The Royal Society of Biology hopes to emphasise the vital environmental role played by the more than 20,000 species found in the UK. Well, the same applies to the rest of the world. Our planet couldn't survive in its present form without insects, or the birds that feed off them.
That's despite the threats they face from pesticide use, habitat destruction and climate change.
The experts have listed 10 insects they want UK residents to vote on. These include the small tortoiseshell butterfly, the emperor dragonfly and the stag beetle. The seven-spot ladybird, garden tiger moth, the marmalade hoverfly, black garden ant, buff-tailed bumblebee, large bee-fly and green shield bug are also in the running.
For descriptions of the top ten UK insects and how they behave click here.
I think my favourite would be the Emperor Dragonfly. Firstly, it's beautiful—slim and colourful, and does no harm to me.
Isn't that how we think of insects—nasty hovering creatures that sting or bite us?
I used to love the ladybird until a particular spotty, potty she-bird bit me.
I'd been minding my own business, sitting in the garden taking in the wonder of nature—sending happy thoughts into the area.
Although by my ears it's heard
Strokes parts contained within
Tweaking inside with a pin.
So many different notes
All put forth from tiny throats
Composed in alien ways
Seem to burst forth in relays.
I'd rather vote on my favourite bird. We humans are inclined to think more kindly toward our feathered friends (and we sometimes eat them). It's been proven that birdsong is good for you.
“What was that?” my husband asked.
“The pigeon hit the window. She must be stunned.” Hands on the armrests of my chair, I climbed to my feet and hobbled over to look underneath the window. “She's not there.” I checked the lawn. “Oh, there she is. She's walking slowly.”
"She's a bit crazy," I turned to face him. "She built a nest right there last year and then abandoned it. This year she's been flying backwards and forwards to the forest as if she's feeding chicks. But, everything's been quiet lately."
He rushed to join me, and then hurried to the kitchen.
“What are you doing?”
“I'm going to feed her. Perhaps she's hungry.” He eased a couple of digestive biscuits out of a packet.
I turned back to check the state of the bird. In a flash, he arrived outside the window. The pigeon walked away from him, and then fluttered slowly to the shelter of bushes beside the fence. I swung my gaze around. Pieces of biscuit littered the grass.
After he joined me, I said, “I hope she's alright.”
My heart went out to the crazy bird. Creatures aren't perfect, but then, neither are humans. We're inclined to dismiss them as acting the way they should, but their tiny brains can be affected by an abnormality or accident just like ours. I hope our empathy and love did some good.
If asked to vote for my favourite bird, I'd choose the gentle wood pigeon. So there you have my two selections: the dragonfly and the wood pigeon. How would you vote?