Birds

Birds Birds have been a part of human culture, in the broad sense of social behavior, customs and practices including but not limited to expressive forms such as art, music and religion, for thousands of years.

In terms of economic uses, birds have been hunted for food since Palaeolithic times. They have been captured and bred as poultry for use as food since at least the time of Ancient Egypt. Some species have been used, too, to help locate or to catch food, as with cormorant fishing and the use of honey guides. Feathers have long been used for bedding, as well as for quill pens and for fletching arrows. In terms of entertainment, raptors have been used in falconry, while cagebirds have been kept for their song. Other birds have been raised for the traditional sports of cockfighting and pigeon racing. Birdwatching, too, has grown to become a major leisure activity. Birds feature in a wide variety of artforms, including in paintings, sculpture, poetry and prose, music, ballet, film, and fashion. In certain cases, such as the bird-and-flower painting of China, birds are central to an artistic genre.