- from Birds
Birds touch us as few other animals do.
We watch a falcon soar up in the sky, and something soars within us too. We listen to a sparrow’s song, and it’s hard to keep from whistling back.
What makes birds so special? There are other animals, such as bats and bees, that have wings, but birds rule the airways. The secret to their success is feathers, which all 9,700 or so species of birds have. No other animal has feathers.
Birds are vital to our existence. About 9 billion chickens and 248 million turkeys become meals each year in the United States. But it’s not just the birds we eat that are important. Birds play a big part in the natural control of insects and in the spreading of seeds. Some birds are important pollinators of flowering plants. All 50 states have their own official bird, and the bald eagle reigns as our national bird.
Birds can be found around the world—and in movies, books, and art. When you think of all the ways birds influence humans, the sky really is the limit.