Birds Are Real

Cash Wagner, Staff Writer

Birds have long been a source of wonder: seeming to fly almost effortlessly, and landing with just as much grace. They create an environment that is much more whole between humanity and nature, allowing for people to expand on their knowledge and connection to the outdoors. Birds are real, and have a deep importance to the world and everyone in it.

For the past month, I have been trying to pay more attention to the natural environment surrounding me. After installing a feeder at my home, I have realized how the multitude of birds that come and visit are all unique yet connected in their own way. 

For example, the red-bellied woodpecker and the white-breasted nuthatch are two birds of vastly different sizes. The woodpecker is much larger, weighing almost twice as much as the nuthatch. However, they both seem to enjoy the same types of food — a palate primarily consisting of peanut and sunflower suet when they visit.

Meanwhile, it seems that species such as the house finch and northern cardinal don’t fly alone. Whenever they visit the feeder, it’s rare that they’re without another trailing close behind. In fact, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, house finches in particular can be seen in flocks of over a hundred at some points in time. 

The significance of birds in our ecosystem reaches far and wide, something I have come to realize after watching them interact with the world around us. In addition to dispersing seeds, birds can serve the role of pollinators and builders of the ecosystem. By establishing areas of preservation and regulating or monitoring tree coverage, we can help birds to thrive in their natural environment and create a more diverse ecosystem in the long-run. At home, people can help by participating in citizen science projects to collect data about birds for organizations studying them. Through these simple steps, their natural environment can continue to flourish and develop for the years to come.

After finding a passion for bird watching outside my window, I have begun to fully realize the impact that it has had, including on my own mental health. I have found it relaxing — a way to forget about the stressors of everyday life and simply watch nature do its job. It’s a simple way to relieve anxiety, yet allows me to think about nothing but the outdoors and my natural surroundings.