Birds as Food
Birds are an important food source for humans. The most commonly
eaten species is the domestic chicken and its eggs, although geese,
pheasants, turkeys, and ducks are also widely eaten. Other birds
that have been utilized for food include emus, ostriches, pigeons,
grouse, quails, doves, woodcocks, songbirds, and others, including
small passerines such as finches. Birds grown for human consumption
are referred to as Poultry.
At one time swans and flamingos were delicacies of the rich and
powerful, although these are generally protected now.
Many species have become extinct through over-hunting, such as
the Passenger Pigeon, and many others have become endangered or
extinct through habitat destruction, deforestation and intensive
agriculture being common causes for declines.
Birds such as chickens and turkeys are regularly farm-raised for
slaughter and commercial sale, although in the early days of farming
and domestication, the poultry population was carefully monitored.
A human family depended upon eggs and fowl not just as a staple
of their daily diet (both for meat and eggs), but for their feathers
(to fill mattresses and pillows) and for trade of the same with
other farmers and settlers.
Although we rely on birds as food just as much today, commercial
farmers raise the birds in far greater numbers than was once possible,
and finding eggs or poultry is never any further than the closest
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