Said to represent new beginnings, freedom, and vision, birds are deeply embedded in human culture. Birds not only provide us with inspiration and song on a spring morning, but they also carry out important ecological functions most of us take for granted.
Among these critical services are pest control, seed dispersal, and pollination, all necessary elements for food production and ecosystem health. And yet, due to a combination of factors including habitat loss, pesticide usage, and increasingly volatile weather patterns, global bird populations are steadily declining.
Grassland birds in particular have suffered the biggest population decline of any terrestrial biome, largely because of the conversion of fertile grasslands into farmland. Luckily, changing the way we farm from an extractive model to a regenerative one can reverse the damage and create wildlife-friendly farmland for generations to come.
3 Reasons Why Farmers Need Birds More Than Ever
Natural Pest Control: Birds feed on pesky insects and rodents who destroy crops and spread diseases to humans and livestock. Despite not using pesticides, studies show regenerative farms have significantly less pests and more beneficial insects than conventional farms.
Pollination: Although we usually think about bees and butterflies, we can’t forget our feathered friends. Pollination is an integral part of food production, one we wouldn’t survive without. Some plants have even evolved so that they’re only able to be pollinated by birds.
Recreation: Birds are popular with birdwatchers, ecotourists, and hunters. They provide people with joy and food as well as additional revenue streams.
From Pasture to Sky: How Regenerative Beef is Saving Bird Habitat
Although you may initially find it hard to believe animal agriculture, particularly raising cattle, is a viable solution to many of the issues facing bird populations today, think again. Grazing ruminants like cattle, bison, and sheep are inextricably linked to grassland, forest, and wetland restoration. Grasslands actually need animals to flourish.
In the most basic sense, a grazing herd fertilizes and aerates the soil by trampling old plant matter, manure, and urine into the ground. All the while they feed on native grasses, inedible for humans, effectively transforming them into nutrient-dense and bioavailable animal protein.
When pastures are grazed responsibly, they’re allowed a period of rest and regrowth. Living plant roots continuously store carbon, improve water filtration and storage, build soil, and mitigate the negative effects of erosion, flooding, and drought. When we shift to regenerative animal agriculture on grasslands around the world, we restore bird habitat by working with nature instead of against it.
5 Ways Regenerative Animal Agriculture Boosts Bird Conservation
Avoids Bird Habitat Destruction: Unlike conventional animal agriculture, which often relies on clear-cutting forests and destroying wetlands to make way for grazing or feedlots, regenerative animal agriculture prioritizes the protection of natural habitat.
Conserves and Creates Bird Habitat: Part of what makes regenerative agriculture so unique is that we employ holistic land management strategies to leave the land better than we found it. Through conservation initiatives we create more habitat for birds, monarch butterflies, and native plant species, while producing nutritious foods.
Reduces Pollution: How we choose to grow our food inland affects our oceans. All of our regenerative farms are free from pesticides, fertilizers, and hormones. We do this because birds rely on wetlands, coastal waters, ponds, rivers, and streams for breeding, nesting, social interactions, and rearing their young. Fertilizer runoff creates massive dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico which are inhospitable for migrating birds.
Grass-fed & Finished: Almost 80% of the global soybean crop is used to feed livestock. That plus the rising demand for commodities like beef and seed oils drives deforestation and illegal logging operations throughout the world’s forests. Considering nearly two-thirds of bird species live in the tropics, buying 100% grass-fed and finished beef from regenerative American farms like REP Provisions allows you to actively vote against two of the largest contributors to bird habitat loss.
Transparent Supply Chains: Localized direct-to-consumer supply chains like ours provide transparency, quality assurance, and more power in the hands of farmers and consumers. Know your farmer, know your impact.
Fly to Action: How You Can Protect Our Feathered Friends
- A French explorer and conservationist once said, “You can’t save what you don’t love, and you can’t love what you don’t know.” In that spirit, go outside, visit a local park, nature preserve, or even stroll around your neighborhood, and get to know the birds in your own backyard.
Go regenerative and support conservation efforts. We partner with the Audubon Society as a part of their Conservation Ranching Initiative to verify our beef products as bird-friendly. When you shop our verified regenerative meats you’re choosing clean water, fresh air, living soil, and healthy animals as a part of a balanced and sustainable diet.
- Every spring and fall thousands of birds undertake epic migrations and need places to rest and refuel. Make your backyard bird-friendly by planting native species, providing nesting boxes, installing a bird bath, or making a DIY bird feeder. Oh, and ditch the pesticides and fertilizers.
- Help us spread the word and make a difference by sharing this blog post with your friends and family. Together, we can raise awareness about the importance of regenerative animal agriculture in restoring bird habitat and promoting a sustainable future for generations to come.