Friday, September 28, 2007

Polly Want a Cracker?

Urbanization has often had effects on human population growth. However, it seems now that it is also having an effect on certain species of birds. A recent study showed that urbanization has actually had a positive effect on some species of birds. Not only do they readily adapt to the surroundings, they tend to do better in urban areas than rural areas.

Just last year I, myself, studied the interaction between Blue Jays and House Sparrows in different environments. Feeders were placed in rural, suburban, and urban areas. I observed the species of bird that regularly visited the feeder and noted its behavior. My results showed that Blue Jays dominated the rural feeders and even fought off incoming House Sparrows. The results were quite different in the urban area, however, where House Sparrows thrived and dominated. I came to a conclusion that House Sparrows did not feel threatened by the presence of humans and almost took advantage of that presence.

So you must ask yourself, is urbanization having a positive or negative effect on animal species? Are the behaviors of other animals changing in direct correlation to human behavior? Is there anything we can do? If this is true, what would you do?

Posted by Katrina Francescone (1).

(Professor, I could not figure out how to do the bold and italics on my Mac-it says to press Ctrl with B or I so theres no button. I will fix it.)


At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I definitely believe animals are becoming more "urbanized". I know at the last school I was at there were tons of squirrels. They were all quite large and friendly. They would walk right up to you and eat out of your hand. Also, I live in a suburb and occasionally see deer running through the backyards. One time a mother deer ran too far ahead of her baby and the baby was just sitting in the middle of the road. I got out of my car to "shoo" it out of the way. Instead of running away from me it just walked right over to me and was sticking its head in my car door. But people don’t always welcome these “urbanized”, friendly animals. There seems to be quite a few negative sides to this. I've noticed more and more animals hit by cars. It's really sad that they're losing their homes due to urbanization. There is an overpopulation of a lot of animals and not enough places to live. In a lot of places, food left out by humans is the best way for an animal to eat. Unfortunately, raccoons and rodents have been known to spread diseases, which could be negative towards humans too. This article definitely gives you something to think about. Great article.

Chrissy McConville

At 10:01 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I feel that humans are having a direct impact on animals. Take for instance the problem with bears getting into people's trash, and now they have figured out how to get into people's houses!? Well, that's due to us humans thinking we rule the world and that whatever is out there is ours for the taking, and we meddle with everything and anything we can get our hands on. Well now, after all these years of turning forest into housing for us, how do we give back to the bears? Where do they go now? This is only one of the many species we are affecting and we need to figure out how to stop it.
Posted by Jennifer McGrath

At 11:16 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I believe that animals are definately becoming more "urbanized". I've noticed more and more animals coming up to people for food. Example: squirrels on college campuses, deer in backyards. Unfortunately, due to our overbuilding we are causing the destruction of homes for animals. There is an overpopulation of animals compared to living space. That's probably why they've become so "friendly". They're running out of feeding options. This has led to more dead animals on the side of the road. With animals coming so close and into our garbage, garage, etc. it could lead to spreading of diseases among humans. Over "urbanization" doesn't seem to have many positive aspects for animals. Definately something to think about.

Posted by:
Chrissy McConville

At 11:18 PM, Blogger PWH said...

I am not surprised that birds act different when they are put in different enviornments and surroundings. I think that birds would be more territorial when in rural and surburban surroundings because they are less threatened by humans there. In the city, there are noting but humans and less space for birds to nest with thier young so they probably feel threatened and less dominering.
Posted by Valerie Hines

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous pwh said...

I thought this blog was interesting. There are many pros and cons of animals moving into urban areas. A pro could be that it is asthetically pleasing for some. A con being is that animals are becoming people friendly, and sometimes depending on them for survival.

Posted by Marielle Livesey


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