London, April 16: If you are living in a crowded urban area, there are more chances for you to see birds that cause nuisance than those that make us genuinely happy, says a study.
People in crowded urban areas — especially poor areas — see fewer songbirds such as tits and finches and more potential “nuisance” birds such as pigeons, magpies and gulls, showed the results based on extensive bird surveys across three towns in England
“For most people, birds provide their most common encounter with wild animals,” said one of the researchers, Daniel Cox of University of Exeter in Britain.
“Understanding the relationship between the numbers of birds and people is important for how we manage nature and wildlife in towns and cities to promote positive nature experiences, while minimising the potential for conflict,” Cox added.
For the study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, the researchers examined ratios of birds-to-people and found areas of high-density housing have fewer birds overall — and the birds people do see are just as likely to cause a nuisance as to make them happy.
People in green and leafy suburbs see up to three and a half times more songbirds and woodpeckers — which are associated with a positive impact on human wellbeing — than birds whose behaviours can cause a nuisance, the findings showed.
Previous research has suggested that people living in neighbourhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.
“We are not saying that all individuals of species such as pigeons, gulls, crows and magpies cause problems — many will provide people with positive experiences — but the behaviours of some individuals of these species can cause problems, such as noise, mess and smell,” Cox said.
“Many people have different favourite birds, of course, but some species are more popular than others and we all benefit from having species that we perceive positively nearby,” added Gavin Siriwardena of the British Trust for Ornithology. (IANS)