Bird Benefits: It’s National Bird Day!
National Bird Day takes place on January 5 each year to coincide with a three-week long citizen science survey that helps monitor the health of our nation’s birds. Here are a few bird benefits on this day dedicated to celebrating these amazing creatures:
- Pollination: Birds are pollinators that help to fertilize flowers. These flowers may be ornamental or food producers, like tomatoes and squash flowers.
- Pest Control: Many birds eat insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, spiders and other unwelcome pests. Throughout history, birds have played a role in saving crops from pest damage or destruction.
- Weed Control: Finches, towhees and sparrows consume weed seeds, making them partners in landscape weed control. Some of the seeds birds consume include nettle, crabgrass, pigweed and ragweed.
- Stress Relief: Watching birds, listening to their songs and providing for birds by improving the bird habitat in your yard, can relieve stress and promote well-being.
- Disease Control: Scavenging birds, such as vultures, crows and eagles help quickly dispose of carcasses of dead animals, reducing the opportunity for diseases to spread.
- Spreading of Fruit Seeds: Fruit-eating birds consume seeds of apples, raspberries, strawberries and other fruits and deposit the indigestible seeds over their territory. Many of those seeds become buried and when they are watered by rain they will eventually germinate, producing new fruit-bearing plants.
- Bird-friendly Landscaping: By planting bird-friendly native plants, such as trees, shrubs and grasses, we can help replace food sources, shelter and nesting areas that have been destroyed by development and encourage a healthy landscape.
A Few Tips for Making the Most of Your Bird-friendly Landscaping
- Clean and sterilize bird feeders regularly to avoid spreading diseases among your feathered, backyard visitors.
- Use proper placement and devices such as baffles to protect your bird feeder from non-bird guests, such as squirrels, raccoons and mice.
- Empty bird baths regularly to eliminate breeding habitats for mosquitoes.