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Where are Delhi Sparrows!

Discussion in 'Delhi' started by sushmasrivastav, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. sushmasrivastav

    sushmasrivastav Bronze IL'ite

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    As I grew up in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delhi</st1:place></st1:City> in the 70s and 80s, a pair of sparrows would invariably build their nest in a narrow crevice in the wall in our backyard. They would lay eggs, feed the young ones and one day they would all fly away. However since the 2000s the sparrow population in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">New Delhi</st1:place></st1:City> has dwindled. I wonder why.
    Now it seems even the powers that be are taking notice. The Delhi Chief Minister, Dr Shiela Dixit has joined hands with the Bombay Natural History Society to celebrate the World House Sparrow Day on March 20, 2010 at her official residence on Motilal Nehru Marg, <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">New Delhi</st1:City></st1:place>.
    :cheers
     
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  2. Ashapatel

    Ashapatel Junior IL'ite

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    I remember reading newspaper reports a few months ago, that even Mumbaikars are worried about the absence of sparrows in the urban sub-habitat. They had approached the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Bombay</st1:place></st1:City> Natural History Society in the matter.
    I believe that the <st1:City w:st="on">Bombay</st1:City> Natural History Society has already started a pilot project six months ago at Nashik in <st1:place w:st="on">Maharashtra</st1:place>. It is true that the sparrow population has substantially declined in cities like <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delhi</st1:place></st1:City> and Mumbai. Some people say that the microwave towers of cellular phone companies adversely affect the sparrows.
    :idea
     
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  3. anandisingh

    anandisingh Senior IL'ite

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    The number of house sparrows has indeed dwindled fast in the last decade. It was a timely observation by CM Sheila Dixit that it was time to focus on the survival of sparrows.

    While speaking at an event organized by Nature Forever Society in collaboration with Bombay Natural History Society, Eco-Sys Action Foundation (France), Avon Wildlife Trust (UK) and many other national and international fora on the occasion of World House Sparrow Day, the CM said that this pioneering event would address the problem and search for solutions.

    The CM hoped that the programme would address the various causes of and find solutions for a problem like decline of house sparrows.

    :drowning
     
  4. MadhujaJ

    MadhujaJ Senior IL'ite

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    I think the population of sparrows has declined due to lack of hedges, roosting sites and nesting sites. They have also suffered from absence of food which also includes insects. Urban habital destruction, microwave pollution, increasing use of pesticides and invasion of exotic plants into gardens, have contributed greatly to this environmental mishap.

    Ms Dixit rightly observed that there was a need to start house sparrow habitat conservation drive by regularly providing water and food, by planting more hedges, by switching back to organic gardening and by putting up nesting boxes to encourage house sparrows.

    The event that Sushma and Anandi talk about also emphasized the need of celebrating the beauty of all common birds and bio-diversity.

    :thumbsup
     
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  5. paanzaa

    paanzaa Gold IL'ite

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    These birds are called Veetu Kuruvis in Tamil, meaning household birds, living along with people. They don't build nests elsewhere.
    The root cause is the transmission of radio waves of cellphone towers and these birds are not comfortable like crows, with this modern day necessity. I am giving you a gist from an article from THE HINDU.
    Another bird which is facing extinction is the Indian vulture- sadly the decline is due to pesticides on crops, which in turn are consumed by herbivores, and when they die and when vultures get rid of the rotting animals, the chemicals pass on to the vultures.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
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  6. JayaRawat

    JayaRawat Senior IL'ite

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    Till four years ago, the main species of birds in Delhi were house crows, house sparrows, common mynas and rock pigeons. When I last visited Delhi, I found all these species sidelined by the rock pigeon. I found the reason in what Ms Dixit said that day: “The sparrows and pigeons were in competition for nesting space and the smaller bird was obviously beaten.” Rapid urbanization has indeed created hurdles in the habitat of birds.
    The present generation children in Delhi hardly find any house sparrow around them.

    House sparrow is one of the most common and loved birds throughout the world. The decline in their population is a matter of concern and debate across the globe today. Their number is a significant bio-indicator. The decline in the number is an unfortunate reminder of the degradation that urban environments are suffering from. We humans are in danger, in the long run.

    :eek:mg:
     
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  7. BandanaSen

    BandanaSen Bronze IL'ite

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    I too miss the house sparrows in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delhi</st1:place></st1:City>. In Bengali, they are called “Chariye pakhi”. I recently went to Gurgaon. I was able to spot a couple of house sparrows chirping there. I think cell phone towers are not the only reason for the decline of sparrows since Gurgaon too has a good number of cellphone towers.
    Among other factors is the rapid loss of nesting places due to increasing concretization of <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delhi</st1:place></st1:City>. There were many open spaces in <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Delhi</st1:place></st1:City> twenty years back. Food is another issue. Sparrows survive on small insects. With the increasing use of improved insecticides by farmers, the insect population has come down which in turn has affected the sparrows.
     
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  8. BandanaSen

    BandanaSen Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi folks
    I recently found sparrows in Delhi - but only two or three of them. Our local temple has a couple of stalls selling marigold flowers. The flowers are kept in a jute sack. I found the sparrows fluttering about the sacks. The flower seller told me that the sparrows come to hunt for the insects found amongst the flowers.
     
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  9. BandanaSen

    BandanaSen Bronze IL'ite

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    Concerned citizens have set up a website where in you can log in and report sightings of sparrows in your locality. The initiative is supported by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Ministry of Environment, Govt of India. So many people have contributed their sparrow stories. Why dont you? Here is the link :
    Chi(r)p in for Citizen Sparrow! - Yahoo! Lifestyle India
     
  10. sushmasrivastav

    sushmasrivastav Bronze IL'ite

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    Hi Bandana
    Thanks for joining in. You seem to be one dedicated sparrow warrior. I too participated in the Citizen Sparrow link that you so kindly provided.
    Well, I have good news for you. On August 14, 2012, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Delhi, Dr Sheila Dixit has declared Sparrows as the state bird of Delhi. An project entitled "Rise for the Sparrows" campaign has also been launched. It will increase nesting places for the birds by arranging for bird boxes in all Delhi Govt schools and offices. Thanks to state patronage, at long last the bird will flourish.
     
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