"Urbanisation's Toll: Sparrows' Morning Serenade Silenced By Modernisation"

"Urbanisation's Toll: Sparrows' Morning Serenade Silenced By Modernisation"

In the wake of significant improvements in air quality, the city was once among the top 10 most polluted, however, this positive change has unintended consequences for small birds like sparrows.

Nidhi DevliyaUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 10:11 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): Most of us have a childhood memory of waking up to the sparrow chirps. The small birds used to be all over the verandas and the balconies early in the morning. However, over time, these birds started vanishing and their place was taken by long electric cables in the balcony and their nests were replaced by the concrete jungles of the city.

The disruption of the natural habitat of birds has arisen from several factors: polluted air and noise, diminishing water sources, and a decrease in green spaces due to extensive infrastructural developments. These disturbances within the ecosystem are directly contributing to the declining population of sparrows in urban areas. Consequently, this decline not only signifies a loss of biodiversity but also poses a threat to the intricate balance between humans and their environment.

In the wake of significant improvements in air quality, the city was once among the top 10 most polluted, however, this positive change has unintended consequences for small birds like sparrows. Sparrows, known for building their nests in trees, face challenges as green spaces diminish due to urban development and the pursuit of human conveniences.

Unlike pigeons, which can thrive in various environments including multi-storey buildings, small birds like sparrows require specific atmospheres to live and adapt.

Padma Shree Bhalu Mondhe an environmentalist putting light on the topic emphasised that “it's crucial for people to realise that our environment and human life needs to balance well. He mentioned that humans can help birds by simply giving them food and a good place to live. This means having trees, clean water, and keeping the air clean. If we do these things, we can make society better for everyone, including birds”.

He added that without other creatures, life wouldn't be as enjoyable for humans. While some sparrows are still seen in the city, they thrive in specific habitats that suit their needs.

O.P. Joshi an active environmentalist points out that previously, sparrows found it easier to build nests due to abundant greenery and the presence of numerous huts and suitable habitats. However, the development of buildings and houses has drastically reduced their visibility. Furthermore, the decline in greenery has affected the availability of small grass seeds, a staple food for sparrows like sporobolus seeds. Additionally, factors such as radiation from mobile towers and changes in lifestyle, may also contribute to the decline in sparrow populations.

Major reasons for migration:

Modern architecture: With small old houses with roofs and holes converting into ultra-stylish flats with sleek walls, there is no room for sparrows to build their nests and survive.

No grains: The packaged food culture and supermarkets have completely outdated the concept of grains being sold in the open in shops. The grains spilling out from gunny bags were the major source of the omnivorous sparrows' food.

Mobile radiation: Scientists consider mobile radiation the major culprit for the disappearance of sparrows. Birds navigate by sensing the earth's magnetic fields and mobile radiations are known to disturb them and interfere with bird's ability to move around.

Excessive use of insecticides: Insects are part of newborn baby sparrow's diet and due to excessive use of mosquito repellents and insecticides, sparrows are unable to feed them to their offsprings. This has resulted in a rise in sparrow's infant mortality rate.

Big birds: The small number of places and holes for building nests are now occupied by big birds like pigeons, crows.

Measures that can be taken to bring back sparrows in the city:

Providing them space – at home or in birdhouses

Providing food

More and more plantations

Constructing nests boxes

Keep water for them

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