Blackbirds with a brood

This handsome male blackbird has the right idea. Nutritious invertebrates are what a growing chick needs to make bone and sinew and muscle.

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

This female, though, has other ideas. Humans are incredibly wasteful of resources and there is food scattered over the streets. We’ve become so dominant that a large part of our wildlife is now tamelife instead, and dependent upon humans for waste or deliberate feeding.

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I hope the chicks thrive on this. The UK is the fifth richest country in the world. The UK has the second highest rate of obesity in Europe. Yet one in ten children in the UK are living with adults who report experiencing severe food insecurity (UNICEF, 2017). That means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

The Food Foundation’s Malnutrition Briefing says:

“Although diseases such as scurvy and rickets have largely disappeared in the UK, significant numbers of people have marginal vitamin and mineral status indicative of deficiencies. Sixteen per cent of women are iron deficient while more than 10% of men and women have low levels of vitamin D and vitamin B6. Much of this is due to poor diets, which, while energy rich, are deficient
in some essential nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are required in the body for a wide range of functions including maintenance of healthy red blood cells, connective tissue and the nervous system, protection of cells from antioxidants, absorption and utilisation of nutrients, protein processing and DNA synthesis. They are essential for the normal growth and development of children. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can occur in both people who are overweight and in people who don’t have enough to eat.”

The same is true of birds.

Blackbird - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I suspect they may be nutritionally deprived.

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