How five abandoned chicks were rescued in Coimbatore

Updated - July 05, 2018 12:21 pm IST

Published - July 04, 2018 04:11 pm IST

An urgent phone call to save five house sparrow chicks saw N Dhanasekar, founder of Chittukuruvigal Arakattalai, spring into action. He came up with a rescue plan after a discussion with workers at the Coimbatore Corporation Zoo. “Jaganathan B from Uthukuli in Tirupur, who had attended a recent session on sparrows, called to say that his father Balasubramaniam and he had found five baby sparrows on the ground. The female sparrow could not be found. I told them to bring the birds to the Coimbatore Zoo for rehabilitation,” says Dhanasekar.

The Chittukuruvigal Arakattalai has been working in the city for over four years to spread awareness on conservation of house sparrows. Dhanasekar distributes nest boxes and bird feeders to homes, besides conducting awareness camps and talks at Government schools and institutions.

What makes the rescue significant is the fact there is only around 60 per cent chance of survival for baby sparrows.

“Predators like cats and birds are a big threat. Environmental conditions and human interventions also pose a problem to their survival. The five chicks are being nursed at the Zoo. They are in safe hands and will be able to take flight in a couple of weeks,” explains Dhanasekar.

Avian rescue  The baby birds; (below) being treated at the zoo

Avian rescue The baby birds; (below) being treated at the zoo

He says the birds initially refused to feed. “I held them in my palm and mimicked the sound of the mother sparrow. It was a beautiful sight to see them all open their mouths to take the food. Along with workers at the zoo, we administered a few drops of medicine packed with proteins. It took care of the nutritional requirements. You can always feed water droplets to an abandoned bird and then start with solid food.”

House sparrows are also indicators of biodiversity. “Sparrows are coming back to our cityscape. They feed on worms and small insects in farmlands. Rampant use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have wiped away their vital nutritious food. We need to go in for organic farming to bring them back in large numbers.”

The little brown bird, like crows and mynahs, are closely associated with humans. They hop around when there is abundant greenery at home. “They also have another important duty of transporting seeds of exotic fruits that are found in the forests to the cities. This helps build the green cover too,” says Dhanasekar.

One can grow native plants like hibiscus and drumstick trees to bring the birds back to your neighbourhood. “You can also build a nest with a shoe box. Make an one-inch incision (suitable for the sparrows to enter and build a nest) and mount it on your balcony to attract the birds. Watching sparrows chirruping away is meditative. It takes your stress away.”

To know more, visit chittukuruvigal page on Facebook

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