Birds help lichen grow

This video from England says about itself:

Murmuration of starlings coming together to roost. Filmed Nov 2009 on the A69 a few miles west of Haydon Bridge, Northumberland.

Translated from Vroege Vogels radio in the Netherlands:

Lichen loves poop

Ecologist Peter Bremer discovered it by accident: some lichen species like starlings. The droppings of the birds cause some ammonia-loving lichen species to really like roofs used by starlings as a resting place or a singing spot.

Common orange lichen benefits

Especially the common orange lichen (Xanthoria parietina) benefits from the bird droppings. Peter Bremer did his research in a Zwolle neighbourhood, full of houses with concrete tiles. These are ideal for investigation of the relationship between lichens and songbirds. Concrete is a more suitable substrate for lichens than ceramics. Also on the chimneys common orange lichen was found. In the district where Bremer did his research 14 different bird species used the roofs. But starlings were really the most prominent.


18 thoughts on “Birds help lichen grow

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