Date of this Version
From a purely practical point of view the most important of the relations of native birds to man are the economic. The esthetic value of birds is great, greater indeed than that of any other group of animals; and that this is a real and especially a treasured value is not to be denied. But it is in their relation to insect and other enemies of crops that birds are most directly associated with the welfare of mankind, and their value in this particular should be made as widely known as possible. This bulletin is one of a series designed to assist in doing this. Not all birds are beneficial, and all facts tending to show in which class each species belongs will be set forth. The useful kinds far outnumber the injurious, however, and so great is their value as insect destroyers in the United States that to them may be given the credit of being one of the greatest controlling factors in limiting the development of insect pests and in preventing many disastrous outbreaks. In the following pages are discussed the food habits and relation to agriculture of 23 species of birds common in the Southeastern States. The bulletin will be of general interest, but is especially applicable to the section shown by the shaded portion of the map on page 1.