Home, sweet home, for the sparrows

Welcome back:A gift for the birdsPHOTO: K. ANANTHAN

Welcome back:A gift for the birdsPHOTO: K. ANANTHAN  

This year, the theme for World Sparrow Day, celebrated on March 20, is “House the Sparrow.”

Since his school days Deepak, an alumnus of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Picket and a resident of Marredpally has seen innumerable baby sparrows hatching in the five nests, one natural, a shoe box and three artificial nests put up for the growing numbers, perched in his balcony.

“We saved a hatchling that fell from the nest and later it would fly around in the house and perch on my shoulder,” he says.

These are few pockets in the city where sparrows still nest in balconies in contrast a few years ago when sparrow nests dotted ventilators and windows.

And the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) had no qualms in sharing the living room space with human beings.

Unfortunately there has been a sudden decline in their population over the years.

Reasons cited are urbanisation, chopping down of trees in cities, lack of insect food for the young, pollution of water bodies and increasing microwave pollution from mobile phone towers.

Save them

March 20 or World House Sparrow Day is time to spread public awareness about the decline of the house sparrow and throw light on the problems faced by the species in its daily fight for survival.

With its theme “House the Sparrow”, Nature Forever Society, an organisation working towards conservation of common bird species is taking up required steps to control the fast disappearance of the sparrows.

This year NFS has initiated Sparrow Awards and BiodiverCity photo competition as also “Ban the Catapult” campaign to create awareness among children.

To support this cause of housing the sparrow they provide nest box made of recycled wood that one can put up in the balcony or gardens.

“Grains such as broken rice or bajra can be filled into the scientifically designed feeders that can be hung in balconies or windows.

If this is done continuously, our experience shows the return of sparrows back to localities that they deserted earlier,” says Mohamed Dilawar of NFS .

“Sparrows need a lot of water to drink and bathe so it would be ideal to have lots of it around,” says Rama Vatsan who has 200 sparrows nesting in the terrace of her house in the heart of the city.

To order nest boxes and feeders you can call 09890087988, or send an email to

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