You Would Not Believe How Many Insects Are Consumed Each Year By Birds

There exists many predatory insects that pose a serious threat to vulnerable insects, but insects rarely win fights with larger predators, mammalian or otherwise. Insects, due to their small size, do not stand a chance of survival against animals like birds. As far as insects are concerned, birds are a source of terror. Birds are a major consumer of insects, and scientists have recently determined the amount of insects that are consumed by birds in a year. You can imagine how much one single cricket or ant weighs, so imagine how many individual insects are contained within four hundred and fifty to five hundred and fifty tons of insects. This massive amount of insects are eaten every year by birds.

Four hundred and fifty to five hundred and fifty tons is roughly equal to twenty quadrillion individual bugs. This is a big number, and it is astonishing to learn that birds are responsible for consuming such a massive amount of bugs. This finding was uncovered by a study that focused on the ecological benefits that birds provide. Specifically, the role birds play in keeping plant and insect species under control. According to Martin Nyfeller, a scientist working for the University of Basel in Switzerland, birds and bugs, such as spiders and ants, contribute greatly to natural forms of insect pest control. The researchers were motivated to conduct this particular study in order to show the public how important birds are for controlling populations of undesirable insect pests. Other groups of predators, such as  bats, primates, shrews, hedgehogs, frogs, salamanders and lizards, are also valuable insect predators, but these particular animals are less effective at killing insect pests that consume plants. According to the researchers, all the birds in the world consume as much energy as a megacity, like New York, and this energy comes in the form of insects.

Do you believe that people should have a greater appreciation for the pest control services that many animals provide for humans?

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