Birding has increased in popularity with those who are passionate about connecting with the natural world. In the last few years, this community has grown with the introduction of more technology to keep watch on bird populations and keep track of changes.
The whole world in fact is becoming more aware of the natural world with what we can do to preserve our planet and how we can take care of its wild inhabitants.
This is one of the reasons why birding is growing consistently. It encourages people to connect with nature and be more aware of what is around us and how our actions affect the natural world.
Why is Birding Big in 2020?
#1 Birds are nature’s clean up crew – Typically vultures have been associated with death. They are so effective at their clean up job, that they will be hovering within an hour of death. These, along with other small mammals, will clean up a carcass quickly and effectively, minimising the chance of disease being spread.
#2 Birds control pests – Did you know that birds eat 400 – 500 million tons of insects a year? Their diets include worms, crickets, spiders and all manner of crawlies. They have high metabolisms and need to eat a lot of food to keep going. Birds, therefore, help keep the balance in nature, as invertebrates could be particularly devastating in large numbers if allowed to go unchecked.
#3 Birds pollinate plants – Birds make a big contribution to the natural world by being pollinators of plants. We naturally think of bees and butterflies, but hummingbirds and honeyeaters add to this extensively. To quote Birdlife “In South Africa, for instance, nearly a quarter of Salvia species are bird-pollinated. Such flowers are lacking in scent, since birds favour sight over smell. Their role as pollinators benefits us directly – around 5% of the plant’s humans use for food or medicine are pollinated by birds.” In instances where birds have gone extinct, it has resulted in numbers of species of flowers being eradicated too.
#4 Birds transform landscapes – There are ecosystems all over the world that hang on a fine balance. Birds are key to helping keep these ecosystems alive and well. These ecosystems that provide carbon, oxygen and convert pollutants into nutrients have a fine balance of prey to predator and plants to herbivore which is helped by the existence and functioning of birds. A sign of good birdlife is usually a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
#5 Birds spread seed – Birds help shape the plant life that exists around us. They consume seeds and travel to another location where it is dispersed in their droppings and grows. When birds probe flowers for nectar, some of it is rubbed off on their heads and wings and this is also dispersed when they move off and is transferred to other flowers.
If you look at these factors, it makes you realise how effective birds are at keeping their side of the natural world working well. However, according to the State of World Birds global report, it is said that “There are now 1,469 bird species globally threatened with extinction – One out of every eight bird species worldwide, according to the report. “
Perhaps it is time to take up birdwatching in the natural surroundings around you.