Admired and loved, hunted and eaten, caught and bred, mystified or understood, exterminated or protected.

There are about 10,350 species of birds on earth. Many of them have a special connection to humans and they are an integral part of our daily lives. Birds are also of great importance in symbolism, mythology and religion. Ravens and owls, for example, are symbols of wisdom, but, at the same time, they are feared as omens of misfortune and death.

Although birds are ubiquitous, many species are endangered. While the populations of some rare species, such as the crane or the white-tailed eagle, are rising thanks to conservation measures, the populations of some common birds are declining.  So the sparrow, finch and lark are increasingly coming under the focus of conservationists.

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