I see sparrows every day. Some people are just blindly mouthing what they’ve heard from others instead of looking themselves. Certainly sparrows are not seen as much in the places we used to see them and I think there are several reasons, the main one being the changing shape and complexion of our towns and cities leading to fewer nesting sites and less cover/refuge. Even the type of garden we maintain makes a difference, a densely hedged garden is much better than manicured lawns with seasonal plants. I do not favour the mobile tower hypothesis much to be honest. Sparrows tend to eat wheat as well as grass seeds and are less interested in bajra. Having said that, i don’t think that food is a major issue and I do NOT recommend feeding sparrows or any kind of wild birds as a general rule. Feeding birds can actually be counterproductive and tends to encourage species which are already very successful to the detriment of struggling species.
A person told me the other day that he had not seen a sparrow for 10 years. On further questioning it turned out that the person could not even correctly distinguish the house sparrow from other species!!!
Knowledge and first-hand observation are very important, I sincerely hope this project turns out to be effective.
How many have you ever seen?
The Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), is a very rare species from the Indian Subcontinent. This threatened species is now almost extinct; probably less than 1,000 and perhaps as few as 500 adult birds are still alive!
Why Is Birdwatching or Knowledge of Birds Important to Conservation and Species Preservation?
Some people have asked me questions like the following:
‘Why are you so interested in Birds; how does that profit you?
‘Why do I need to know the names of all the species?’
‘Can’t I just love, appreciate and protect them without knowing everything about them?’
‘Don’t only the experts need to know these things?’
These are good questions that deserve answers.
First of all, think about all the people and things that are important to you? Am I right in saying that you know the name of everything that is important to you? We know the names of all our close relatives and friends; we know the name of the school or college we attend and we know the names of our teachers and lecturers. We know the names of the foods and drinks we like! In short, we name the things that are important to us.
Not only that, but we know things about our friends and family besides their names. We know their likes and dislikes; we know what makes them happy and what hurts them. We know which foods they eat and don’t eat. We know where they live!
If we genuinely care about wildlife, we should take the time to find out more about each species, how they live, where they live, what they eat, how and where they build their nests – what kind of habitat they require.
We here a lot of clichés day by day like, ‘Green Is Clean’, ‘Save the Tiger’ and many others. But most of them fail to inform us adequately in order for us to take any action or change our lives in any meaningful way that would actually help species preservation.
Many students and teachers schools in my city have set up nesting boxes in their campuses for birds to nest in, but few have them have even bothered to find out which species can use a nesting box. If they discover that all their boxes are occupied by pigeons or mynas, they might not realize that they have merely encouraged already successful species that don’t require any help. Do they bother to find out which bird species are in decline and precisely how that particular species can be helped?
to be continued….
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