Twitter Sparrow Where Are You ? (reflecting on National Bird Day)
With coffee mug in hand, housecoat on I ventured out on the soft dewy grass in the lawn when I heard the chirping of birds nearby. The ‘Seven Sisters’ I used to call them, exactly seven of them would venture out on the grass every day, tweeting and pecking on any possible grains available. What a pleasant sight, a view you are denied in the city. So, where did I see the Seven Sisters? That was way back in Palakkad where the lush green grass spread over vast areas giving enough space for both, human beings and birds/animals alike to co-exist together. Now, I only hear the ‘tweet’ of the virtual world while the original chirping and twittering of little birds like sparrows is almost extinct.
I hoped that I was wrong in my observations; maybe, the sparrows, hornbills, mynas and even other types of pretty little birds did fly about here and there unnoticed. Maybe, the place where I lived had less of greenery to entice these little guests. But that was a failed solace because I came across reports in the newspapers about the possible wipe out of this loving species of birds due to a host of reasons.
Now, why should this happen, I asked myself. Were urban forests usurping the original forest area meant for creatures like the sparrow?
Global warming, I fathom is the main possible reason for this unfortunate turn of events. Who and what is NOT affected by global warming now-a-days. The affected grains are the culprits here. But, in many ways, we humans tend to destroy those whom we love, only to realize it much later when it is too late. When we can do this to our very own homo sapiens, then other creatures which exist with us are bound to suffer the cruel repercussions of our insensitivity. Sparrows and other sweet twittering creatures (about 200 bird species in the country, I gather) are becoming victims to the pesticides used in gardens, fields and farms used to shoo away birds. So, it is not just global warming that is making these birds defunct.
Urbanization brings with it increasing pollution. We human beings are ourselves victims of this fast moving and advancing trend. Although most of us are able to survive this somehow, the same does not apply to our little sparrows. Chopping down of trees to build shopping malls and residential complexes has destroyed the homes of many of these helpless birds.
What do they ask for? Just for a few grains and some twigs for their little nests they give us the joy of life. Just imagine! You are exhausted with the daily work, you open the window to get in some fresh air and then you hear the chirping of little birds. How melodious it is to hear! All the frustration and exhaustion of a busy day just gets wiped out. What are we doing instead? We are wiping out the very providers of this unconditional joy.
I know there are many bird lovers out there who are trying their best to bring back the birds or at least make the existing birds stay by providing little shelters like wooden boxes atop trees to be used as nests for sparrows and other birds. I don’t know how successful these genuine efforts are. Changing lifestyles has brought about a change in the existence of little birds. But, I hear there is some respite. It is possible that these birds have just migrated elsewhere, maybe further into villages and rural areas where there is more forest area and less of urbanization.