A whole bunch of reasons why birds matter

January 28th, 2010 · by Garrison Frost


For some time now, Audubon California has been making the argument that birds matter, and we’ve used a lot of facts and ideas to back that up. Here are a few of the ones we use. We’re going to be putting these and more together on our website in the near future. If you’ve got any ideas, we’d love to see them. The best will be added to our website as well.

  1. Nearly 6 million Californians consider themselves birders or birdwatchers, as do about 48 million Americans overall. (Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
  2. One of the most enduring symbols of our country is a bird, the Bald Eagle.
  3. Birds are one of the best indicators of environmental health – healthy native bird populations signal a healthy ecology.
  4. Humans have a fascination with birds that goes back thousands of years across nearly every culture.
  5. Birds are the one form of wildlife that nearly everyone encounters every day.
  6. Birds are an important part of California’s natural identity – right up there with redwoods, beaches, and Half Dome.
  7. More than 600 bird species call California home.
  8. There are more than 10,000 species of birds in the world, more than mammals (about 5,000) and reptiles (about 8,000).
  9. California contains 145 Important Bird Areas, essential habitat that must be protected to sustain our state’s bird populations.
  10. Because of their popularity, birds provide a terrific doorway to learning about the natural world.
  11. Birders pump about $38 billion into the U.S. economy each year, producing about 671,000 jobs. If you include indirect and induced contributions to the economy, the value rises to about $82 billion. (Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Categories: Audubon California · Nature education and activities

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Alison Sheehey

    The Friends of the Kern River Preserve will hold a free Beginning Bird Watching workshop on Saturday, February 6, 2010 from 9 a.m. -11 a.m.

    Birds are one of the most fascinating groups in the animal kingdom. Magical jewels that fill our lives’ with movement and color. This will be an interactive workshop that will be in three parts.
    1. Binocular use (please bring you binoculars if you have them… we have some to share if you don’t own a pair). Many people find it frustrating to see through binoculars. There are four simple yet critical steps to make it a joyous experience. You will be taken through these steps.
    2. Watching birds and seeing field marks are two different things. Many of us learn to see the whole bird and put a name on it. That works but takes a long time. Learn how to observe different parts of birds to create the whole picture and then use a field guide to find that bird.
    3. After learning how to use a field guide… take a walk with an expert, learn birding etiquette and get help identifying any species seen.

  • Betsy S. Franz

    Their song soothes the soul.