City residents go green with pride
From sparrow houses and bee boxes to flowerbeds in their windowsills, citizens do their bit to increase the number of green spaces and birds.Updated: Jun 08, 2012, 01:05 IST
: Every morning after waking up, Shubha Nair, 41, fills the cylindrical container (see bottom pic) in her balcony with 250 gm of millet grains before she drinks her morning cup of tea listening to the chirping of sparrows that flock to feed on the grains.
Since December 2011, Nair, a homemaker, has a bird-feeder and a nest box set up in her balcony. The nest box is a wooden box with a cavity for sparrows to build their nest and lay eggs. “I am a bird-lover and it is a positive thing to have beautiful creatures in my home,” said the Malad resident.
Every day between 6am and 10am and between 5pm and 7pm, sparrows flock to her balcony to eat from the bird-feeder and drink the water she keeps in an earthen pot. Besides sparrows, mynahs and pigeons too flock to her balcony.
“In the winter, at least 15 sparrows arrive, feed and fly to nearby trees. This is a great way to conserve birds,” said Nair.
On the sixth floor of the same building, Ankita Rasalkar, 42, installed a sparrow house a year ago. During the breeding season, Rasalkar, a housewife, witnessed six sparrow eggs hatch and watched the baby sparrows grow to maturity.
“Baby sparrows first craned their necks out of the hole in the nest box, they then learned to sit on the balcony railing and then made attempts to fly to nearby trees. Although it was a delight to watch them grow, I felt lonely when they left,” said Rasalkar, a housewife.
According to Mohammed Dilawar, founder of Nature Forever Society that works towards conservation of common birds of India, sparrow numbers in the city have been declining. “Match-box shaped modern high-rises hardly have any nooks and crannies for the birds to build their nests. A nest box and bird feeders are cheap and convenient to install and the common man can play a role in conserving the house sparrow,” he said.