The dwindling bird population in the city may see a revival soon with the trust, Sparrow’s Shelter, planning to set up a bigger shelter called the Bird Gallery, for birds like sparrows, robins and bulbuls that are rarely seen these days.
The Bird Gallery a first-of-its-kind shelter in Maharashtra will be a 40ft long, 20ft wide and 15 feet high and will be protected from all sides with special nets that will allow these birds to fly in and out as they wish.
There will be fountains, sweet fruit and two ponds to attract the birds. Hundreds of birdhouses will be installed inside the gallery for various birds and there will be bamboo bushes at the corners.
“We had noticed certain types of birds disappearing by day. So, we decided to have a shelter providing a suitable environment for those birds,” said Pramod Mane, president, Sparrow’s Shelter.
The trust has been given space on the premises of Manohar Joshi College in Dharavi by the Mahatma Phule Shikshan Sanstha. However this entire installation will cost them around Rs 3.5 lakh and they now are looking out for government authorities as fundraisers.
“We may meet Ratnakar Gaikwad, metropolitan commissioner, MMRDA, for funds in the coming week and we are very hopeful of their support,” said Mane.
After this gallery is proved successful, we want to propose that the BMC set up more such shelters,” he added.
While the idea is noble, experts in the field have a word of caution for the Trust. Dr Asad Rahmani, director, Bombay Natural History Society, said, “The intention is good but we think some proper measures should be taken as different birds need different environments to live in”.