We See You, Birds!

May 3, 2020

by Aaron Pflug • Kidzeum Staff

Birds are a fascinating class of animal! It’s easy to appreciate their beauty and enjoy the Springtime melodies they help provide. In fact, birds really are a ubiquitous part of those idyllic Spring days!

But what are they up to? Besides eating and growing and migrating, of course. What roles do they play in the big, wide world?

For one, because we are talking about such a large and varied group of animals, birds occupy all kinds of roles on the food chain or web. As predators, prey, and scavengers, birds have a beak in multiple trophic levels!

For us at the Kidzeum of Health and Science, however, we love the roles birds play in pollination and seed spreading! Just like other pollinators, birds (inadvertently) pick up pollen when they seek the nectar of an inviting bloom, then transfer that pollen to the next flower they visit! Sometimes making a mess is helpful!

Birds are also critical facets of the ecosystem for their role in seed dispersal. Birds may attempt to carry off more than they can handle and drop a seed or two in flight. They may get a little messy (again!) during feeding and enough of the seed escapes to take root in the ground below. And, of course, birds who eat seeds, pass seeds through their droppings! And, for that, we say thanks!

You don’t need much (a pair of binoculars may be useful) to become a birdwatcher and check out what our avian friends are up to in your neighborhood! Or, put together a crafty seed “bomb” to pitch in with the seed dispersal this season. And consider putting a birdfeeder in the yard if you’d prefer to watch birds come to you, rather than going to find them!

Whatever you do, keep your eyes on the skies, kids!

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KIDZEUM OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE 412 E. Adams St, Springfield, Illinois 62701