Good Samaritans share their experiences on World Sparrow Day

A small garden near the Elliot’s Beach police booth is at the centre of attraction in Besant Nagar, every day.

Normally, the kilometre-long road along the beach is busy from 5.30 a.m., with walkers and joggers frequenting the place.

Once the people get back home, tiny birds come out and spend some time in the garden, foraging for feed. All thanks to the efforts of Sadhana Rajkumar, a resident of 28 Cross Street, Besant Nagar, who has taken pains to earmark the space for feeding the birds.

Sharing her experience with The Hindu on the occasion of World Sparrow Day, Ms. Rajkumar said with support and encouragement from a Corporation assistant commissioner, she developed a sparrow garden in a small area in front of the police booth at the beach.

“We have put up a separate enclosure for these birds with water and space for mud bath.  Everyday, between 7.45 a.m. and 8.30 a.m., I bring a jar of foxtail millet to feed the sparrows that come to the garden.”

Feeding sparrows has become an everyday ritual and part of her lifestyle. It is a pleasure to see the sparrows taking to the nest boxes, she said. “Watching sparrows come and spend some time in the garden is a sight to behold,” she said.

If this is the case in Besant Nagar, in Virugambakkam, G. Mullaivanam of Tree Bank Trust is distributing sparrow homes free of cost to bird lovers.

Mr. Mullaivanam said his organisation began free distribution of sparrow homes on March 1. A total of 475 homes have been distributed by their Trust in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

K.V. Sudhakar, president, Madras Naturalists’ Society, said with increased awareness among city residents over the past few years, the sparrow population has increased considerably.

Sparrows are seen across several localities in the city, especially in north Chennai.

Many people show a keen interest in feeding grains and water to these tiny birds, which has helped in boosting their numbers, he said.

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