So how exactly does this work?
Just like mice and bugs, wild birds live prolifically alongside humans in very "unnatural" ecosystems. The thing is that in these locations you don't really have all the natural predators that would be there in nature to keep the bird population in check, so does this mean that with birds pretty much having free rein over these areas with so much abundance and little to no threats that they are in a constant state of mass starvation due to having the freedom to overbreed? Or am I missing something on what's keeping these bird populations contained? It's pretty weird to think about when we tend to think of these critters leading a pretty chill life harmoniously just singing and flying around. How do you even begin to understand these broken systems that are so far removed from the way the species evolved? Do they even have any important ecological value or would they be better off gone in the way we also think of rodents in urban areas as pests?
If I cut off the trees on my backyard what happens to the birds that usually hang out there?
They will go to the next best thing to find food like larvae and aphids, places to nist or to sing from.
>would they be better off gone in the way we also think of rodents in urban areas as pests?
They don't go after our stored food anywhere near as aggressively as rodents(sans a few exceptions) nor are they as stealthy or fast breeding. Plus not as much zoonoses from them. A rat bites you that's straight to the hospital an urban bird pecks you(far more uncommon, again theyre less aggressive) and it may not even break the skin. Not to mention that by nature they segregate themselves from our space via flight and nesting uphigh so contact is even less likely to occcur.
In short no, there's no real reason to treat urban birds as pests in the same way rodents are.
Squirrels and chipmunks and I think some other birds like blue jays will eat baby birds.
Outdoor cats are fucking insane predators, some places actively have to seek out and hunt strays because they damage local bird populations so badly. One outdoor cat can knock up a dozen strays in a week and creat a multitude of fully grown urban predators inside of a year.
>How do you even begin to understand these broken systems that are so far removed from the way the species evolved?
Pidgeons evolved specifically to live in gray rocky crowded places, thats why they love concrete cities so much, besides humans have been making big settlements for a long time, many species have adapted specifically to city life as well
Birds definitely have predators in urban areas like the one in your image - foxes, coyotes, raccoons, and of course other birds. You just don’t see them because they’re almost all nocturnal hunters.
>Do they even have any important ecological value
They eat bugs, tons of bugs. And it's also the limit of their "freedom to overbreed", the ecosystem equalizes itself, no bugs no fuck.
>or am I missing something on what's keeping these bird populations contained?
The rise of the barren, no maintenance concrete tile wastelands for "gardens" does that pretty well where I live tbqh.
I really hate this trend. My neighbors put these in thinking that it'd be maintenance free, and what that has translated to is they have a dirty stone backyard they never clean and is absolutely covered in dead leaves and moss.
Why do people like this buy houses on land?
Is this Dutch?
Here's some more maintenance free glory. The "grass" top left is artificial btw. Wouldn't want some disgusting nature in my yard, now would I? Seriously though, everybody involved in what took place in the before and after images deserves to be gunned down.
do the yellow car plates indicate this is in Britain?
This is in Swamp Germany. We have yellow plates as well.
Oh boy it's spreading like cancer.
plates in Britain are white on the front and yellow on the back, brush up your geoguessr knowledge
Actually nightmarish. Cities should exist purely for working, not living.
Off the top of my head there are a few things that contribute:
A) Obviously not every kind of bird benefits from an urban environment. Animals like herons or phesants don't thrive there. The environment humans tend to create around them is beneficial for some and not for others.
Humans, at least here in the US, populate suburban areas with numerous well-spaced trees and short grass lawns. Robins and the like can live in the tree relatively unperturbed and hunt bug and worms easily in the short grass. Some birds of prey benefit from so many wide open spaces where rodants have nowhere to hide.
In truly urban, downtown environments, you're more likely to see hardy scavangers like crows and sparrows. They thrive here in part specifically because other animals DON'T, and they therefore have less competition for fallen french fries.
Starlings are EXTREMELY common in the US but are not native, they were intorduced by a misguided but well-meaning naturalist from Europe along with many other birds and the pressures selected for them to suceed because they are particularly well-adapted to these environments
B) Many of these species are migratory, so they only have to put up with the urban environment for part of the year
C) We like them. We put up birdhouses, bird feeders, birdbaths etc. to attract them to our yards
As for whether birds have important ecogical value, absolutely. They're a food source for many predators and they transport seeds long distances at the very least
>you don't really have all the natural predators
*blocks you're path*
>Or am I missing something on what's keeping these bird populations contained?
Inections. Urban bird populations have higher densities than wild ones so their overbreeding gets stunted every now and then by a virus shared at feeding sites and bird baths.
But some still fear that their excess numbers just spill out of towns an push the species that can't get used to humans even futher back into the last places without our presence.
No path blocked. With cats, rats, raccoons, matens, birds of prey an so on they do have lots of predators and with the increased urban densities even more individuals of those than in natural environments. But they still have less impact. See the predation paradox of urbanisation.
>A) Obviously not every kind of bird benefits from an urban environment.
This. Birds that need swamps or meadows to breed or eat nothing but insects have a really hard time living close to human settlements.
Cats keep so much shit that actually predates on birds out of the picture. Rats, ferrets and other mustelids. If cats are around those aren't. And cats don't pursue birds nests.
Cats don’t control any of those especially not weasels which themselves attack cats. The greatest they can manage is a 20% reduction in rat reproduction, but the population is ever-growing.
Look, you didn't had to BTFO me this fast. A ferret would probably kill a cat lmao I underestimated that fact.
Still, some birds benefict a lot from cities and whatnot, we provide them good nesting places, bird seeds and bread crumbs so they can shit in our cars.