- from Birds
Birds touch us as few other animals do.
We watch a falcon soar high up in the sky, and something soars within us, too. We listen to a sparrow’s song, and it can be hard to stop ourselves from whistling in reply.
What makes birds so special? Other animals, including bats and bees, also have wings, but birds rule the airways. The secret to their success is feathers, which all 9,700 or so species of birds possess and no other animal has.
Birds are vital to our existence. About 9 billion chickens and 248 million turkeys get turned into meals each year in the United States. But it’s not just the birds we eat that are important to us. Birds play an important part in the natural control of insects and in the dispersal 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 they also appear in movies, books, and art. When you think of all the ways that birds influence human beings, the sky really is the limit.