Change in human lifestyle seems to have driven the birds away

It has been years since the house sparrow disappeared from the city. The bird that was omnipresent in the town has now moved out to the very outskirts, being seen only in villages like Gollapudi and beyond.

The celebration of World Sparrow Day (WSD) has made everyone realise that if the house sparrow can disappear, all other birds can disappear, too. This bird, which has been co-existing with humans from time immemorial, has become a symbol of bio-diversity.

Former Assistant Conservator of Forests and bird-watcher P. Gracious says everyone, particularly children, what to know as to why these chirpy, friendly birds have packed up.

“It is hard for children to accept it as they are not aware of the changes in lifestyle. The way houses are built has changed. There were hundreds of tiled and thatched houses in the city, but today we have only flat-roofed houses.”

Involving children

Citing a simple example, he says: “Foodgrains of different types are dried and processed at home. There are no mills today. With no place to stay and nothing to eat, sparrow population has declined.” There are other theories as to why their numbers are dwindling.

Celebrating the World Sparrow Day is a good way to get the children involved in environmental conservation. They can participate in activities such as sparrow walks, sparrow fancy dress competitions, painting competitions, besides forming groups to monitor sparrows and other common birds and registering with the Common Bird Monitoring of India (CBMI).

India is the country where WSD is celebrated in a big way. WSD-related activities and celebrations can be registered at www.worldsparrowday.org/form/, Mr. Gracious says.

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