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Why is it important to conserve birds? To those of us who watch and photograph birds, the answer to this question appears quite obvious. But if we look beyond their intrinsic value, birds have many functional roles in ecosystems. For example, scavenging birds like vultures and crows prevent the spread of disease by quickly consuming carrion. Birds also play a vital role in plant reproduction, through pollination and the spreading of seeds. And predatory birds like owls and raptors keep other animals, like rodents, in check. These are just a few of the many functions that birds have in our ecosystems, needless to say without birds our world would look very different. As you scroll through this week's Top 25 Wild Bird photographs, take a moment to appreciate the role that each of these birds plays in creating and maintaining the ecosystems that we live in. 

To submit one of your photographs for next week’s Top 25 you can upload your image to our Facebook page with species, location, and photographer as the caption. Also follow us on Twitter and Instagram for even more amazing bird photographs!

Here we have this week's top photographs!
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A female Black Redstart photographed by Nishith Dwivedi. These birds breed across Eurasia in the spring and summer, usually raising two broods a season, occasionally (about 10% of pairs) they will raise three broods
Black-breasted Weavers are polygynous. The male will build multiple nests, up to four in some cases, courting females at each. Once a female accepts him, he will mate with her and then begin building his next nest. Photograph by Yogesh Kumar
Blue Whistling-thrushes are usually found near running water but will also frequent areas that are irrigated, like gardens and agricultural terraces. Photograph by Shantharam Holla
The Brown Rockchat only occurs in India, and parts of Pakistan. This one was photographed in Gujarat by Samir Brahmbhatt
A beautiful Scarlett Minivet photographed by Hitesh Chawla. You may be wondering why this bird is not scarlet, as its name suggests. The 'Scarlet' refers to the plumage of the males which is, true to form, bright red with black markings. While the females, like this one, are yellow with grey and black markings
Collared Kingfishers occur in Australasia and south-east Asia. Interestingly their habitat preferences are dependent on which other kingfisher species are in the area. On Pacific islands where there are many other kingfisher species to compete with, Collared Kingfishers tend to remain on the coast, but on islands with few competitors they will venture further inland. (Goutam Mitra)
A flock of Common Starlings photographed in Turkey by Zafer Tekin. As the name suggests, the Common Starling is common across their natural and introduced range. However, within Europe the population is thought to be in decline, due to the intensification of agriculture
This Downy Woodpecker looks as though it has been foraging in the snow. During winter, seeds and nuts are dominant in the diet as many insects become dormant (Jola Charlton)
A flock of gulls beautifully photographed on a misty morning on the Yamuna River, India (Mann Niyati)
The Galapagos Hawk is found only on the Galapagos archipelago. This magnificent bird was photographed on Santa Fe Island by Melissa Penta
The Golden Bush Robin can be found in northern India, Myanmar and, less frequently, in China. This beautiful individual was photographed in China by Suraj Ramamurthy
In Borneo, Greater Coucals are captured and used in traditional medicine (Yogesh Kumar)
A beautifully back-lit Green Bee-eater, photographed in Durgapur, India by Aparna Mondal
The House Sparrow is closely associated with human settlement. Studies show that they tend to breed more successfully in suburbs than city centres or rural areas (Yogesh Kumar)
The plumage of the Indian Scops-owl allows them to blend in perfectly with the bark of the trees they inhabit (Bhavesh Rathod)
A male Kalij Pheasant foraging amongst a group of females. Some male Pheasants are monogamous, while others will mate with multiple females (Sneha Shekhawat)
The Lappet-faced Vulture is one of the largest vultures in Africa, at carcasses they are typically dominant and other vultures will make way for them (Ganesh Rao)
Lesser Yellownapes can often be seen foraging on the ground, seeking their preferred prey, ants (Ayan Guin)
A Nilgiri Flycatcher photographed in Munnar, India by Pallavi Sarkar 
The Peregrine Falcon is the world's most widespread raptor, it is found on every continent on earth, except for the extreme polar regions. This sepia photograph of the Peregrine Falcon is by Goutam Mitra
A Rose-winged Parakeet beautifully captured by Narahari Kanike
This unusual looking bird is a Spinifex Pigeon, a species which is endemic to the arid grasslands of Australia. This one was photographed in Alice Springs by Lynne Adams-Hodgson
These birds are Sri Lankan Frogmouths, a nocturnal species closely related to the nightjars. This species can only be found in the western Ghats of India and in Sri Lanka (Bhavesh Rathod)
A Temminck's Stint photographed in Nagpur, India by Indranil Bhattacharjee 
Whiskered Terns do not forage very far from their colony, typically feeding within 1 kilometre (Suman Banerjee)
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Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

See the last “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #119"

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