Save the small homely bird ‘Sparrow’

Save the small homely bird ‘Sparrow’

Lucknow, March 20: World Sparrow Day, is celebrated all over the world on March 20. The day is being celebrated to create awareness among the people to protect this species of bird which is being lost in urbanisation process and many other allied reasons.

Garima Pandey

There were days when these birds were part of the daily life of human beings living around them, where they were found making their nests inside the houses. Three decades earlier children have grown up by observing their activities. Now, their number has gone down with the traditional houses being replaced by colonies of concrete jungle, by removing natural forest cover. The situation is such that at many a places, the bird is seen nowhere.
Keeping in view of it, a concern was raised worldwide and efforts to protect the bird from extinction, a step was taken to observe the World Sparrow Day and it started in year 2010 on March 20. It is now being observed every year. This is mainly to create awareness among the people to save the bird from extinction and providing support backing for them to survive in the present environment.

In India also the concern is being raised over the slow loss of environment favourable for these small birds to live in mainly through cutting down of trees, houses modified so that sparrow are unable to make their nests in the buildings, people remove their nests due to the dry grasses make the area dirty or their faeces which is acidic causing spots even after cleaning, and many other reasons.

As per reports, Delhi has almost lost the sparrow population and is not visible in the urban area. Delhi government taking a step ahead in year 2012 declared the House Sparrow as ‘State Bird’ taking a major step to protect the species from total extinction from the national capital city.
There were the days when children used to watch the bird pecking on the seeds, caterpillars or the rice/wheat spread for drying.

Ornithologist Hemant Singh said that the sparrow which is commonly known as House Sparrow population has been reduced by 60 to 80 percent. If the efforts for its conservation is not made extensively, then this species would remain in annuls of history where the future generation would not be able to see it.

Royal Society of Protection of Birds, Britain including researchers from different part of the world including India through studies had put the bird in the ‘Red List’, which is a notification for very rare species.
Andhra University study states that there is reduction of population of sparrow upto 60 percent. The reduction in population of these birds is distinct to both urban and rural areas, but both together in same ratio. Western countries studies state that Sparrow population has gone down drastically at dangerous level and moving towards extinction.

Renowned environmentalist Mohammed E Dilawar then made efforts and finally March 20 was declared as World Sparrow Day. After the word spread many people and organisations are spear heading the movement to conserve and protect the small chirpy bird, sparrow.

Generally one can see these birds in groups in large number which was a common sight sitting on different parts of trees or wires. This was a scenario around two decades ago but now the situation is that the number can be counted on fingers. The same situation is prevailing world over. As per information, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Czech Republic among others where the population of Sparrow has gone down drastically while at Netherland now it falls under rare species.

Sparrows are a family of small passerine birds, Passeridae. They are between 11–18 centimetres long. They can weigh between 13–42 grams. They are usually brown and gray. They have short tails and small, strong beaks. Most sparrows eat seeds or small insects. Sparrows are social birds and they live in flocks (groups). One time generally it rears three chicks. In search of food, the flock travels around two miles. They can also search food in the garbage.

Reason for the extinction

  1. Lack of food and water

  2. No proper place for making nest

  3. Felling of trees

  4. The first food of chicks from 10-15 days are insects, caterpillars, but now with use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers even in the pots, there is lack of insects, caterpillars, the natural food of these birds.

  5. With lack of nest, spraying of pesticides on crops and grains, shortage of natural food, radiation of mobile towers among others, the normal life-cycle of these birds are affected.

  6. People remove the nests before the birds settle in name of cleaning.

  7. Now there is need to create awareness among the people.

  8. Several times children catch them and tie thread on bird’s leg which later is caught in the bark of trees, leaving the bird dead.

  9. There are cases where children catch these birds and colour them, leaving the birds unfit for flying and the colour causes health issues among birds.

  10. Experts on birds state that if one has to invite sparrow into their house, then arrangement should be made at comfortable place where they can make nests. Their eggs and chicks are safe from the preying birds. The experts feel that another major reason for their extinction is that their nests are not safe as the preying birds like crow and Kites prey the eggs and chicks.

  11. These sparrows have a habit of living near the human habitat so providing therefore, conducive environment has to be created for their living. The day is not far, if similar situation remains, then one day like ‘Dodo’ of Mauritius and Vulture, sparrow would become extinct. So there is need for real effort to save this tiny chirpy bird.

Why are sparrows important for us?

  1. Sparrows are important for maintaining the ecological balance. Every animal and plant has a significance role in maintaining the ecological balance and so is sparrow.
    1. Sparrows are also important for pollination of many plants.
    2. Sparrows eat larvae of many insects and mosquitoes which helps in reducing many diseases.
    3. And most importantly, sparrows add a positive and a lively environment at home and garden. Many of the bird watchers started their journey of bird watching from home watching these tiny little birds.

Clipper28.com support the movement

How to save them

• Adopt a nest box (surrogate cavity) and a feeder with the right kind of grain in it
• Grow native species of plants to help build a sparrow-friendly habitat
• Set up a water pitcher, especially in summer

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