Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Birds may be fleeing our city due to declining green cover, but an initiative has been launched to bring them flying back. With an idea to improve the bird population, a birdbath was installed at Koramangala here on Friday as a part of “Bring The Birds Back” initiative on World Environment Day.

A birdbath is an artificial puddle created with a shallow, water-filled basin for birds to drink and bathe in. It is a strong attraction for birds, and attracts many different species of birds. The idea will help in improving the bird habitat.

Launching the birdbath, M.B. Krishna, ornithologist, said the focus on birds was because, apart from the fact that they please human beings with their happy sounds and songs, they have high oxygen demand due to their soaring metabolic rate.

He said: “Thus in case of toxins in the atmosphere, they consume more poison than any other animal and are the first to die. They also help in expanding the green cover and for example, maximum seed dispersal of sandalwood in Karnataka is through birds.”

“The single largest reason for the decline in the number of birds is the loss of habitat. It has led to a loss of about 60 per cent of the city’s bird population over the past few years,” said Dr. Krishna, explaining that concentration on development of two main types of areas can make a big difference — lakes, which support about 40 per cent of the city’s birds, and large green spaces, which give shelter to around two-thirds of the birds of Bangalore. “The greater the area we destroy, the greater the number of birds we drive into extinction,” he said.