Hello! Looking for the New York City Audubon Society? Don’t worry, you’re in the right place, but the official website has moved – click here to visit the new website. Alternatively – and since you seem to be rather interested in birdwatching – why don’t you take a look at similar websites here on this page before you go?
The US-based American Birding Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating recreational birders nationwide. They provide valuable insight on what skills, knowledge, and equipment are required to thoroughly enjoy this hobby. They also support the care and preservation of avian habitats through a variety of programs. Follow the ABA on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
The New York-based Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the leading non-profit research and education organization nationwide, supporting over 400,000 citizen-science participants and 14 million birding enthusiasts worldwide. You can also connect to them via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.
The National Wildlife Federation is focused on advocating for the environment, clean air and water, and nature as a whole, these being the birthright of every American. Find out more about the NWF on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Pinterest, and YouTube.
The Massachusetts-based Birdwatching Magazine is focused on providing the best and the latest in the birdwatching industry. Find tips, tricks, and everything you need to know in order to stay concealed, get and use the best gear, and get the most out of your birding hobby. Birdwatching Daily is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.
A collaborative effort between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society, eBird provides an online checklist and database where anyone can report their bird sightings, as well as other useful bits of data. Any interested party can consult the database, which is a useful tool for researchers, scientists, and enthusiasts. eBird is also on Facebook and Twitter.
Feederwatch blogger Lauren Smith talks about the interesting method Bluejays follow to clean their meals.
Phys.org's Katherin Mcalpine writes about how a high-tech birdwatching project is going to benefit the aircraft of the future.
Fauna-flora.org's Sarah Rakowski reports on the decision of two UK-based companies to switch from using plastic to using biodegradable paper in their products in an effort to reduce the negative impact on wildlife and the environment when discarded.
In this feature story, academy award-winning actor, humanitarian, and WWF Ambassador Jared Leto gives a moving speech on poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.
Audubon.org's Erica Cirino writes about the damaging repercussions of endangering pollinator species in the wild.
Most people enjoy birds for the calm, visual beauty they 'paint' into the environment. However, what they truly mean to us and to the world is far more important than you'd think!
Nature can be tricky to understand – it’s definitely ruthless, and completely overwhelming to the uninitiated. And yet, one can’t help but wonder at all the amazing things it has to offer to those who know what to look for. For all its brutal aspects, nature has a unique balance to it, a balance that we as a species strive to achieve and yet, despite all our technological advancements, we seldom do so. In short, nature is perfect – perfect in a way that everything that happens within the limits of its many ecosystems have a purpose. Nothing is coincidental; each and every animal, plant, and insect has its own role to play, and if said role were to be interrupted by anything (i.e., human activity), the ecosystem could be thrown out of balance.
One of the most important contributors to the balance of nature in any given ecosystem – and the main protagonists of this article – are birds. These feathery friends of ours do a lot of things for us, from keeping the populations of some types of nasty bugs from getting too large, to cleaning the streets of things that we sometimes throw out. But some species of birds have an especially important role to play: helping with the process we've come to know as pollination.
Pollination is the method through which the pollen of a plant is transferred onto the female reproductive organ of another plant, prompting the fertilization, reproduction, and proliferation of many flowers, trees, and plants. Around 10% of pollination occurs naturally, without the aid of a third party carrier such as an insect or bird; this is called abiotic pollination and mostly involves the wind – or water in some aquatic plant species – carrying the pollen from one plant to the other. And although this process of self-pollination is incredible in itself, the vast majority of plant reproduction is performed by insects such as bees and wasps, some species of bats, as well as some types of birds.
Pollination is extremely important, not only to ensure the longevity of flowers and trees in the wild, but because most of our crops are dependent on proper pollination to thrive and bear fruit. But for all their importance, it seems that there are less and less pollinators in the wild every day. The truth of the matter is that 16.5% of the bird and mammal pollinator populations, such as bats, marsupials, monkeys, etc. are threatened with extinction, and more than 40% of pollinator insects such as bees and butterflies too, are on the verge of extinction.
The loss of these species of pollinators definitely has a huge impact on the ecosystem, and has significant repercussions on our way of life. You see, we don’t rely on our crops solely for food and sustenance; crops are also important for other purposes, such as medicine, biofuel, fibers, and for use in a variety of crafts and construction. While bees and other insects bear most of the burden of pollination, there are around 2,000 species of birds that also help with this arduous task, and these are also suffering because of human interference. It is believed that one leading cause of the disappearance of avian pollinators is the rampant use of pesticides, which kill most insects that birds feed on, prompting them to migrate or to outright die of starvation.
The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) is a task force created for the conservation of ecosystems and all of the plants and animals that reside within these. They are the ones responsible for releasing these somber reports, which have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Department of Agriculture to work on a White House Mandate which could – with luck – help protect nature’s pollinators with a variety of activities and efforts, such as actively monitoring their population and formulating plans to protect them from the effects of pesticides.
You can chip in too – If you want to help boost the population of pollinators, all you have to do is plant flowers that will attract them and be extra-careful when using pesticides on your gardens. The future of our feathered friends is in our hands; we must take action if we are to secure a brighter future for all the pollinating species out there.
Will you join the cause?
About the Author: Juan López is a freelance writer living in Venezuela, and offers all sorts of writing services to any interested parties. You may contact him at his personal email firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook.
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