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The return of the sparrows

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Welcome sight: Sparrows seem to be making a comeback in Bangalore.
Welcome sight: Sparrows seem to be making a comeback in Bangalore.

M. Raghuram

BANGALORE: Are sparrows, once thought to have disappeared from the city’s landscape, making a comeback? Well, it appears so. Go to areas such as Shivajinagar and you can see them pecking at food crumbs and taking dips in puddles.

Sparrows are human-friendly. They nest near human habitations and are dependent on human beings for their survival, says N.A. Madhyastha, an ornithologist.

Predators

“Sparrows build nests inside houses as they are vulnerable to predatory birds such as kites and crows. They feed on crumbs of food found on the premises of households,” he says.

The sparrow population had dwindled because many buildings such as apartments had no ledges or niches for them to build nests. And with packaged food flooding the markets, finding food also became difficult for the birds,” he said.

Dr. Madhyasta explains to why sparrows are making a comeback now.

He said that these birds were at a high risk of being affected pesticides, particularly those used in gardens, and for mosquito control in households.

The sparrow population had come down when there was an increase in the use of pesticides. But following increased awareness about its harmful effects, the use of pesticides had come down, Dr. Madhyasta said.

Nesting

Sparrows are seen in good numbers in pockets of Shivajinagar and K.R. Market, and in areas where houses have ledges and ventilators where the birds can nest.

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