Wild birds can be a nuisance and a risk to human health and safety. They create added maintenance costs, damage structures, and leave a mess for property and business owners. In fact, nuisance issues comprise the majority of our work. But without birds, humans would lose a valuable part of our ecosystem as well as a source of financial and emotional well-being. Here are just a few of the reasons we are thankful for birds:
- Birds are good business. Birdwatching, bird feeding, hunting, eco-tourism, bird related art, and more provide over $50 BILLION annually for the U.S. economy, along with hundreds of thousands of jobs!
- Birds eat pests. Crop pests, tree pests, mosquitoes, flies, biting insects, rodents, snakes, etc. Even though birds can become pests themselves, the benefits they provide are massive. The majority of bird species feed their young either insects or meat, and they get most of that from creatures we consider pests.
- Free invasive species control. Invasive species, usually from Asia or Europe, do a massive amount of damage to the U.S. ecosystem and economy. Native birds are helping to combat these menaces. For example, the emerald ash borer, an Asian beetle that feeds on ash trees, has killed well over 100 million ash trees since its arrival in the U.S. only a couple of decades ago. This has had a massive economic impact. Efforts to eradicate the borer, protect living trees, and remove and replace dead trees cost billions of dollars nationwide. However, recent studies show that our native woodpeckers have joined the fight, eating up to 85% of borer larvae and pupae in the trees, especially during winter.
- Plant/animal/seed dispersal. Birds are voracious eaters and travelers. Because of this, they are extremely effective at seed and even egg dispersal. Birds are the primary method of seed dispersal for most plants, with over 70% of flowering plants (including most fruits and vegetables) relying on birds to spread their seeds. Recent studies also show that aquatic plant and animal populations can be spread to new lakes and ponds on the plumage and in the stomachs of waterfowl, like ducks. Some fish eggs can even survive a trip through a duck’s digestive system! Without ducks, many of our inland unconnected lakes and ponds might be barren after tens of thousands of years. Instead, they are teeming with life, including the fish that anglers seek out!
- Pollination. Pollinators are extremely important to human survival; without them, our food supply would be gone. Birds are also pollinators, providing sole services for 5% of the plants we use for food.
In addition to the practical and economic benefits that birds provide, birds contribute to human well-being. Studies have shown that birds are a source of physical and mental stress relief. And a 2021 European quality of life study of tens of thousands of people from over 26 countries found the improvement in life satisfaction resulting from a 10% increase in the wild bird population was equivalent to the satisfaction that came from a 10% increase in participants’ bank balances.
We are forever discovering new reasons to be thankful for birds!
Our Solutions & Your Satisfaction
Of course, we are also thankful for the opportunity to help our commercial, industrial and agricultural customers manage their bird conflicts with solutions that are humane, effective and professional.
To learn more about what we can do to keep your bird experiences on the pleasant side, reach out to a member of our team.
Wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.