Birds are considered as one of the indicators of environment as they are sensitive to habitat change. Birds are known for its diversity in their bright colors, distinct voice (calls).
Birds act as an important factor of biodiversity. Role to spread seeds result in plant dispersal results in increasing the forest cover. Likewise the role of birds as a pollinator plays an important role in fertilization and seed of many plants and trees (Eg. Humming Bird carries pollens from one tree to the other with its beak). We all know birds are flying creatures with various colored feathers.
Are we aware of the fact that birds eat insects and keeps pest in control naturally? Yes birds often act as an Army at the border to protect the nation. Birds in its glide, consume hundreds of insects, many of which are considered as pests. Birds consume insects such as mosquitoes, beetles and moths to feed themselves and feed their young ones. Birds catch huge numbers of insects in their larval form, which are high in protein. Without birds, life would have turned miserable as many insects feed on plant and animals (from grains to human blood). Hence birds play a critical role in reducing and maintaining populations of insects in natural systems.
In a paddy field, the role of birds in pest control is enormous. Due to chemical version of agricultural practices, the network of birds in the paddy ecosystem has reduced. But we have scope of bring back the lost biodiversity.
Use of organic manures like farm yard manures (decomposed animal and plant wastes from a farm) to fields not only adds nutrients, improved the micro climate to multiply microbes and soil borne organisms like earthworms. Soil with rich micro-flora and fauna results in good quality soil (biological, physical and chemical properties). In due course of time the lost biodiversity can be rejuvenated.
Placing stumps of Palm or Coconut trees as bird’s perch in Paddy field have resulted in such a thing. Bird’s perch is a place made available for the birds who love to eat insect. Birds have a feast satisfying its appetite from the paddy field and in return keep harmful insect in control. If enough bird’s perch are provided it acts like a warrior on duty. Cranes on the other hand do not need bird’s perch to do the military role, thanks a lot for the long legs they have.
In one of my field visit in Nedungadu village of Karaikal District, U.T of Puducherry, I found fields with bird’s perch. One field had many and found birds like King Crow, Black Bulbul, Mynas and sparrows sitting on the perches and feed on the larvae. This act greatly reduces the cost of pest control for the farmer and gives SAFE FOOD to people.
Birds are a part of the WEB OF LIFE. Each part of the web of life has a crucial role to play. When such interaction of biodiversity happens, the need for pesticides ceases and paves way for Organic Farming and GREENER TOMORROW.