Birds are the prime source of non-vegetarian food for humans. They produce eggs and also meat.
- Many types of birds are used for meat purposes like turkey, hen, ducks, geese, quails, etc.
- The meat of birds is consumed as a daily food in many countries, depending on the type of bird available.
- Their meat is called white meat and unlike red meat (beef or mutton), it is said to be healthier for the heart as it has a less fat content. Even those with the risk of obesity and cardiac problems can also eat it.
- Further, the eggs are part of daily meals, cakes, ice creams, even among vegetarian countries. Unlike vegetarians, some eggetarians refrain from eating meat but eat eggs.
- Eggs are rich in protein and hence advised for consumption by patients suffering from debilitating diseases.
2. Economic Contribution
- Birds are grown to make monetary gains through business.
- They are raised for their meat and eggs.
- They are economically very viable as poultry for farmers.
- Birds like hen, quail, ducks, turkey, geese are reared in poultries. Unlike crops, poultry delivers products all around the year.
- As they contribute to food, the poultry business seems to be evergreen without losses unless affected by diseases.
3. In agriculture
Birds contribute to agriculture in different ways like
- Birds help in cross-pollination.
- They carry male gametes of one plant and drop them over the female gametes of another plant.
- Thus they act as seed dispersers and help in the sexual reproduction of plants.
- Besides birds, even insects and wind serve the purpose. But birds play a prominent role. Cross-pollination helps in the formation of healthy seeds.
- Excreta of farm bird is used as manure in agriculture. The urine of birds is rich in uric acid.
- This can readily convert to ammonia and acts as fertile manure for plants.
- The waste from poultry, when added to the soil, dramatically enhances fertility.
c) For Pest control
- Insects are a major part of a bird’s feed. So during crop season, there is extensive growth of insect population due to favorable conditions.
- At the same time, birds lay eggs and breed their young ones. They rely on insects and their larva to feed their babies.
- Thus, birds keep the multiplication of pest insects under control and help the crop from pest attacks.
d) Rodent control
- Unlike insects, rodents are a big problem for plants. Rodents eat away the yield of the crop.
- Birds like eagles keep an eye on these rodents and carry them away for consumption.
- Thus, they keep the rodent growth under control, which in turn helps the farmers.
4. Communication in cultures
- When the man did not have a phone or postal service for communication, birds were widely used instead.
- Pet birds like pigeons, parrots were used to communicate with distant people.
- They were used to deliver small letters tied around their neck to nearby villages and towns.
- This mode of communication was a swift, reliable, and inexpensive method.
- Since the family had some birds, they could communicate with their relatives by using them.
5. For hunting
- Birds like eagles are used for hunting wild animals like foxes, rabbits, etc.
- The owner of the bird release it to catch a running animal like the wolves, rabbits.
- The birds swiftly fly in the air and attack the animal and arrests it, so the owner takes the prey.
6. Competition Games
- Cockfighting has been practiced in some parts of america, by romans, greeks and in Asia.
- These are banned in most parts of the world. Here hens, especially males, are allowed to fight for fun and gamble.
- This is a cause of violence for the birds. So many governments banned bird fights.
- Birds are grown as pets by many at homes are in the gardens. They help one avoid loneliness and provide company.
- Even we come across many stories where the birds help in tracking the culprits of mischief, and some birds also speak, etc.
8. As pets
- Birds are also kept for increasing the appeal of premises.
- In places like hotels, exhibitions, recreation centers, etc.
- They are easy to maintain, as they require less food and water.
Importance of birds in Nature
Birds are part of Nature. They contribute to the ecosystem and environment. They help follow ways to Nature.
1. Food chain
- Birds are part of the food chain. They are carnivores here.
- They keep a check on the overpopulation of rodents, insects and even snakes.
- Small birds, in general, eat up insects and their larva. While large ones like eagles hunt and kill rodents and snakes (reptiles) for food.
2. In Marshes
- Marshes are wet lands with shrubs grown among waters.
- Migratory and habitat birds live there and keep themselves safe from other animals.
- They also control the insect and fish popultaion among the marshes as other animals like rodents cannot have access to marshes
- We might have come across birds circled a corpse of animals. Even in a forests, once an animal is left out by lions and tigers, the rest is consumed by birds.
- Birds are natural scavengers. They help keep the nature clear of dead and decay matter. Even they do not leave out grains or fruits which are thrown out into open places.
- Examples of scavenger birds are the eagles, vultures, crows, vultures, kites, etc.
4. Seed propagation
Birds are the key to seed propagation. Hence we see plants growing spontaneously at different locations on the soil. The birds eat the fruit or seeds of the plants. Some of them remain undigested and get excreted as such. When these seeds reach the ground, they can germinate in favorable conditions. Thus birds help in natural seed dispersal and plant propagation.
4. Beauty to Nature
Birds are some of the creatures which add charm to the environment. Hence we see many paintings with birds and even photographs of birds to reflect beauty.
Thus birds are much helpful to humans and Nature.
Due to pollution, excess use of pesticides, modernization, and extensive radiation, many birds are getting extinct.
We need to protect them and minimize the hazards of technology on them.