Date: 3/16/17 10:31 am
From: Jerry Davis <jwdavis...>
Subject: Re: Birds and Spiders - Spiders eat astronomical numbers of Insects - A Note
Thanks for your insight. Research has shown that 40% of the population has a utilitarian attitude toward wildlife and natural resources and only 13% have an ecologistic attitude toward wildlife. Very few are willing to give up progress motivated by greed to support a healthy system and our natural resources.

Jerry W. Davis
Hot Springs, AR

From: Donald C. Steinkraus
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 12:11 PM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: Re: Birds and Spiders - Spiders eat astronomical numbers of Insects - A Note

Spiders are indeed important in the ecology of our terrestrial ecosystems. But, all spiders are carnivores, and primarily need insects and other arthropods to eat.

It is my observation that insects are declining in numbers. I attribute this to a number of factors. Homo sapiens is have a drastic impact by our activities, particularly, so-called "development" and "progress". In NW AR we are seeing this more and more. Farmland, natural areas, are being converted into houses, malls, highways, chem lawns, exotic plants in the landscape, pesticide treated areas, asphalt, concrete, warehouses, everywhere.

A healthy ecosystem is full of native plants, free of pesticides, many insects, and the creatures that depend on them, the spiders and birds.

The question is: who will slow and stop "development", the crush of humanity upon the Earth?


From: The Birds of Arkansas Discussion List <ARBIRD-L...> on behalf of Janine Perlman <jpandjf...>
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2017 11:50:47 AM
To: <ARBIRD-L...>
Subject: Re: Birds and Spiders - Spiders eat astronomical numbers of Insects - A Note

That's terrific information, Jerry. Birds specifically choose spiders because their nestlings require them. Insects are deficient in taurine, which is required by nestlings for normal neurodevelopment.
Spiders, on the other hand, are rich in taurine, and are thus necessary for successful propagation of our native avian species.


On 3/16/2017 11:19 AM, Jerry Davis

This article brings up a point that I have not made in a while which deals with birds, native plants and native insects. A good indicator for the habitat health of your yard is whether it supports spiders. If there are not enough insects to support spiders or you have bathed your yard in pesticides to eliminate such, it is probably of little value to birds. If you do not see evidence of spiders by webs, burrows, and on your plants you do not have a healthy system to support birds. Those that observe their nest boxes will see birds feeding spiders to their young. Those with acrophobia need to get control of it and let insects and spiders thrive for the birds.

Jerry W. Davis
Hot Springs, AR
Study: Spiders eat astronomical numbers of bugs


Spiders eat about 440 million to 880 million tons of insects and other pests each year, according to a new study. That’s equal to the weight of more than 85 million elephants.

That’s a lot of bugs.

Put another way, all humans together consume an estimated 440 million tons of meat and fish annually. Whales feed on 300 million to 550 million tons of seafood, while the world’s total seabird population eats an estimated 77million tons of fish and other seafood.

The study, published in the

European journal The Science of Nature, is the first to make such a global estimate of spiders’ eating habits.

Most spiders, of which there are about 45,000 species, are found in forests, grasslands and shrub lands, followed by croplands, deserts, urban areas and tundra areas.

The ravenous appetite of spiders keeps countless insect pests, especially in forests and grassland, in check. The spiders serve to protect plants and trees by eating the bugs that would feed on them, according to study lead author Martin Nyffeler of the University of Basel in Switzerland.

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