Supporting Birds Builds Biodiversity

How does attracting beneficial birds to a farm increase biodiversity and support the farm?

When farmers provide habitat for beneficial birds and bring them closer to crops, they are increasing their farm's pest control services. Birds help farmers keep pest insects, rodents and pest birds at bay.

Farmers can take advantage of these avian pest control services, and at the same time provide birds with habitat. It is mutually beneficial. 

The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial during nesting season because they feed large numbers of pest insects to their voracious nestlings. Many songbirds continue to be beneficial throughout the year. Those few species which may switch to more plant-based diets, form large flocks and become "pests" during crop harvests can be discouraged by alternating visual and sound scaring techniques.

Raptors like American Kestrels also can help. Increasing their presence with nest boxes reduces “pest” bird, rodent and insect numbers. Perches boost the number of these and other raptor species, many of which focus on rodent prey. A case in point – a pair of Barn Owls and their four nestlings eat about 3,500 rodents in a year.