Vanishing house sparrows spark concern

Vanishing house sparrows spark concern
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About 350 school children and several officers gathered at Dr MCR HRD Institute to celebrate the World Sparrow Day on Saturday. The day is being observed across the globe to raise public awareness regarding the decline of house sparrows which have a significant role to play in the web of life, 

On the occasion of World Sparrow Day, experts stress the need to protect house sparrows

Hyderabad: About 350 school children and several officers gathered at Dr MCR HRD Institute to celebrate the World Sparrow Day on Saturday. The day is being observed across the globe to raise public awareness regarding the decline of house sparrows which have a significant role to play in the web of life,

the presence of the birds being a major indicator of the health of our environment. Though it was once a very common bird all over the country in bustling urban areas or small villages, it is becoming rare these days. House sparrow lives up to 13 years. The compact bird with a full chest and a large rounded head is declining fast due to polluted environments and is an indicator of the degrading environment in which we all live.

Among several reasons for decline of house sparrow is lack of insects as they have far fewer insects to eat. Their young ones are fed exclusively on an insect diet for the first 15 days of their life. Microwave pollution from mobile phones another reason.

This is injurious to their health, Pre-packaged clean grain from shops that we buy is leaving no insects from grain for them to pick up, Lack of nesting sites, as glass or aluminum composite exterior walls offer sparrows no nooks and crannies for nesting and intensification of agriculture with chemical pesticides at home and in the fields is leaving no insects for sparrows.

Experts say habitat conservation by providing water and food regularly, switching back to organic gardening and planting more hedges and putting up nest boxes dedicated to house sparrows can save the disappearing birds. This summer we can provide clean drinking water in bowls in our verandahs every day,

use earthen bowls, plastics or metal containers to provide drinking water, clean the bowl every day without using chemicals or soaps, the bowls should not be more than three inches deep as birds and insects can drown in too much water. Let a few twigs float in water, insects roost while they sip and water bowls can be placed at homes, offices, schools, public gardens and even at a neighborhood store.

Drawing attention to these aspects, a film show on sparrows was conducted for school children which was followed by spot quiz. Later, the children made nests for the sparrows and carried them along to be placed near their hostel and school. Some 350 students and teachers of TS Residential School Borabanda along with the staff and faculty members of Dr MCR HRD Institute participated in this program which was conducted as part of the 40 years celebrations of the Institute today.

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