Sparrow the little humble bird in grey plumages with brown strokes, white neck, black beak and lively eyes is a sight for sore eyes.
Once flocks in plenitude are now missing from our surroundings. Their buzzing sweet chirp too has evanesced from the morning.
Once part of our life, the extinction of the little bird for two decades is a grievous aspect of environmental disintegration.
In 2002 IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) has put the sparrows in red list along with snow leopard, tiger and red panda.
The reason behind the Extinction of sparrows is none other than the excess impose of human’s rights on the earth.
Sparrows are sociable birds and they live close to human settlements. They lost their natural habitat due to rapid urbanisation. They don’t build nest on trees or crevices of rocks. They built their nest inside the huts, thatched houses, along the rafter of the ceiling, behind picture frames, skylights and high holes of homes. The skylights, holes on walls of old houses used to provide accommodation whereas modern architect sleek walls offer no room for these tiny birds.
Sparrows need a diet of insects in their formative days to grow into healthy adults. But in the concrete jungle from where it would get them. And owing to excessive use of mosquito replant, insecticides mother sparrow is unable to feed its offspring. This leads to the declined infant mortality rate of sparrows. The native plants like Mehendi, adulsa that sparrows feed on are outdone by fancy decorative plants is another reason for sparrow extinction.
Being a social bird the sparrow thrive around humans where grain was abundant. The supermarket has completely outdated the concepts of grains being sold openly in shops. The spilt out grains from the gunny bags were the major source of sparrows’ food. Prior raw grains used to be threshed, washed and dried in the veranda or on rooftops also used to be the source of sustenance for sparrows. But the packaged food culture has wiped out little birds’ platter.
The numbers dwindled after the advent of mobile phones. Mobile radiation is the major culprit for the sparrow extinction. Birds navigate by sensing the earth’s magnetic field. Mobile radiation is interfering with the bird’s ability to move around. So they moved away far.
Indulged in technology we have set aside nature. There was a time when we even don’t switch on the ceiling fan just because a sparrow has built a nest. We use to cheer by hearing the thin voice of baby sparrows that were the emotions we were sharing with nature.
The urban young mass even does not know this tiny beautiful avian. Only they have seen it in pictures. Once part of our life, this little winged creature must be conserved for our next generations to behold.
Environmentalist and documentary film-maker Rakesh Khetri has gone the extra mile to spread awareness and worked with might and main to preserve the sparrows. He set up Eco-Roots Foundation in 2012 to raise awareness and launched the ‘Save the House Sparrow Program’ to carry out his mission of helping sparrows. His vision extended to 1400 schools and it built 1.25 lacs nests for birds all over the country. Rabindra Sahu a native of Ganjam District Odisha has done a commendable job in preserving Sparrow in his village Puruna Bhandha. The researcher and conservationist put a lot of hours to understand the way of life of this tiny bird. He pursued people to place artificial nests in houses. Requested them to leave some grain every day. His patience and hard work bore fruit, the sparrow population from a mere 11 in 2003 has risen to 300 in 2020. Only human concern can bring back the little bird to hop and chirp all around