Insectivorous birds consume as much energy as NYC

A fledgling blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) eats beetle larva brought by its parents. Researchers recently found the world’s insectivorous birds have similar amounts of energy usage as New York. ©Maurice Baker

Insectivorous birds, which make up more than 6,000 species around the world, use as much energy as a megacity the size of New York, according to new research. In a study published in The Science of Nature, researchers found the birds consume 400 to 500 million tons of prey annually. They also found when all insectivorous birds are put together, they weigh a total of around 3 million tons. Based on the amount of prey they consume annually, the team found the birds consume about the same amount of energy as New York, which has a value of about 2.8 exajoules. Scientists say these birds are important and contribute to natural insect pest suppression.

Read more in Science Daily.