Humans have had a huge effect on other life forms on our planet. The spread of urban areas has pushed many bird species out of our cities: some species long ago, other species have easily adapted to thrive in human dominated environments. This process of change in species composition is known as ecological succession. We do not experience this succession in our environment directly as this takes place over long periods of time, and wide areas.
Exodus is a reflection on, urban nature, urban succession and urban encroachment.
The calls heard in this piece are from birds native to what is now Berlin, however we only recognize the few which we encounter on a daily basis, such as the wood pidgeon, or the swallow. The sounds of the city are now predominately produced by the people living in it. The call of now exotic birds, such as the grey partridge, once a common companion featured prominently in the tales of the brothers Grimm, is no longer familiar, as this bird is neither able to find suitable habitat in our cities, nor in a countryside where intensive agriculture has led to the mechanization and simplification of the landscape. As birds are thus being pushed out of agricultural land, urban parks and forests become pockets of high biodiversity.
In 2015, the International Year of Soils, one in eight species of birds in Germany are at risk of extinction. One quarter of the bird species could be extinct by 2100. Whether we will be able to reverse this trend, and reserve land as habitat for wildlife depends on our how we manage our land, how we plan the development of our urban expansion, and the amount of resources we consume.