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If It Weren't for Birds

What would the world be like without our feathered friends?
© SFitzgerald CC View Large

If it weren't for birds, how many of us would take notice of the natural world? Birds are all around us. In our back yards or driving across country, most of the animals we see are birds. Many draw attention with their songs. Some birds hunt on the wing, and you'll see one if you watch the sky. They sometimes fly in large flocks. Birds are unavoidable. How many fewer nature-lovers there would be, if it weren't for more than the 10,000 species of birds!
Imagine a world without the sweet sounds of this Mourning Dove ...
Today's show is dedicated to the memory of Gretchen Hull.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®

If It Weren’t for Birds

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote.

[Medley of Western Meadowlark, Willow Flycatcher, and drumming of Downy Woodpecker]

If it weren't for birds, how many of us would be invited to enjoy nature? Think how seldom we experience animals other than birds. Most of us rarely see wild mammals, with the exception of squirrels and their relatives and some of the large grazers, such as deer.
    
Reptiles and amphibians are mostly shy and secretive. Like most small mammals, they are active only at night. Except for the larger butterflies and dragonflies, insects and other invertebrates are so small they’re usually beneath our notice. Crickets and katydids do entertain us at night, but invisibly.

[Cricket call]
    
Birds are all around us, easily seen and enjoyed. When we look into our backyards or drive across country, most of the animals we see are birds. Most are active during the day. During the breeding season, males sing -
    [House Finch]
    and display, often in flight -
    [Snipe winnowing]
    
Many birds hunt on the wing, and it is a safe bet that you will see one if you take the time to watch the sky. Birds mark the seasons with their migrations, sometimes in large flocks.
    
[Honking of flock of Canada (Cackling) Geese]
    
In fact, birds are — quite simply — unavoidable.
    
[Western Meadowlark]
    
How many fewer nature-lovers there would be, if it weren't for the more than 10,000 species of birds.
    
Today’s show is dedicated to the memory of Gretchen Hull, a great friend to, and protector of, birds everywhere.

###

Calls and songs of birds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Western Meadowlark recorded by G. Vyn; Downy Woodpecker drumming, House Finch, winnowing of Wilson’s Snipe, and Cackling Geese by G. A. Keller; Willow Flycatcher by M. J. Anderson.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010/2017 Tune In to Nature.org

ID#    birding-12-2010-02-22-MS    birding-12

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