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Archive for June, 2010

Bird Watching More Popular Than Snowmobiling

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Bird houses, or nesting boxes, as many people refer to them, are built for many reasons. The primary reason, of course, is to provide a home for many bird species. But, many people view them as art pieces as well. In fact, you’ll find many bird houses treated as art sculptures in many living and dining rooms across the nation. But another reason that many people build bird houses, especially crafty people, is that they simply enjoy the act of building them.

For example, prior to the practice of raising chickens and hens in pens as a food source, some societies built their early versions of bird structures to attract birds to their area. Then as the birds matured, the homeowners would regularly poach the bird houses and consume the birds as food. This doesn’t happen so much these days as the modern homeowner feels more comfortable in harvesting their birds (such as chicken, duck, turkey) from the local grocery store instead of an outdoor nesting area.

But birds have not only been used to feed us. From of earliest days of farming, they have been use as our allies as well. One of the primary food sources for birds are insects. Very early on, in the pre-pesticides era, farmers discovered that attracting birds that were the natural prey of many of the insects feeding off of their crops was a good way of protecting their foods. And even today, farmers who are intent on growing organic vegetables and fruits will often attract birds to their orchards and groves to control insect pests.

Birds and mankind have a long history of co-existing. Amateur naturalists have recorded the habits and adventures of their favorite local birds in their diaries since the earliest forms of drawing and writing. And this fascination with birds shows no signs of diminishing. Even today, bird watching or birding is one of the biggest hobbies in the United States. Over the course of a year, more people will be involved with bird watching activities than will be golfing, snowmobiling, or even sunbathing.

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