The Birds and the Bees

PHOTO CREDIT: M. Walters, University of Canterbury

Like bees, birds are important plant pollinators. Scientists have provided evidence that declining bird populations have negatively impacted plant reproduction. They found that on islands where bird populations have dwindled, the density of Rhabdothamnus solandri shrubs (shown above from figure 1 of the article) have also declined. This was attributed to reduced pollination and seed production. The full article appears in Science Magazine.

This decline in both the birds and the bees could be devastating for plants around the world. Scientists have pointed towards viral and fungal infections as a possible culprit in the demise of bees, but what about birds? Why are their populations declining?


  1. #1 GregH
    May 24, 2011

    “Why are [bird] populations declining?”

    Is this a difficult question? Wouldn’t it be some combination of

    o habitat loss
    o hormone homolog contamination
    o general pollution
    o cars, being hit by
    o unregulated pesticide use in the southern hemisphere
    o regulated pesticide use in the north
    o particulate air pollution
    o interruption of migration routes by light pollution
    (just for starters)

    I could think of more, but it’s time for supper. I don’t mean to snark, and I don’t have any solutions. Am I wrong to think that there isn’t one proximate cause that we could point to and fix?

  2. #2 supratall
    May 26, 2011

    OK, I’ll come clean: this reminds me of an embarrassingly recent conversation with my materials science-trained boyfriend.

  3. #3 supratall
    May 26, 2011

    OK, I’ll come clean: this reminds me of an embarrassingly recent conversation with my materials science-trained boyfriend.

  4. #4 party bags
    May 27, 2011

    Birds are huge part of the environment. They are pollinators that are useful for the plants. It would be a cruel thing to see them decline in population.

  5. #5 desenler
    June 8, 2011

    Oaynen olmasada belli bir kısmalardan katılmak geririk. işte bu sonurarın çözümlerini arayanları oluşturmak için kurluana bir kurumdur o kurdanlardan razı olunsun.
    good desenler

  6. #6 double glazing
    June 16, 2011

    This is true. When I was still in my elementary years we have studied how important bees and birds in pollination in plants.

  7. #7 plumbing
    June 24, 2011

    Monitoring the life of plants is very important to know which animals, insects or animals is extinct. It is also very essential since all living creatures are very important to maintain the ecological balance of nature.

  8. #8 Metal Wall Art
    September 10, 2011

    In case you were wondering what this has to do with birds, bees or feeding the world, it’s because science is fundamental to conservation and food security. If open science helps advance our understanding of science and social science then it helps tackle these issues.

  9. #9 Double Glazing & Kitchens
    December 13, 2012

    This is so important to get to the bottom of this everything starts with the birds and bees and it effects the whole planet.