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Updated: March 21, 2012 09:15 IST

A Sparrow Map soon for city

P. Oppili
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World Sparrow Day was observed on Tuesday. Photo: Paul Noronha
World Sparrow Day was observed on Tuesday. Photo: Paul Noronha

Naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts, here is a cheering piece of news — sparrows are still found in several residential areas in Chennai.

A small effort by the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS) led to the sighting of sparrows by people, who informed the society about the sightings through email and phone. MNS president K.V. Sudhakar said as part of World Sparrow Day — observed on Tuesday — the society created an exclusive e-mail ID which was circulated among its members. They had been asked to share the mail ID with friends. This brought in the information regarding spotting of sparrows in various residential areas.

Triplicane, Tiruvottiyur, Medavakkam, Adyar, Santhome, Nungambakkam, R.A. Puram, Choolaimedu, Villivakkam, Besant Nagar, Pudupet and Chitlapakkam — these were some of the areas from where the MNS received information about sighting of sparrows, Mr. Sudhakar said.

Naturalists attribute two important reasons for sighting of sparrows in certain residential areas: the presence of old houses, which provided a safe nesting spot for these small birds, and availability of food grains and millets.

With this baseline data, the MNS is planning to create a Sparrow Map of Chennai. The map will identify those pockets where sparrows are still holding. The Society also has requested those who sent information about the sightings to take care of the birds by scattering grains, keeping a box or a pot for these birds to nest and keeping water in small earthen pots.

The MNS also plans to organise a sparrow photography contest. Under this the participants will have to take pictures of the sparrow — feeding, nesting and mating. The best picture will get an award, Mr. Sudhakar said. A study on why sparrows are not commonly found in the city neighbourhoods will also be taken up soon, he added.

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Hi I live in AnnaNagar West, past 3 weeks I am feeding the birds like pigeons, crows..which come to my terrace..I have placed some grains, sunflower seeds.. thinai etc... and keeping water for them to drink and to keep them cool. To my surprise I have seen couple of sparrows come to my terrace to eat the grains and drink water....i am very happy to brought the sparrows back to my home. Can you please guide me with the right food and building nest for them. Please provide me with the email id ..i will send some pics that I have taken..

from:  Kannan K
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 13:39 IST

Thanks for the people who have taken this wonderful initiative. I live in Pammal and I like to bring to your kind notice that there are large number of sparrows comes to our terrace every day and we are keeping water for them to drink and to keep them cool. At present we are feeding them with the grains and smashed snacks. We are very much interested in increasing the count of these rare birds.
As we don’t have much experience in maintaining the birds, we request you to please guide us with the right food and building nest for them. Please provide me with the email id where I can send few pictures of these birds in our terrace which I clicked. If we are guided in the right direction then we are eager to spread this practice to our neighbors as well.
My email id : jayaraman82@gmail.com. (m) 9841406926

from:  Jayaraman
Posted on: Apr 2, 2012 at 23:24 IST

It feels good to know that there are people in this world, in our city who are concerned about the dwindling number of sparrows. While I’m worried about the disappearance of these lovely birds, I find solace in the fact that there are still few that hang around the small temple near my house in Tiruvottiyur.

from:  Ramesh Ravindran
Posted on: Mar 21, 2012 at 12:32 IST
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