The Chirpy Sparrows
Today is World Sparrow Day. So I am dedicating this post to the sparrow.
This is a very well known bird. I think I don’t need to describe it because it has always been close to mankind and has a near worldwide presence. Sometimes it is synonymous with the word ‘bird’. So much so that its scientific name is Passer domesticus and the group of birds it belongs to is called Passerines, the other group being Non-Passerines.
This small chirpy bird is better known to my parents’ generation because these birds were common at that time. These birds would eat grains from the fields nearby and in the breeding season, the male would chirp often around their home sometimes sitting on window sills. My parents recollect that they would often be greeted in the morning by the calls of this bird. These birds would make clumsy homes on the ceiling fan cups, on top of tubelights, in wall niches, on electricity poles even the electricity meter boxes.
During summer days, they would keep cool by taking a quick dip – whether it was a pool, or a small rainwater puddle.
But now sparrows have nearly disappeared from our cites.
- Lack of grasslands and farms in cities means lack of food.
- Excessive spray of pesticides/insecticides could have led to poisoning.
- Release of un-natural predators like feral cats.
- Now that their number and flock sizes are down these are easily bullied by larger flocks of bigger birds like mynas.
- Last year, the Government of Uttar Pradesh (a state in northern India) distributed nest boxes.
- The Delhi state government declared the House Sparrow as the State bird of Delhi.