About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, July 8, 2013

How birds disperse seeds

You’ve waited patiently all summer for the the fruit on your plants to ripen. Tomorrow they will be at their peak for picking. Then in the morning you discover you’ve been hit by Berry Thieves! If the fruit is ready, a variety of birds can pick a tree or bush clean in a day.

Fruit grows on trees, bushes, climbing plants and on shrubs and several species of birds love them. Purple mulberry splats decorate the sidewalk as the berry season begins in mid-Michigan and as the season progresses so does the color of splats. For birds, the range of fruit and the extended length of the season during which various types become available provides many songbirds a nourishing lifeline year round.

The quest for survival has led plants to develop delicious and ingenious ways of making the animal world compete in sending their seeds out to new lands. The yummy, bright colored, vitamin packed, flesh of the fruit conceals and protects the seed within. Birds and berries are a remarkable example of Mother Nature in action. Birds eat the produce and spread the precious seeds contained in the berry over a wide area. They extract or excrete the undigested seeds enabling the plant to grow and spread.

There is no doubt that plants are one of the world's most successful life forms. They are able to survive in virtually every environment imaginable, from the driest deserts to the wettest jungles. There are even tough “weeds” poking up through the cracks in the cement. Plants evolved countless methods of producing and spreading seeds. So don’t blame the birds for stealing all the fruit. They are being used in Mother Nature's master plan to spread tiny packages of genetic material across the land to ensure the survival of her planet of plants.

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