As we have had a particularly difficult winter, which has lasted right up to the month of May more or less, the return of the songbirds is even more welcome. Thankfully there are now some insects to eat as well. Modern farm methods don’t really take the birds into much account, which is so wrong. It’s just wrong!
Apart from their beauty and song, birds are part of the intricate web of life we didn’t make, and which we disrupt at our peril! Just like the insects which so many dread. The mosquito and the black fly I could do without, but I don’t think the birds could! Which is another benefit they bring, the devouring of vicious insects, everything from blood-sucking flies to spruce budworms and the grubs which destroy the crops.
If a farm had a songbird management plan, farms would look different. Hedgerows would return for example. One reason the hedgerows are often ripped out is to make the fields bigger, which accommodates larger machinery. Which is supposed to translate into efficiency. I would say there is a huge cost to that kind of efficiency. One book I’m currently reading is The Market Gardener by Jean-Martin Fortier. It’s an eye-opener as to how two or three people can earn a very good living intensively working very small-scale farm operation–all while using methods which build the soil instead of tearing it down. I’ll be doing a book review on it later!