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Fun facts and articles
Image: Ray Kennedy
All living creatures consume something to get energy to live and grow. But where and how does the process start? And how does energy get passed from food to feeder? - Through a food chain.
There’s no point in putting out birdseed for sparrowhawks, right? Well, maybe only half right. Of course, birdseed is just for small birds such as blue tits. But sparrowhawks have to eat too. And their favourite food is – you’ve guessed it! – small birds such as blue tits. So, who knows? By feeding a blue tit, you may be helping to feed a sparrowhawk.
Image: The RSPB
Every living thing, or organism, forms part of a food chain. This includes you (so try to stay clear of big, meat-eating predators!). Each food chain starts with energy from the sun – called solar energy. Then the next step is always a plant. Plants produce food from the sun’s energy, so they are called producers. All the steps after that are animals. Animals consume food by eating plants or other animals, so they are called consumers.
So, we can also show our food chain like this:
Some food chains are longer. Others are quite short. But the steps always follow the same order. These steps are called trophic (or feeding) levels.