Birds as Learning Tools

Birds are a great learning tool for investigating the environment, how people influence the environment and how we can manage the environment more sustainably.

Birds Eye View of the Landscape

By taking a ‘birds eye view’ of the landscape (using an aerial photo or Google Earth Map), it will help you to begin to appreciate the different land-uses surrounding your backyard garden, local park or school grounds. It will help you to assess if there is bird habitat nearby and provide clues about what types of birds you might be able to attract and encourage in your backyard garden or local school. You might even want to provide habitat for threatened and endangered birds in your community (see Birds as Indicators Case Study – Birds and the Law). A ‘birds eye view’ can also help you to identify the stakeholders responsible for land management in your area who you might be able to collaborate with, to create larger spaces for birds in your neighbourhood. The more habitat you create, the better for birds.

When you take a ‘birds eye view’ you might be amazed at how the different land uses influence the local ecology. It will also provide some perspective on the scale and types of natural resources we use in everyday living (concrete and bitumen for roads, timber and steel for houses etc) which come from the earth and the ecology of natural areas. These natural spaces also help to provide clean air and water and breakdown our waste. It is where we get our food and medicines from and these things together are sometimes referred to as ecosystem services.  It reminds us that we need to balance our needs for constructing built environments with retaining natural spaces to ensure we create a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.

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