Birds play vital roles in ecosystems. Many plants depend on birds to spread their seeds, and some plants rely on hummingbirds for pollination. Birds are also essential for insect control, as they consume large quantities of mosquitoes, caterpillars, beetles and moths.
Birds are also vitally important as a food source for people. Chickens, turkeys, duck and geese are raised in large numbers for their meat and eggs. In 2014, the average American consumed 60 pounds of chicken meat. In 2013, the average American consumed around 248 eggs. In 2012, the average American consumed 16 pounds of turkey meat, and turkeys were the preferred meat to be served at most major holidays.
Birds also bring great enjoyment to people. Bird watching is a popular recreational activity, and billions of dollars are spent each year on bird seed for wild birds.