The chirp of sparrows at the window sill is soon becoming a thing of the past. It is a totally wrong idea that mobile phone towers have driven away house sparrows. Infrastructure development on the whole is one big reason for sparrows to disappear from cities.
Bird-lover B. Pandiyarajan (44) from Coimbatore has been involved in the conservation of sparrows and other birds and says man concept of development ignoring nature has resulted in sparrows taking shelter in the outskirts.
On the World Sparrow Day, Pandiyarajan told Covai Post: “Sparrows are creatures that live very close to humans. They build their nests inside houses and depend on humans for food and shelter.”
He runs the Sparrow Conservation Movement and says that sparrows are largely dependent on grains and insects. They had adapted well in human habitations since there is enough food and space to build nests.
“Sparrows were using the roofs of our huts to build nests. Now there are not many huts in the city and one can find huts only in the outskirts,” he says.
The usage of coir bags also proved good for sparrows who fed on the grains that are spilled from them. Modern day plastic bags have made grain availability difficult. “Earlier, we had something called as backyard garden where sparrows usually fed themselves. Now there is no such thing and sparrows have lost their food source,” he adds.
Market places still proving to be quite helpful and sparrows are found nesting there. “The gaps on the roofs of the shutters are enough for them to build nests. But they are not safe, sparrows there only lay up to two eggs, when it is natural from them to lay five. This is also cause for the fall in number of sparrow,” says Pandiyarajan.
To bring them back, he and a few of his friends are setting up wooden and cardboard boxes in walls. “People should also keep water in a small bowl and some grains if possible. We can certainly bring back the lost sparrows,” he says with confidence.