Many in India have grown up with the chirruping of the house sparrows. These tiny little grey birds have been constant companions, sometimes noisy neighbours, morning alarm bells, and fluttering representatives of the aerial species that live amidst humans.

Unfortunately, while once you opened your windows to be automatically greeted by their calls, the house sparrows have stopped calling your house their home in the present world.

Their numbers are dwindling at such a high rate, that conservationists are concerned, that this specie that has had such an amicable relationship with the urban world, may slowly but steadily be losing its population and just not finding its little space among the concrete jungle anymore. Accroding to a survey there has been an 80 percent decline in their population.

Today the reasons for the sparrows’ decline are largely electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones and lack of insect food due to excessive use of pesticide in urban gardens. But most certainly, it is the loss of habitat that drives any species towards extinction.

It is therefore, that last year the world decided to dedicate a day to the common house bird that is becoming uncommon. 20th March is thus World House Sparrow day.

If you have been friends with this chirrupy neighbour for a long time and want your kids and their kids to remember the feathery mate as fondly as you have, just pledge today that you will make your home more house sparrow friendly.

Here is how,

  • Create a mini forest within your housing society or home compound.
  • The house sparrow is not a fussy eater, therefore place any kind of seed, flower seed, bread, and grain and even home leftovers at a pre designated place every day for them to feed on.
  • Place a water vessel at a comfortable location.
  • If you have the space in your balcony or garden, hang a nesting place like a bamboo basket, an earthen pot that they find safe and secure.
  • Use cellular phones as little as possible.

The Man behind the World House Sparrow Day

The man who started the initiative is environmentalist Mohd. Dilawar who wants to conserve the species as well as create awareness among people. Dilawar believes that we should not only be concerned about the threatened or endangered species but the more commonly seen species like the sparrow that are often neglected when conservation efforts are planned.

He says, “The rationale of having this day is not simply to celebrate the event for a single day, but to use it to bring together all the individuals and organizations working for conservation of sparrows and urban biodiversity on a common platform. We aim to build a network which can result in better linkages of like-minded people. In the long term, it’s an effective way to carry out advocacy, do collaborative research and form national and international linkages.”

Dilawar’s Nature Forever Society had many events lined up for the global awareness day.

  • NFS will showcase exclusive photographs and information on as many as 22 of the 26 species of sparrows on its website.
  • An open-for-all photography contest in association with the Bangalore Photography Workshop
  • Common bird watching trips
  • Public discussions
  • Exhibitions
  • Presentations
  • Bird rallies
  • Art competitions
  • Educational and public events.

For more information on the decline of sparrows and how you can help, visit http://www.natureforever.org/

-Atula Gupta

 

 

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About Atula Gupta

Atula Gupta is the Founder and Editor of indiasendangered.com. Her work has appeared in a number of international websites, dailies and magazines including The Wire, Deccan Herald, New Indian Express, Down to Earth and Heritage India on issues related to environment and its conservation. She is also the author of Environment Science Essentials, a set of books for school children. She hopes this website provides a platform for people to be aware about species in the verge of extinction and heighten their conservation efforts.

13 thoughts on “World House Sparrow Day Today

  1. I miss the days when they would hop into our rooms from the open windows and fearlessly hop around the courtyard,verandahs, and the lawn in search of food. I remember my mother picking tiny chunks of stones from rice, invariably surrounded by a few sparrows, waiting in anticipation for a few of grains of rice that she would mercifully throw at them at regular intervals.
    I see quite a few of them during my walk to the Buhaira Corniche facing the lagoon – they are the fastest flyers – even faster than the sea-birds (who more often than not soar rather than fly over the lagoon)- it is funny to watch such tiny a bird flying over so vast a body of water – but they fly fearlessly – in a rapid, undulating motion that is impossible to capture in camera. But their comic flight invariably brings a smile to my face – what cheery, audacious little birds – intrepid travellers. Most of the resident sparrows in the UAE have travelled here from India – as stowaway passengers in the ships.
    Thanks a lot Atula for this wonderful story – these drab brown birds are easily one of favourite birds.

    1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful memories. It is in remembrance of those that we should strive to protect these birds today. so that the future generations too may remember the sparrows as fondly as we do today.

  2. it is great to see a people like u who are caring for these house sparrow. I am doing my project on the status of house sparrow in my district and i am also tell the possile reasons for their decline and conservation of these birds….

    1. Great to know you are also working on house sparrows balaji. Do share your work with us. More the merrier where conservation is involved.

  3. Good work buddy i am going to implement this from today onwards,,, already we are late so i should not waste time … thankyou

    1. Thank you Akash. Do whatever you can to save the House Sparrows. Also involve your friends and family. Surely, their chirps in your neighborhood are worth saving.

  4. I miss these chirping friends too…I have once saved a small baby sparrow when i was a kid…I would love to extend a helping hand to save my childhood friends… though its too late…but Hope never ends…:)

    1. Hi Mayuri, It feels good to know that you feel so much for our chirpy friends. But it is not too late. You can still help the sparrows, by encouraging people to place water and seeds for them. You can adopt a nest or build one yourself and place it in your home. You can also be part of a website called citizensparrows that is noting down the sparrow population across India through people’s sightings in their neighbourhood. It is really upto us to save the sparrows.

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