Birds live in trees because they have everything they need in one place. Other than nesting materials, trees provide food like bugs, berries, and seeds. Trees can also keep birds safe from predators.
What You'll Learn
Have you ever wanted to see a bird but had no luck finding one, only to turn around and see hundreds gathered around a single group of trees?
There’s a reason birds are always pictured sitting on tree branches. If you ever want to find a bird, the best place to look for one is in a tree.
At any given the time of day, birds of every size and type – big and small, nocturnal or diurnal – can be found in trees. Birds sing in trees, sit in trees, and fly to and from trees. They are always around trees.
But why exactly are they up there so often? How could they possibly spend so much of their time in trees, and why would they want to?
Trees Provide Safety
One of the big reasons birds are always in or around trees is the safety trees provide them. The number of predators that can reach birds and their babies decreases dramatically in tall trees, since most predators cannot climb trees to chase or surprise a bird.
Some predators like cats can climb trees to get to birds, but climbing up a tall tree puts the cat in plain view of the birds and makes it incredibly hard for the cat to defend itself. In contrast, the birds can freely attack and chase the cat away from their nests.
Other predators like foxes, coyotes, and weasels cannot get into the trees to get the birds, since they cannot climb.
Tall trees provide a high vantage point, too. Even if a predator climbs the trees looking for a bird, the birds in the trees above them could easily watch the predator. They could keep an eye on it no matter where it goes.
If a bird is ever on the ground and is attacked by a predator like a fox, the bird can also fly up into a nearby tree and wait in a safe place until the danger has passed, which often happens quickly when that predator realizes it has no chance of getting to the bird.
Their nests are also kept safe in trees, since most egg-stealing predators cannot get an egg out of a tree.
Trees also provide safety during bad weather. The branches of trees around a bird’s nest block wind, rain, and hail from reaching the birds, allowing them to stay mostly dry and warm.
The branches keeping out strong winds can also keep a bird’s eggs from being blown out of the nest.
Trees Provide Food
Another benefit of living in trees is easy access to food with very little competition. Birds enjoy the berries and fruits produced by many trees.
Since most other omnivores and herbivores have to wait for the berries and fruit to fall on the ground before they can eat them, birds get the first pick of all those berries and fruit while still hanging in the tree or bush.
The only competition for this food is other birds, but that is a lot less competition than there is for food on the ground.
Most birds eat bugs and insects as well, both of which are found around tree bases, trunks, and leaves. By living in trees, birds are placing themselves as close as possible to these bugs, giving them an easy, constant supply of quick food.
Trees Provide Nesting Material
The most practical reason for birds to live in trees is because trees are the perfect place for their nests. Not only does living high off the ground keep predators away, but it also gives them plenty of material to build their homes.
Most birds build their nests out of various sticks and leaves, both of which can be found in trees. All the bird needs to do is hop from branch to branch to find the twigs they want.
Some birds also live in holes in the trunk of trees, which keep them and their babies safe and provide them with a sturdy home.
Want to Find a Bird? Look At The Trees
If you ever want to find a bird, the best place to look is in the trees. Birds spend most of their lives in or around trees because they provide the birds with all the basic survival needs.
They give birds a place to build their nests, keep them safe from predators and weather, give them quick and easy food, and much more.
Most birds have everything they need in and around trees, so there is no reason for them to wander too far away. Trees are the perfect home for birds in every aspect.
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I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.