"Are you not of more value than they[birds]? "
The objection of Pam raises for me an interesting emphasis which provides a justification for a French paleontologist and Jesuit, Teilhard de Chardin, who might otherwise seem heretical in relation to Catholicism. His view was that evolution went from God to realization of God. The birds would be, yes, on a lower level.
Birds also may be a reminder of life going on without a centrality in humanity. A veteran recalled a battle in VN in which an enemy massed and attacked with their weapons and we responded with flechettes or other direct fire, and he recalled the birds simultaneously going about their usual life outside the fields of fire.