Sultry, hot and oppressive, these are not the best of times for avian creatures. Lack of water sources and a fast depleting green cover in the city have dealt a combined blow to many bird species of the region. But thanks to the efforts of a few individuals and organisations, the resident bird population of the city have found some solace even in the heat.
For many, birthdays may be an occasion for lavish celebration, but Soundarya Ravula had other plans. The nature lover donated a major part of the salary from her part-time work to an organisation for funding the water bowls for birds this summer. “I have often wondered how the birds or animals like stray dogs survive the scorching heat without water. This time I wanted to do something to save them from the heat,” says Soundarya, a fourth year engineering student of GVP Engineering College.
Like Soundarya, there are a few others who have relentlessly made an effort to revive the bird population of the city. Rain or shine, Srinivas Rao’s terrace garden in the busy neighbourhood of Nehru Bazaar area is a place where his avian friends visit every evening. For more than four years now, he has been feeding house sparrows, parakeets, doves and pigeons that arrive in large numbers to take a dip in the water bowls placed at different spots and feed on rice and paddy ears. “In summers especially, I keep extra water bowls for the birds,” he says. He gets nearly 20 kg of rice every day for the birds. One has to see it to believe how fast the feed disappears when the birds arrive.
Concerted individual efforts apart, organisations like the Ken Foundation have come up with initiatives to help save bird population in the city. The foundation has been distributing water bowls made of cement in selected localities in the city free of cost. “We have, till now, distributed 100 water bowls of different sizes in localities such as Seethammadhara and MVP Colony,” said Founder of Ken Foundation Society P. Santosh. In order to rope in the young crowd of the city in nature conservation measures, the organisation will be distributing water bowls on college campuses like Andhra University which has a rich green surrounding. Those interested in collecting, free of cost, water bowls for birds and animals can contact 9885674949.
Environmentalists and research workers say the rise in temperature and non-availability of food and water have affected the population of birds in many ways. According to birders, some common bird species like the Alexandrine parakeet have now almost disappeared from the urban spaces due to a combination of such factors.